Staff pre­pare to make a Big Noise in schools

Evening Telegraph (Late Extra Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BY LIND­SEY HAMIL­TON

AN i n n o v a t i v e new pro­gramme which aims to im­prove chil­dren’s lives through mu­sic is ready to launch in Dundee next week.

Staff and mu­si­cians from Sis­tema Scot­land are pre­par­ing to bring their Big Noise ini­tia­tive to St Pius and Clay­potts Cas­tle pri­mary schools in Dou­glas.

The scheme teaches kids to play an in­stru­ment and per­form in an orches­tra in an ef­fort to im­prove their con­fi­dence and well­be­ing.

The project has been in the pipe­line for a cou­ple of years, and aims to fol­low the suc­cess of sim­i­lar pro­grammes else­where in Scot­land.

A spokes­woman said: “This helps de­velop con­fi­dence, team­work, re­silience, prob­lem solv­ing skills and as­pi­ra­tion, en­abling chil­dren to reach their full po­ten­tial and lead suc­cess­ful and ful­filled lives.”

She said that dur­ing the first year, Big Noise Dou­glas will be work­ing with P1-3 pupils at both of the pri­mary schools. The pro­gramme grows with them year-by-year as they get older, then the next year group be­low is added.

The spokes­woman added: “Chil­dren be­gin by mak­ing and play­ing card­board in­stru­ments.

“This teaches them how to hold and use their in­stru­ments prop­erly be­fore they move on to the real thing.”

Jo Gev­ers, the newly ap­pointed op­er­a­tions man­ager at Big Noise Dou­glas, told the Tele: “I knew about the pro­gramme and was thrilled to know Dou­glas was to have the same op­por­tu­nity.

“In my pre­vi­ous role as a speech and lan­guage ther­a­pist I was al­ready work­ing in the nurs­ery at Clay­potts Cas­tle and knew many of the chil­dren and fam­i­lies there.

“I’m de­lighted to be able to keep that con­nec­tion as we bring Big Noise into the schools in Dou­glas.

“The ex­cit­ing thing about Big Noise is that it is so much more than just a mu­sic pro­gramme.

“We will be here in the community in Dou­glas for the long term, sup­port­ing chil­dren, young peo­ple and fam­i­lies to be­come con­fi­dent and out­ward-look­ing.

“Learn­ing to play an in­stru­ment, es­pe­cially in an orches­tra, de­vel­ops per­se­ver­ance and co-op­er­a­tion, fo­cus and self-es­teem, em­pa­thy and cre­ativ­ity.

“If Big Noise Dou­glas pro­duces some fine mu­si­cians, that will be great but what we re­ally want is chil­dren and fam­i­lies who are flour­ish­ing in life, be­cause of all the things they gain from the pro­gramme.”

The project — which Jo says has been warmly wel­comed by the lo­cal community — is backed by Op­ti­mistic Sound, a char­ity set up by Dun­do­nians, in­clud­ing the fam­ily of late mu­si­cian Michael Marra, as well as Dundee City Coun­cil.

Helen Good­will, Dar­ryl Dick, Jenni Harra, Andy thorn and Gor­don Dun­can of the Big Noise project.

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