Youngsters in Moray schools will be given the chance to learn the pipes and drums after receiving a funding boost from a national music charity.
The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust is trying to get pupils interested in playing the chanter and drums by offering tuition at schools, in the hopes of forming a regional pipe band.
Children from Burghead, Lossiemouth and Hopeman Primary Schools, along with youngsters from Lossiemouth High School, will get to try out these instruments at a free Kick Start weekend.
They can then sign up for lessons in school and attend band practice, also funded by the charity.
It is hoped enough pupils will pick up the traditional Scottish instruments to form a band next year to take part in competitions including the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, the world’s largest competition of its type. Elaine Andrews, head teacher at Hopeman Primary School, was excited about this new teaching programme.
She 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.”
Councillor Sonya Warren, chairwoman of Moray Council’s Children and Young People’s Committee said she was looking forward to hearing the children play.
She added: “I’m delighted that piping and drumming lessons are going to be offered in these schools.
“It will give our young people a new experience, encourage team work, boost their self-confidence and result in the development of a school’s band. I can’t wait to hear them play.”
Fiona Caldwell is a piping tutor and explained how important it can be for some youngsters.
She said: “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.”
The sessions are being held over the weekend of Friday September 14 and 15 in Lossiemouth, Hopeman and Burghead.