Isle of Arran youth to benefit from piping and drumming summer funding


Piping and drumming students on the Isle of Arran will get the chance to take part in summer workshops thanks to co-funding from the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, the Isle of Arran Music School and local sponsors.

The six-day workshops will be open to up to 90 pupils currently learning the pipes and drums on the island through the Isle of Arran Music School, a registered charity that aims to advance the musical education of young people living on Arran, and is the organisation running the workshops. 

Quinton Black, Depute Head at Whiting Bay Primary and Chairperson of the Isle of Arran Music School commented: “The aim of the workshops is to involve as many students as possible and help develop the two school pipe bands currently going on the island.  We also hope to engage more pupils for the 2023-2024 school year and expand piping and drumming on the island even more. Grateful thanks go to the SSPDT for the £3,000 funding boost, and to local sponsors for their kind support. 

Thomas Barnes, Drumming Tutor said: “It will be a great chance for the kids to come together during the school holidays to practice and keep up momentum, and will hopefully improve the bands’ positions at upcoming competitions.” 

•The Isle of Arran Music School Pipe Band

Pupils on Arran also lend bagpipes from the SSPDT and two pupils are currently taking part in the charity’s Music Enterprise Award which encourages young pipers to use their loaned pipes to raise money to buy their own set. 

Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive of the SSPDT said: “The idea is to give young players time to get to grips with the pipes and time to raise funds to buy their own set.  By playing at weddings and other events, as well as busking and other enterprising activities, young pipers can soon raise the cash they need.  In doing so, they also build work and life skills such as teamwork, taking initiative, and managing finances.”

Ms Duncan adds that piping and drumming is extremely popular with youngsters and that playing in school and community pipe bands is shown to help young people to build resilience, teamwork, friendships and confidence.

The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) is the national charity that works to introduce piping and drumming tuition to state schools in Scotland and that encourages the formation of schools pipe bands. 

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