Scotland's Youth Music Initiative means every primary school pupil will be able to get a year of free tuition – Angus Robertson

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

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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.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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