Media Release: £10m Youth Music Initiative for 2014/15

CREATIVE Scotland is delighted to launch the 2014 /15 Youth Music Initiative (YMI), which has been made possible thanks to £10 million support from Scottish Government.

Now entering its 12th year a total of £97.5 million has already been invested by the Scottish Government in this hugely-successful programme, which offers young people opportunities to get involved in music and supports well in excess of 300 projects each year covering all musical genres, age groups and teaching methods.

£8 million of the funding announced today will be allocated to Scottish local authorities to deliver music-making activities, primarily in schools starting in August 2015.

£1.6 million is available for organisations and individuals to apply to deliver music-making activities out with school time through The Access To Music Making Fund, and £200,000 is available for strategic activity and training that will strengthen the youth music sector in Scotland.

For details of how to apply please visit:

Creative Scotland administers the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) programme.

Janet Archer, CEO at Creative Scotland, commented: “Creative Scotland is committed to creative learning and ensuring everyone can access and enjoy artistic creative experiences. The continuation of the YMI will make a significant contribution in realising this and provide valuable opportunities for Scotland’s young people to achieve their potential in or through music-making.

“The YMI will create new music-making opportunities delivered by Scotland’s diverse and talented music practitioners. Participants will learn music-making skills, build their confidence, be provided with progression opportunities and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way.”

“Our continuing strong partnership with all thirty two of Scotland’s local authorities enables the YMI to have a truly national reach.”

Commenting on the success of the programme, Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said:

“This is an innovative and popular programme which has made a real difference to the lives of our young people.

“The Youth Music Initiative has created career pathways for Scotland’s young talent as well as giving many thousands of young people across the country the opportunity to learn about and enjoy making music.

“Engaging in music-making allows young people to grow in confidence and develop a whole range of life skills. The Scottish Government has prioritised and maintained the funding for this important initiative, with an overall fund of £10 million for this coming year, supporting Scotland’s children, fostering and developing their musical skills and unlocking their creative potential.”

Work made possible so far through YMI includes:

Primary school children across Scotland receiving one year’s free music tuition during school time.

Over 1,000 Bookbug Session Leaders trained to deliver song, story and rhyme sessions resulting in over 1.5 million attendances by babies, toddlers and preschool children at sessions delivered by the Scottish Book Trust.

Recording studios throughout the country have opened their doors to more than 400 young bands and musicians, giving them access to professional standard recording facilities.

Out of school opportunities for children to create music with providers such as as Drake Music Scotland, Fèis Rois and the Scottish Brass Band Association have also been made possible through the YMI programme.

Fiona Dalgetty, chief executive of Fèis Rois, said:

“YMI has enabled Fèis Rois to work with partners across the country to provide new opportunities for thousands of young people to access traditional music.

“Through the YMI Formula Fund, Fèis Rois works in partnership with Highland Council and Fèisean nan Gàidheal to deliver traditional music workshops to P5/6 children in every primary school in the region.

“This often sparks an interest in a child and many children go onto access new pathways to music-making through innovative YMI-funded projects that take place outside of the school day.

“Fèis Rois is currently working in partnership with the Scottish Professional Football League Trust to deliver their national Music Box programme.

“In the Highlands, more than 70 young people have accessed free weekly music workshops at both Ross County Football Club and Inverness Caledonian Thistle Football Club. YMI funding has also enabled Fèis Rois to collaborate with Scotland’s Creative Writing Centre, Moniack Mhor, to run residential song writing courses for young people with additional support needs.”

Thursa Sanderson, chief executive of Drake Music Scotland, said:

“The Youth Music Initiative has done for Drake Music Scotland’s participants with disabilities exactly what it says on the tin – ‘create access to high quality music making opportunities’. For example our YMI-funded Pathways project in East Dunbartonshire supported 12 young people with learning disabilities and autism not only to make music but also create new connections in their community, including a music and technology course at a school and performance opportunities at a local music festival. Specialised training for a musician from the area will also help keep the momentum going in future.”

Thanks to funding from YMI East Ayrshire Council delivers a wide range of music making opportunities and works in partnership with the likes of Scottish Opera and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Julie Carrier, YMI manager at East Ayrshire Council, said:

“The introduction of YMI has had a massive impact on the musical opportunities within East Ayrshire. It has allowed us to add to our music provision that we already had in an exciting way. YMI has enabled us to develop our music programmes by helping us to generating and build partnerships with both national and local companies.

“Over the last nine years East Ayrshire Music Service has won the Major Trophy from the National Music Council of Great Britain three times along with six Diplomas of merit and three Performance Right Society awards. These awards have been made possible by the joint collaboration of East Ayrshire Council’s support of its Music Service and high quality partnership work that we have developed through our YMI programmes.”


Notes to editors:

  1. YMI was established in 2003 to put music at the heart of young people’s lives and learning, in response to the ‘What’s Going On?’ report, a national audit of youth music in Scotland. Creative Scotland administers the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) programme which works to: Create access to high quality music making opportunities for young people aged 0 – 25, particularly for those that would not normally have the chance to participate; Enable young people to achieve their potential in or through music making; Support the development of the youth music sector for the benefit of young people
  2. Creative Scotland is the national organisation that funds and supports the development of Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries. Creative Scotland has four objectives: to develop and sustain a thriving environment for the arts, screen and creative industries; to support excellence in artistic and creative practice; to improve access to and participation in, arts and creative activity; and to deliver our services efficiently and effectively. For further information on Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

Media contact

Sophie Bambrough
Media Relations & PR Officer
Creative Scotland
: +44 (0) 131 523 0015
M: +44 (0) 774 760 6146
Switch Board: +44 (0) 330 333 2000

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Contact: Sophie Bambrough
Phone: 07747606146