NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Big Noise Torry having 'positive impact', says report

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Media captionSistema orchestra makes a Big Noise for Aberdeen children

A youth orchestra programme giving free music tuition in one of Scotland's most deprived areas is already having a "positive impact" on the children involved, according to a new report.

Big Noise Torry, which began in the summer of 2015, is the third orchestra run by Sistema Scotland.

It works with 500 children, aged three to nine, in the Torry area of Aberdeen.

The independent study was carried out by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH).

Image copyright Norman Adams
Image caption Big Noise Torry is the third project from Sistema Scotland
Image caption Sistema was first established in Scotland in 2008 in Stirling's Raploch

It concluded that school attendance rates were higher among Big Noise children than those who did not take part.

The report also said that teachers had reported improvements in academic and behavioural skills including listening, concentration, creativity, communications and co-operation.

When children were asked to draw a picture of how they felt about Big Noise, they all expressed feelings of happiness, enjoyment and pride in playing their instrument.

Image caption The children were asked to draw a picture of their feeling about Big Noise Torry
Image caption Torry is one of Scotland's most deprived areas

The findings of the Torry study are similar to research carried out in the two other Big Noise Centres in Govanhill (Glasgow) and Raploch (Stirling).

Sistema Scotland, which was set up in 2008, draws its inspiration from El Sistema in Venezuela.

It will open a fourth Big Noise centre in the Douglas area of Dundee in the autumn.

Chris Harkins, senior public health research specialist at GCPH, said: "Our research demonstrates that the Big Noise Torry programme is already having positive impacts on the wellbeing, education and learning, social and life skills of the children who participate."

He added: "Importantly Big Noise is effectively engaging children from disadvantaged backgrounds."

Big Noise Torry is funded by the Scottish government and Aberdeen City Council.

Last year the government committed to providing £2.5m for funding Sistema Scotland over four years.

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