A pioneering music project driving social change in Dundee schools has expanded to offer new after-school classes.
Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise music programme, which started in Douglas in September, officially launched its latest phase at Claypotts Castle Primary School.
The concept, which has spread across the globe from from its birthplace in Venezuela, teaches a range of social skills through music, specifically an in-house orchestra.
It is helping to transform the lives of more than 400 pre-school and P1-P3 pupils at Claypotts Castle and St Pius primary schools, as well as in deprived areas in Stirling, Aberdeen and Glasgow.
Hundreds have signed up in Douglas, making it the area with the biggest uptake in Scotland.
Chris van der Kuyl, chairman of the programme’s main funder Optimistic Sound, said: “To hear Douglas has one of the biggest uptakes of any area Big Noise has launched in is really heartening.
“The community has really got behind it and it’s fantastic to see.
“This is the first time I have had a chance to come along and see the children perform but seeing them show so much enthusiasm is just fantastic.
“It is very satisfying to see more than 400 children participating already and we know that they will derive many social, educational and musical benefits from being engaged with Big Noise Douglas over the coming years.”
The Big Noise After School programme takes place in Claypotts Castle Primary School on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3.15-4.30pm.
It involves children playing instruments, forming an orchestra, singing, taking part in musical games and enjoying a healthy snack.
A Baby Noise for babies and toddlers was launched recently with a summer school for Douglas children also in the pipeline.
Big Noise Douglas team leader Andy Thorn added: “We have 60 kids signed up to this new after-school programme which is really pleasing.
“Watching the pupils grow over the past year since it started has been amazing.
“We’re looking forward to expanding more and more.”
Dundee community campaign, Optimistic Sound, is the main funder for Big Noise Douglas, with a £1.4 million investment over five years. It is working alongside Sistema Scotland, and Dundee City Council.
The scheme is also partially funded by the Scottish Government and other public and private investors and donors.