We’re ensuring every child can access free music tuition

The Scottish Government has announced a £9.5 million grant for the Youth Music Initiative.

The Youth Music Initiative (YMI) aims to create access to high-quality music-making opportunities for children and young people, particularly for those who would not normally have the chance to participate, enable them to achieve their potential in or through music-making – and also support the development of the youth music sector across Scotland.

In practice, the programmes range from after-school, instrument-based bands and groups to technical courses in sound production.

Music plays a vitally important role in young people’s lives and, beyond developing their wider skills and learning, we know that these kinds of activities also have a huge and positive impact on their confidence and wellbeing.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that every school pupil in Scotland can access a year of free music tuition by the time they leave primary school through the YMI – no matter their background – which is why I was delighted to announce £9.5 million of funding for the scheme.

More than 362,000 children and young people took part in YMI-funded projects under the 2021-22 programme, the majority of those in high-deprivation areas.

The funding also supported 1,182 music education posts across all of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

As all those who learned music in their youth – of which I am one – can attest, the skills and musical appreciation we develop stay with us for life.

It is great to know many more young people will enrich their lives in this way.