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£1.2million for youth music activities

Publication of Youth Music Initiative (YMI) Annual Plan sets priorities for Covid-19 recovery   

Today, Thursday 29 July, applications open for £1.2million of Scottish Government funding through Creative Scotland to support out of school hours music making activities for children and young people across the country. 

The Youth Music Initiative’s (YMI) Access to Music Making and Strengthening Youth Music Funds open at 12noon today with a deadline of 12noon, Monday 6 September 2021.  Interested applicants are invited to find out more about the funds by booking a space to attend workshops hosted by Creative Scotland on Wednesday 11 August 2021 (see below for links).  

The opening of the new funds coincides with the publication of the 2021-22 YMI Annual Plan which sets out the YMI’s ongoing priorities for the sector’s Covid-19 recovery.  As part of this work, Creative Scotland will be working with Music Education Partnership Group (MEPG) partners to develop its Covid-19 recovery plan for music education, supporting the implementation of recommendations of MEPG’s May 2021 Music Manifesto for Scotland

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “We know that taking part in music activity gives young people new skills, improves wellbeing and boosts confidence, so I am delighted that this funding will support projects to increase access to high quality music-making for many young people who might otherwise not access these opportunities. 

“Alongside our commitment for every child to receive a year’s music tuition before leaving primary school, this funding will help to improve and enrich the lives of children and young people across Scotland.” 

With latest figures evidencing the significant and positive impact of the Youth Music Initiative - reaching over 244,000 young people in 2018/19 and supporting nearly 1,200 jobs and 6,000 volunteering, training and development opportunities – the new £1.2m YMI funds will ensure continuing access to activities covering all musical genres. 

Speaking of their experience of delivering music classes with Aberdeen Performing Arts, a Creative Assistant said: “I’ve really learned a lot from working as Creative Assistant in the music classes at Aberdeen Performing Arts. It’s been so interesting working with children of all ages - from babies, right up to teenagers in Project Band.  It’s rare to find such practical, hands-on experience in working with participants in music making. This post has been a massive help to my career, and I love being part of the team!”  

On taking part in Findhorn Bay Arts online Covid friendly YMI funded project REMIX, which was designed for young Moray music-makers between 12 and 21 years of age, one participant commented on the value of taking part and connecting with others through music: “I felt that having the weekly sessions were great as it gave a sense of community. That despite everything that was going on there was still somewhere I'd feel welcomed.”  Another noted: “It helped me re-connect to the outside world and learn new things about the subject I love. I met new people and made new friends too! It was a chance to talk to people and engage in a level of sociality that I had not done in a long while.” 

Commenting on how the new funding announced today will help to continue this work, Morag MacdonaldCreative Scotland’s YMI Managersaid:  “We’re looking forward to receiving applications from individuals, groups and organisations across Scotland who can deliver projects covering all musical genres and age groups, encompassing group tuition, performance opportunities and digital music making, either face to face or digitally.  

“Through one off sessions to year-long programmes, we’re looking to support projects that create opportunities for children and young people to feel heard, channel their creativity, and to help shape the activities that they take part in as we begin to recover from the pandemic.” 

Contact Information

Olivia Carr

Media Relations & PR Coordinator

Creative Scotland

0141 302 1708

07970 962 322

Notes to editors


  • Eligibility details and applications for the YMI Access to Music Making and Strengthening Youth Music Funds can be accessed on Creative Scotland’s website 
  • Creative Scotland is hosting two workshops to support those applying to the YMI Access to Music Making and Strengthening Youth Music Funds:  
  • Wednesday 11 August, 10:00-11:00 
    Strengthening Youth Music (reserve your place using the online booking form
  • Wednesday 11 August, 15:30-16:30  
    Access to Making Music (reserve your place using the online booking form
  • The YMI Annual Plan 2021/22 can be accessed on the Creative Scotland website 
  • Creative Scotland is a partner in the Music Education Partnership Group (MEPG), which aims to tackle inequity, realise potential and challenge perceptions of music education. It advocates for excellent music education in Scotland in all its forms through We Make Music Scotland, and brings together a wide range of partners, from young people and music teachers to schools and local authorities, universities and higher education, freelance music tutors, community music groups and other music organisations. The We Make Music programme builds on the success of the Youth Music Initiative. 

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Image credit: Findhorn Bay Arts