Young musicians across Moray will get to grips with Scotland’s national instruments, thanks to a scheme which will make affordable piping and drumming lessons more available.
Primary and secondary schools across Moray will benefit from a pioneering project that will help pupils to learn the pipes and drums and to perform with other pupils.
The news is a welcome boost as Scotland’s musical education landscape faces a host of challenges with instrumental music under threat in schools in other parts of the country.
It has been made possible through a partnership between the Moray Council’s Music Instruction & Performance, the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust and the Moray Youth Pipes and Drums Tuition Scheme (MYPDTS) charity.
The MYPDTS has engaged a dedicated schools piping and drumming coordinator to run the programme. That coordinator will support a network of tutors to make sure children who want to learn the instruments have every opportunity to do so.
A small lesson fee will be charged to pupils on a non-profit basis to cover tuition costs. Kids who benefit from free school meals or who cannot afford the usual fees will have their tuition provided free, with the council music service providing £8000 toward those free places in the first year of the scheme.
Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive at the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) said: “Moray Council is putting children first by opening up more opportunities to learn and flourish through music. This new programme takes a practical approach by charging low fees on a non-profit basis, by drawing in charitable grants to help fund the programme, and by offering free places to those that can’t afford to pay. It has the capacity to reach every single young person who wants to take up the pipes and drums throughout the whole of Moray. This is truly remarkable.
“Moray Council and the MYPDTS charity are due praise for exploring and embracing new and creative ways to give pupils greater access to our national instruments.”
The SSPDT is a thriving charity which was set up to promote pipe band membership among Scottish schoolchildren and to highlight the major educational and other achievements enjoyed by those taking part. It is also funding the Moray coordinator’s role.
Alexander Davidson, Principal Teacher of Music Instruction & Performance, Moray Council said: “Following the outcomes of a consultation with children & young people, parents/carers and teachers which highlighted demand for pipes and pipe drumming instruction we are pleased to have been able to allocate some of our additional funding from Scottish Government to MYPDTS and to support access to this instruction for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The programme’s key goal will be to provide pupils in all of Moray’s schools the opportunity to learn the pipes and drums, thereby developing confidence, friendships, resilience, self-esteem and other attributes for life, learning and work.”
Kathleen Robertson, Chair of the Moray Youth Pipes and Drums Tuition Scheme, Moray Council Leader and Chair of Moray Councils Education, Children’s and Leisure Services Committee said: “I’m delighted to see progress of the project and it is a fitting tribute to the late past Chairman of Forres and District Pipe Band who was the main driver in getting the tuition delivered in schools in Moray.”
The programme is also set to encourage and provide links to local community bands for pupils who are looking to push past in-school tuition and perform at the next level.
For more information on the Moray Youth Pipes and Drums Tuition Scheme (MYPDTS) contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, visit www.sspdt.org.uk