Consultation on the Children and Young People's Music Strategy

We want to share with you the results of the consultation that took place September - October 2021 relating to preparation of the Children and Young People's Music Strategy for Dumfries and Galloway. We were looking for feedback on the Draft Strategy Vision.

Draft Strategy

A draft Dumfries and Galloway Music Strategy has been devised with the intention of providing a single, clear, vision and ambition for music within the region. This formed the basis of the consultation exercise undertaken. This strategy is intended to consider all parts of the music landscape, including the extensive range of opportunities which exist in Dumfries and Galloway beyond schools and other education services.

Strategy Objectives

  • Progression through education
  • Inclusivity for all focusing on Access and inclusion
  • Continuing pathways
  • Community involvement
  • Nurturing talent

Summary Report


  • 378 people took part in the consultation via the online survey or focus groups
  • 93% of those who answered the question "Do you agree with the Draft Strategy" agreed with the Strategy
  • 314 returns came from the survey shared with all stakeholders
  • 11 returns came from Youth and Equality groups
  • 53 return from the child-friendly survey shared with schools
  • 50 of these were also part of locally based community music organisations
  • Resonses came from a range of stakeholders such as:
    • Pupils
    • Young person outwith education
    • Teachers
    • Parents
    • Parent Council Members
    • Locally based community music organisations
    • Members of Church or Faith Groups
    • Music Instructors
    • Other (which includes Professional Musician/Composer, Retired professional musician, Amateur adult musician, Music student, Retired music teacher, Former Director of Music/Music teaching inspector, Retired businessman, Parent and teacher, Interested past parent, Grandparent, Interested party/rate payer/member of the public,  Musically concerned member of the public, School Support Staff/Learning assistant, Faculty Head)

Music Consultation Survey Responses

  • 89% agreed that every effort should be made to ensure that all children and young people's personal or social circumstances such as gender, disability, ethnic origin, rurality or family background are not barriers to accessing musical education and
  • 97% agreed that the opportunity to access musical experiences should not end when our children and young people leave education
  • 97% of respondents agreed that music is important for developing skills for learning, life and work

Music Consultation - Musical Talent

  • The ranking of the Strategy Objectives found that 42% rated "Inclusivity for all focusing on Access and Inclusion" as their top choice. "Nurturing Talent" had a 24.3% return as first choice and "Progression through Education" was identified by 29.5% as the first choice. Community Involvement 3.5% and Continuing Pathways had a 0.7% ranking as first choice. This evidenced which Objective matters most to people.
  • When asked if involvement in musical opportunities develops young people into becoming Successful Learners, Confi-dent Individu-als ,Effective Contributors and Responsi-ble Citizens the following results:

Music Consultation - Music Opportunities


Learners feedback

  • 71% of learners want to learn to play an instrument
  • 44% of learners want the opportunity to create digital music
  • 55% of learners really enjoy learning music
  • 47% of learners really enjoy performing music
  • 87% of learners really enjoy listening to music
  • Comments included:
    • "Introduce more digital music."
    • "More freedom to do as the student wants, improvisation lessons."
    • "If they were free and were given to eve-ryone everywhere."
    • "Free lessons in trad fiddle instead of just classical."
    • "If you could make music of your own a bit more."

Key messages

  • People wanted to see the rural nature of our region being considered when thinking about instrumental music lessons and the timing of these
  • People wanted to see more opportunities around digital music technology
  • People wanted to see increased linkage and partnership working between the different parts of the musical land-scape to connect opportunities for young people
  • People were interested in learning more about how Music is delivered in primary schools as part of Curriculum for Excellence
  • People were interested in how the Instrumental Music Service could be further developed
  • Some statements included:
    • "More singing, more listening to different music, more dancing to music, more opportunities to try an instrument or even just look at different ones, go to a concert, learning to enjoy music"
    • "Extend access to instruments & music class, both through after school activities & outreach groups in the community"

Suggested improvements

  • "More taster sessions in schools to inspire children and allow them to try out different instruments and see what community groups are out there. It is difficult to know where to start if you do not come from a musical family and children can be disadvantaged by their parents not having the knowledge of how things work or what is available."
  • "The opportunity to learn an instrument and about music is very welcome. The accessi-bility for those living in rural areas and cost is very important to us."
  • "Emphasis should be put on the effect of music and ability to access musical experi-ences, on mental health. There is much research into the positive effects of music experiences both psychologically and physiologically."
  • "Please keep pushing to develop Music Provision in D&G. Music makes such a he difference to children's learning and develop-ment, the positive impact it can have on them is immeasurable and all children and young peo-ple should be able to benefit from this if they choose."
  • "I would like to see more opportunities for young pupils to develop their musical abilities."

Youth Music Service

The Instrumental Music Service (IMS) which provides young people with instrumental tuition sits within the education provision.  As an authority we currently meet the needs of 802 young people through this provision through 8.5 full time equivalent (FTE) Music Instructors.  This provision is key to delivering equity through free tuition for young-sters receiving free school meals (FSM) and also to deliver excellence through supporting the delivery of SQA qualifications. Additionally, it supports young people in solo and collective music making and in developing a lifelong skill.  Currently there are 407 young peo-ple on the waiting list for instrumental tuition.

Next steps

  • The local authority Music Service will follow up the consultation by getting in touch with a representative sample of individual respondents who offered to be contacted to get a greater understanding of how delivery of the service can be further improved, developed and evolved in line with the strategy and objectives.
  • The Music Service will seek to increase partnership working and further develop networks and effective communication between those interested and involved in young people's music and musical opportunities within the region.
  • This will help to ensure that good practice is shared more widely and that opportuni-ties for young people are more readily identified, shared and spread across the re-gion.

Further comments

  • "We are an authority that has produced some exception musi-cal talent (Calvin Harris, Nicky Spence, Leah Gough Cooper, Emily Smith, Claire Hastings to name but a few) who have gained recognition on a national and world-wide stage. I look forward to our authority committing to music education, taking real and significant steps towards promotion of musical excel-lence, and seeing music education across Dumfries and Gal-loway flourish once again."
  • "My daughter has benefitted greatly from the instrument ser-vice. Her teacher has been brilliant and is very encouraging. She loves her music and I believe that it has helped her aca-demically. She has learned time management and practises her instruments regularly. She has been working really hard studying her music theory, both workbooks and past papers. I think these study skills are transferable skills which she will apply to studying for other exams in later years."
  • "Thank you for sending this consultation out. It means a great deal and demonstrates the council's commitment to improving the state of music education in our young people."


Can we take this opportunity to thank the people who took part in the survey and in our preplanning. Their contribution will highlight the way forward for the Music Service.

Who to contact for further information

Please contact the Music Service on

Page last updated: 24/06/2022
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