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Success for Live Life Aberdeenshire in securing funding for the Youth Music Initiative programme

By David Porter

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Funding will help provide for the Youth Music Initiative in Aberdeenshire
Funding will help provide for the Youth Music Initiative in Aberdeenshire

As the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) enters its 19th year, Live Life Aberdeenshire (LLA) has been successful in its bid for another year of funding from Creative Scotland for its YMI programme.

LLA works in partnership with a range of organisations and professional musicians to create an inclusive and exciting music-based offer to schools and groups of young people.

During the last year, more than 10,000 children took part in YMI activities in Aberdeenshire and several projects which work with young carers, care experienced children and those with additional support needs.

Drake Music Scotland deliver a specialised programme of engaging music- making to young people with additional support needs which culminates in a concert at Haddo House.

Traditional music organisation Fèis Ros work with primary school pupils to write songs, create music and make a film based on local culture, stories and traditions.

Sound Festival work with groups of young carers to compose new music and also deliver a hip hop project to groups of older teenagers in the north of Aberdeenshire.

Musicians Jenny Sturgeon and Adam Ross deliver a song writing project which encourages young people to explore their outdoors environment for inspiration and to make sound recordings.

The Kodaly Singing and Music Programme works with most of the schools in Aberdeenshire, introducing younger children to singing and music making.

Pupils can also take part in jazz, samba, djembe, singing, bagpipe, digital music making and ukulele projects – all at no cost.

An out-of-school project connects with care experienced children, offering opportunities in music making, sound recording and film making.

​Teachers can also be involved and have the chance to learn new music making skills through taking part in projects specifically designed to support teachers in teaching music activities to their pupils.

Taking part in YMI projects gives children the opportunity to try new music making that they may otherwise not have the chance to do.

It introduces them to different genres of music, new ways of listening to sound and creating their own sounds and music.

Through engaging with the outdoors environment, children are inspired by nature and their creativity is enriched by new experience.

Taking part in music making improves participants’ sense of well-being and this has been particularly important throughout the Covid pandemic.

YMI coordinator, Susan Whyte, welcomed the funding for next year and said: “We’re delighted with the success of our ongoing YMI programme and the funding of £527,836 for the coming year enables us to continue delivering our programme of high-quality music-making opportunities at no cost to young people in schools across Aberdeenshire.”

One teacher commented: “The YMI tutor’s ability to motivate children, build their confidence and take into account a range of additional support needs has been a joy to observe.

“Teaching staff have thoroughly enjoyed the experience and have picked up a range of ideas to incorporate into their teaching.

"They have gained confidence, as have the pupils.

“With regard to wellbeing, both pupils and staff have gained a huge boost from taking part in this project.”

The YMI is administered by Creative Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government and the programme aims to:

• Create access to high quality music making opportunities for children and young people aged 0 – 25 years, particularly for those who would not normally have the chance to participate

• Enable children and young people to achieve their potential in or through music making

• Support the development of the youth music sector for the benefit of children and young people

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