Big Noise

Wed 13th February 2019 at 12.50 - 14.00

Andy Thorn from Dundee will explain how music is inspiring young people from deprived areas

The Rotary Club of St Andrews heard a very interesting talk from Andy Thorn, the team leader of Big Noise Douglas in Dundee. Big Noise Douglas is Sistema Scotland’s fourth Centre and started in September 2017 in the Douglas Community in the east of Dundee.

The Big Noise programme works with children in some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities to develop their confidence, teamwork, pride and aspiration by learning an instrument and playing together in an orchestra. The programme is delivered in partnership with two primary schools to all children in Primary 1, 2 and 3. The children have fun with singing and games to learn about pulse and rhythm, pitch and good listening as well as experiencing different kinds of music. They are introduced to the string instruments of the orchestra and choose which one they would like to play. At first they make and play paper instruments and then move onto real violins, violas, cellos and double basses. All sessions and instruments are provided free.

Afterschool is an opt in part of the programme where the children stay on at school and have healthy snacks and learn to play further music through instrument classes.

Big Noise is not aiming to train the next generation of professional musicians but to support children to become resilient adults and fulfil their full potential in all aspects of their lives.

Andy told us that the Glasgow Centre for Population Health research shows that involvement in Big Noise has a positive impact on engagement with education, developing life skills, securing emotional wellbeing, building social skills and encouraging healthy behaviours, and offering respite and protection for some of our most vulnerable children.

The Big Noise Douglas orchestra belongs to the community and there are opportunities for all to see the children perform.

A vote of thanks was given by Rotary member Dennis Hopper thanking Andy for such an interesting talk about the Big Noise and the Rotary Club of St Andrews were then very happy to present a cheque to Andy to help with the fantastic work being done with the children who are part of the Big Noise.

Originating in South America, the Big Noise blueprint and ethos has been replicated in Stirling and Glasgow as well as Dundee.

Our member Jill Craig was involved in the Stirling set up in the Raploch

St Andrews girl Hannah Curtis works in Nicaragua with music and children in a Big Noise situation


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