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Success for El Sistema-style Scottish orchestra project

Thursday, 17 March 2011

A classical music project targeting children from a historically deprived Scottish housing estate has the potential 'to achieve social transformation', according to a new report evaluating the scheme. The Big Noise orchestra programme was set up in the Raploch, Stirling, by Sistema Scotland in 2008, and has given more than 300 children the chance to learn stringed instruments and play together in an orchestra.  

The report commissioned by the Scottish government identified that the scheme was 'well placed to achieve a range of outcomes, including greater engagement in learning, higher academic performance, reduction in negative and health harming behaviours, benefits to families, employers and communities, and better employability skills.'

Parents and carers of the children involved in the scheme were surveyed as part of the research. All of them said that their children were happier as a result of the scheme; 93 per cent thought that their children were more confident; and 79 per cent thought that they were more willing to concentrate.

Sistema Scotland, which expanded the Big Noise Raploch programme in late 2010 to include woodwind, brass and percussion tuition, hopes to have orchestras up and running in two more communities by 2013.

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