Council gives big thumbs up to Big Noise Torry

Aberdeen councillors this week gave the official seal of approval to a pioneering social change programme that is helping to change the lives of children in Torry through music.

The council discussed the independent evaluation report for Big Noise Torry which was published earlier this summer and endorsed the report’s conclusions on the positive impacts the programme has had on children and their families.

Now in its second year, Big Noise, which began in 2015 with £243,000 of support from Aberdeen City Council is run by the charity Sistema Scotland and provides free, immersive, instrumental music tuition, as well as an orchestra programme, to pupils and pre-school children in Torry’s Walker Road and Tullos Primaries, during and after school.

It currently works with more than 500 local school children aged 3 to 9 years in Torry,

The report, the result of an independent study undertaken by the Glasgow Cente fof Population Health revealed that Big Noise Torry has enhanced participants’ ability to learn in school, as well as improving emotional wellbeing. The report also concluded that the programme resulted in improvements in the confidence and esteem in those taking part, as well as the acquisition of a range of social and life skills.

Councillor John Wheeler, Convener for Education and Children’s Services, said: “Aberdeen City Council is determined to tackle inequality and disadvantage among our children and we are delighted that Big Noise Torry is having such a hugely positive effect on the local community.

“Pupils, families and our dedicated school staff have all taken the Big Noise ethos to their hearts and the report clearly highlights that our ongoing investment in the programme is going to transform lives for the better.”

The report which researched 130 children participating in the programme, also highlighted:

  • Higher school attendance rates for Big Noise participants than for other pupils.

  • 100% of the children who were asked to draw a picture of how they felt expressed consistent feelings of happiness, enjoyment and pride in playing their instrument and being part of Big Noise.

  • Pupils of ethnic minority background and with English as a second language are also equitably represented within Big Noise provision.

  • The programme is well embedded within the Torry community and is underpinned by close working with schools and a range of delivery partners.

    Councillors also agreed that they should receive regular service updates on the progress of Big Noise Torry.