The Big Noise project, run by Sistema Scotland, aims to transform the lives of children living in disadvantaged communities of Scotland through free musical learning and performance, from six months old to school-leaving age. The programme is being delivered to over 2,000 children and young people within four areas in Scotland: Raploch (Stirling); Govanhill (Glasgow); Torry (Aberdeen); and Douglas (Dundee).

Significant attention is paid to ensuring that all eligible children are able to participate, whatever their circumstances, needs or abilities. An evaluation by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health has shown that Big Noise has positive impacts on children’s wellbeing, learning and education, social and life skills, and health-related behaviours. In particular, Big Noise provides a degree of security, routine and structure to children’s time, over and above that offered by school and home life. This is particularly beneficial for vulnerable children with less well-structured home lives. The next part of the evaluation will focus on children’s educational attainment – an important area given its influence on long-term health outcomes.