20 years of Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative was celebrated with an inclusive event in Johnstone.
Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the arts and creative industries across the nation — including the works of the Scottish Brass Band Association, recently held its Youth Music Initiative (YMI).
Hosted at Johnstone Town Hall it brought together over 200 teachers, practitioners, community projects and young musicians from local authority areas to celebrate its 20th anniversary.
Performances and speeches
The day included musical performances and discussions about music education, with Scottish Government Culture Minister Neil Gray giving the closing speech.
Launched in 2003 Youth Music Initiative (YMI) aims to break down the barriers to music making by offering free access to children and young people across Scotland. Over the last 20 years, the music education programme has increased participation from 60,000 to 360,000 young people per year.
It’s ‘Access to Music-Making Fund’ creates opportunities outside school time for organisations and individuals for up to 1 year projects with funding of up to £30,000, whilst its ‘Strengthening Youth Music Fund’ provides grantsâ€¯of up to £20,000 for projectsâ€¯lastingâ€¯up to 12 months which aimâ€¯to improve Scotland’s youth music infrastructure and services
Hosting the event, YMI Manager Morag Macdonald said that a key was, “â€¦to pay tribute to those who make it all happen and celebrate the achievements of the last 20 years while looking firmly into the future of this essential initiative.”
In his address Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “Over the years YMI has delivered an impressive record of achievements. I’m particularly proud of the organisation’s engagement with under-represented groups of children and young people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to take part in making music.
It is well-documented that participation in creative activities from a young age inspires and motivates our children, boosting their wellbeing and attainment.
He added: “As we set out in the Scottish Government’s Culture Strategy, we want children and young people, no matter who they are or where they come from, to experience the transformative power of culture and YMI helps us to bring that ambition to life.”
we want children and young people, no matter who they are or where they come from, to experience the transformative power of culture and YMI helps us to bring that ambition to lifeCulture Minister Neil Gray
The day was made up of panel sessions from Scotland’s youth music community, exploring personal stories and the national picture, with speakers from YMI funded initiatives including National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland, Reeltime Music and Ando Glaso, and speakers from across the industry including musician, educator and activist, Dr Diljeet Kaur Bhachu.
The event also invited guests to enjoy a day of musical exploration, through a series of breakout spaces and performances, such as Immersive Music Play (above).