A youth orchestra charity giving free music tuition in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas has the potential to “transform” children’s lives, a report has found.
Education Scotland’s review of the Big Noise orchestra said it was improving children’s life chances and praised the outstanding teaching.
Sistema Scotland, the charity which runs the project, established its first orchestra in Rapploch in Stirling, nine years ago.
Since then it has set up others in Govanhill in Glasgow, Torry in Aberdeen and, most recently Dundee.
It was inspired by the ground-breaking El Sistema music movement in Venezuela which has nurtured international musicians such as Edicson Ruiz and Gustavo Dudamel.
The project has attracted renowned musicians such as violinist Nicola Benedetti who ran a master class.
Members have also performed alongside members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Education Scotland reviewed centres in Raploch, Govanhill and Torry. They said the project increased children’s self-esteem, confidence and team work. In 2014 children from the Rapploch Big Noise orchestra took part in concerts in Venezuela.
Nicola Killean, chief executive of Sistema Scotland, welcoming the report’s findings, said: “Big Noise is about using music as a tool to engage with children and young people and it’s the quality of people we recruit and train, and the relationship they build with the children, families and communities that allows us to have maximum impact.”
Fiona Hyslop, MSP, cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, said: “I am pleased the Scottish Government’s £2.5 million investment is helping ensure more young people can benefit from Sistema Scotland’s creative and empowering approach. I welcome the news of the development of the new Big Noise Douglas centre in Dundee, which will enable more children to access Sistema Scotland’s outstanding teaching, effective learning and inclusive opportunities.”