The First Minister helped youngsters from Big Noise Douglas celebrate their fifth birthday on Saturday, three months on from a devastating funding crisis.
Humza Yousaf hailed the music programme’s transformational work as he attended the special concert on Saturday.
Its future was plunged into doubt in March when Dundee city councillors voted to end funding this year.
But the Scottish Government made an 11th hour pledge of £1.5 million for Big Noise projects across Scotland in recognition of their important role.
Launched by Sistema Scotland in 2017, Big Noise Douglas works with more than 500 children every week
Mr Yousaf described Saturday’s entertainment at Claypotts Castle Primary School as “terrific”.
And he said: “I was also grateful for the opportunity to talk to young people and their families about the positive impact that the Big Noise programme has had on their lives.
“Reducing inequalities and tackling child poverty is a mission for the Scottish Government.”
Big Noise Douglas has ‘hugely positive impact’
Big Noise supports children and young people in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas to gain vital life skills.
In Dundee, children from Claypotts Castle and St Pius primaries take part in the scheme.
And Mr Yousaf watched as the Dundee youngsters performed both traditional and modern music.
There was also a performance from the Big Noise Douglas community choir.
And they were joined by members of the public, staff and volunteers to mark the five-year milestone.
Nicola Killean, chief executive of Sistema Scotland, said: “Over the last five years Big Noise has had a hugely positive impact on children and families in Douglas.
“The concert itself was a huge success thanks to our young participants who put on a spectacular performance.
“Events like this is what Big Noise is all about – celebrating the positive achievements and potential in our communities.”
Funding makes a lasting difference to young people
Studies have shown the Big Noise music programme helps with concentration, language skills and confidence.
And it also helps strengthen community ties.
Ms Killean had previously welcomed the Scottish Government funding to enable the project to continue.
She said: “This will make a lasting difference to young people’s lives in our most disadvantaged communities.”