Free music lessons for kids in Moray aged 8 and 9
EVERY eight and nine-year-old in Moray is now leaning to play either the ukulele or recorder thanks to funding from Creative Scotland.
The cash will provide free music tuition to all pupils during their fifth year at primary school.
Alison Gillies provides lessons at schools in Lossiemouth, Forres, Hopeman, Burghead and Speyside as one of four Youth Music Instructors in Moray.
She said: "Many pupils have never played an instrument before so it's a great opportunity. They will also learn to read music, which is a great head start if they continue to play or decide to take up another instrument like the flute or violin."
Moray Council’s acting head of Instrumental Instruction, Alexander Davidson, said the benefits will be seen, and heard, in households across Moray.
She added: "This initiative will provide every schoolpupil the opportunity to experience and engage in meaningful, quality music-making.
"Moray’s young people are not only being offered the chance to develop the foundation and knowledge they require to further their musical learning, they will also develop their self-confidence and teamworking skills."
Cllr Sonya Warren (Buckie, SNP), who chairs the children's committee, said: "We have some really talented musicians. I hope it inspires them to enjoy many more years of music."
Earlier this year, due to financial pressures, Moray Council contemplated raising the cost of music lessons by 85%.
The suggestion prompted the immediate resignation of John Mustard, the head of its music service, in protest.
Ultimately, the local authority decided on an increase of 10% instead.