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Sistema Scotland Bring Positive Long-term Impact Of BIg Noise To Wester Hailes

Sistema Scotland is celebrating the positive impact of its Big Noise programmes across Scotland. This comes ahead of the opening of a new Big Noise programme in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh in spring 2022.

Edinburgh Pentlands MSP Gordon MacDonald will be leading a member’s debate in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 5 October welcoming the forthcoming Big Noise programme in Wester Hailes and the beneficial impact on children, young people, and local communities.

Commenting ahead of the debate Mr MacDonald said, “This is not only an incredible opportunity for children and young people across Wester Hailes but for the local community as a whole.

“Sistema Scotland through their Big Noise programme have an outstanding record in delivering positive outcomes for participants. From increased confidence, to better school attendance to encouraging and supporting aspiration. These are just a few examples of the benefits the programme has brought since it began in 2008.

“This programme has a fantastic track record in improving lives and I have no doubt that Big Noise Wester Hailes will also prove to be a great opportunity for children and young people across the local area.”

Big Noise is a targeted community intervention that uses music education and nurturing relationships to improve lives and strengthen communities. The first Big Noise programme was launched in Raploch, Stirling in 2008 and based on the success of this work the organisation has opened in Govanhill, Glasgow, Torry, Aberdeen, Douglas, Dundee and more recently an expansion in Fallin in Stirling.

Since 2013, the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH) has been evaluating Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise programme. Their reports detail the range of positive benefits of taking part in Big Noise. These include increased confidence, discipline, and aspiration as well as improved team-working, communication and leadership skills. The research shows that being involved in Big Noise improves academic skills including listening, concentration and creativity. They also found that children and young people attending Big Noise programmes have better school attendance, increased resilience, and a sense of belonging and fulfilment.

The impact of Big Noise is rooted in the supportive relationships between Big Noise musician staff and participants. Musicians act as mentors and role models, supporting positive behaviours and life choices. Through trauma-informed practice and by targeting communities facing multiple and complex challenges, Big Noise also has the potential to reduce health inequalities in later life.

Big Noise Wester Hailes will start teaching in Canal View, Clovenstone and Sighthill Primary Schools from spring 2022. The after-school club will begin in early autumn 2022. Big Noise Wester Hailes will work initially with all children in Primary 1 and 2. Over the course of its first year, the programme will expand to reach all nursery to Primary 3 age children, approximately 400 participants in total. Big Noise will grow year on year, ultimately working with babies through to school-leavers in Wester Hailes. It will also offer opportunities to stay involved in the programme as adults. Sistema Scotland currently has Big Noise programmes operating in Raploch (Stirling), Fallin (Stirling), Govanhill (Glasgow), Torry (Aberdeen) and Douglas (Dundee). Sistema Scotland is funded through public investment coupled with significant private sector support.

Benny Higgins, Chairman of Sistema Scotland, said, “I am delighted that Mr MacDonald and the Scottish Parliament have highlighted the positive impact Big Noise brings to children, young people and local communities across Scotland. To be recognised at this exciting time as we prepare to open a new Big Noise programme in Wester Hailes in Edinburgh is an amazing achievement for our team and the communities we work alongside.

"Opening Big Noise Wester Hailes is a big step forward in our commitment to bring the benefits of Big Noise to more children across Scotland. We can’t wait to get started and work in partnership with the local community.”


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