New Schools Teaching Initiative in North East

The Scottish Schools Pipes & Drums Trust have sent this: Youngsters in Lossiemouth and district schools are to be given the chance to learn the pipes and drums thanks to a funding boost from a national music charity. It is expected that enough pupils will take up the challenge to allow a schools pipe band to be formed.

Youngsters will have the chance to try out the practice chanter and drums at a free Kick Start weekend, funded by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust. They can then sign up for lessons in school and will attend band practice also funded by the charity. Up to 80 pupils in Lossiemouth, Burghead and Hopeman Primary Schools, and Lossiemouth High School are expected to take part. The school band will be ready to perform next year and will start to take part in competitions including the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, the world’s largest competition of its type.

Fiona Caldwell, piping tutor, commented: ‘The pipes and drums are more than a hobby; the young people will make friends and develop teamwork. Practice, performance and competition help build resilience and confidence.  These are skills that young people need for life, learning and work. And being part of a pipe band means that you can travel the world.’

Richard Bond, steering committee member, said, ‘As Pipe Sergeant of one of the most successful competing pipe bands in Moray at this time, I cannot express how exciting the prospect of piping and drumming being taught in schools is. Many years ago, I initially learned piping when a piper appeared in our school and offered lessons. The schools scheme can only enhance the great work that local pipe bands are doing and if anything, expand the music to kids whom would not normally have an opportunity of being exposed to it. It will aid bands in improving, and will provide a sound foundation for all involved in their personal musical journeys. This is an important project in promoting Scottish music within our schools and ensuring a legacy in Moray’s schools for the future.  I would encourage all youngsters to give it a go and for the local pipe bands to lend support.”

Elaine Andrews, Head Teacher, Hopeman Primary School, said: ‘The Lossiemouth area has a rich musical heritage. Whilst there are many opportunities for young people to engage in music making, there was a need to provide formal tuition for our national instruments in schools and this exciting new programme offers exactly that. There is a modest charge for lessons. A bursary fund, provided by the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, means that we can offer free lessons in cases of financial hardship.’

Alexandra Duncan, Chief Executive, Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust, said: ‘We are delighted that Lossiemouth schools are leading the way in Moray. Our charity can help more schools in Moray to offer the pipes and drums to pupils. All enquiries can be made via our website at’

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