News and Views from Scotland

Cash Boost for Pipes in Schools

Young Pipers

Scottish schoolchildren are to get the chance to learn how to play the bagpipes following a £500,000 donation to support lessons in schools. The Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT) has announced plans to almost double its funding to finance bagpipe lessons for pupils nationwide next year.

In its first year, more than 1,000 pupils in Scotland - at 93 state schools in 13 local authority areas - received tuition under schemes funded by the SSPDT that totalled about £275,000.

Alexandra Duncan, SSPDT chief executive, said: "It is a shame that the vast majority of our young people are not offered the chance to learn our national instruments in schools.

"Piping and being part of a band develops a wide range of life and employability skills including teamwork, individual and shared achievement, discipline, commitment and self-confidence as well as musicality."

The SSPDT has also revealed the world's biggest schools bagpipe competition will again take place in Edinburgh in March.

More than 700 piping pupils from about 120 schools will march into the capital for the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championship to show off their talent across different categories.

SSPDT was formed in the belief that pipe bands are much more than a musical pastime; they develop life and employability skills and attributes such as teamwork, shared and individual achievement, resilience and perseverance, self confidence, camaraderie and a sense of discipline and dress. In time they open doors to travel through competition and cultural exchange. Pipe bands are also a source of pride and focus for schools and communities.

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February 2017

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