Youth Music Initiative

About the Programme

In 2003, the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) was launched to put music at the heart of children and young people’s lives and learning. It currently operates with an annual budget of £9 million and supports all musical genres, age groups and teaching methods.

On this page you can learn more about the programme by reading the annual plan as well as recent impact reports and evaluations. You can also sign up to our monthly newsletter.


The YMI has two distinct strands:

  • School Based Music Making – activities planned and delivered by local authorities. Local authorities apply to the YMI Formula Fund for this activity.
  • The Informal Sector – activities planned and delivered by individuals and organisations who primarily work outwith school settings. There are two informal sector funding routes: Access to Music Making and Strengthening Youth Music, as well as the YMI CPD and Training Fund which is managed by the Scottish Music Centre.

Discover more about the funds that are part of the YMI in our Funding section.

YMI 20th Anniversary Celebrations

This year, we’re celebrating 20 incredible years of the Youth Music Initiative (YMI). Visit this page to find out more and download the promo pack so you can join in with the celebrations!

Youth Music Initiative 20th Anniversary Celebration

In 2022 we're celebrating a wonderful 20 years of the Youth Music Initiative.


About the Youth Music Initiative

Download our introduction to the Youth Music Initiative in PDF format.

YMI Annual Plan 2021-22

Read the Youth Music Initiative 2021-22 Annual Plan.

Youth Music Initiative 2019-2020 Evaluation

Download the latest YMI evaluation in PDF format.

YMI Evaluation Infographic 2019-20

Download this colourful and insightful infographic highlighting the key points of the Youth Music Initiative evaluation.

YMI Impact Report 2018/19

Download the full 2018/19 YMI Impact report in PDF format.

Stay up to date

Stay up to date with the programme by signing up to the YMI mailing list below. You can also keep up to date with all things YMI by following the hashtag #YMIScotland and following us at @CreativeScots.

Sign up to the Youth Music Initiative mailing list

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Latest Stories from YMI

Scottish Government emergency funds for Youth Arts

18 organisations and Local Authorities have received over £690K to help the recovery of Youth Arts provision across Scotland.

Published: 15 Dec 2020

Scottish Government emergency funds for Youth Arts

18 Youth Music and Youth Arts organisations have received a total of £1,053,000 to help the recovery of Youth Arts across Scotland and ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Published: 10 Nov 2020

Spotlight on Scots Trad Music Awards’ Music Tutor of the Year Award

This month we hear from Simon Thoumire, Organiser and Founder of Hands Up For Trad, on MG ALBA Scots Trad Music Awards’ Music Tutor of the Year Award, sponsored by Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative.

Published: 02 Nov 2020

Spotlight on Heavy Sound

In this month's Youth Music Initiative spotlight, we hear from Heavy Sound, an Edinburgh and Lothians based social enterprise specialising in music making, hip hop and creative arts services.

Published: 06 Oct 2020

Launch of Youth Arts emergency funding

£3m has been allocated to support youth arts and ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published: 17 Sep 2020