A funding boost to run music lessons is aiming to hit the right note with primary school students across Moray.
Every P5 pupil in the region is currently receiving a year’s worth of lessons to learn the recorder or the ukulele.
Fears had been raised earlier this year that instruction could come to an end in schools amid concerns that a huge price rise due to budget pressures could make them unaffordable for many families.
However, Creative Scotland has agreed to fund the scheme as part of its Youth Music Initiative to ensure every P5 youngster in the region gets the chance to learn an instrument.
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Tutors hope the taste of playing music will encourage the children to maintain their new-found skills as they get older.
Alexander Davidson, Moray Council’s acting head of instrumental instruction, said: “The young people are not only being offered the chance to develop the foundation skills and knowledge they require to further their musical learning, but also to develop their self-confidence and team-working skills.
“Many pupils feel inspired after P5 and continue instrumental lessons with the instrumental instruction service – going on to achieve in the world of music, both in and out of the classroom.”
Moray Council initially proposed increasing music lesson charges by 85% this year in order to help fill a financial gap in its budget.
However, the price rise was later restricted to 10% amid concerns that the larger rise could make music lessons too expensive for many families.
Alison Gillies, who is running the lessons in Lossiemouth, Forres, Hopeman, Burghead and Speyside, said: “This gives pupils the opportunity to experience playing an instrument, many of whom have never played before. As well as playing an instrument, they learn how to read music, which is a great head start if they continue to play and decide to take up an instrument like the flute or violin.
“It’s an inclusive project, so every pupil benefits, and they really enjoy it.”
Sonya Warren, chairwoman of Moray Council’s children and young people’s committee, said: “We have some really talented musicians who have been given the chance to learn an instrument, supported by our skilled music instructors.
“For many, this is the first time they’ll have had this chance, and I hope it inspires them to enjoy many more years of music tuition.”