New technology expands access to music creation for young people


Posted: Nov 03, 2022

Teenage Engineering – Pocket Operator

Teenage Engineering’s innovative portable music devices are poised to transform children’s first musical experiences with the Scottish Governmentis the support of Youth Music Initiative (YMI) through Creative Scotland.

Musician and educator based in Shetland, David Boyer is setting up a new series of fun, free weekly music making sessions for 11-16 year olds to creatively explore and learn how to use Teenage Engineering’s revolutionary “Pocket Operator” music technology.

Micro-synthesizers and portable calculator-sized drum machines all produce different sounds. They can be used alone with the built-in speaker or headphones or can all be connected together to create massive group sound.

David said: “Our sessions are about finding fun ways to use technology to build musical skills and understanding, and to get inspired through collaboration and shared creations.

“You don’t need to have previous experience playing instruments, just a love of music – and be ready to push a few buttons! We’ll learn how to program and play music, how to creating beats, sounds, rhythms and melodies, replicating elements of participants’ favorite songs and tunes.

“Together we will explore how musical pieces are constructed by connecting devices, syncing them to each other, and having fun playing with them.”

For more information about the project and to express your interest in participating, visit SoundTech.

The weekly sessions are among hundreds of opportunities supported across the country through the latest YMI funding round which saw £7.2m awarded to local authorities for school-based music creation, and over 570,000 £ allocated to projects and infrastructure taking place with the school. time.

Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “The Scottish Government is delighted to fund the Youth Music Initiative (YMI) which provides opportunities for young people across the country to participate in music creation and enjoy the wellbeing benefits, as outlined in the latest Evaluation.

“As YMI celebrates its 20e anniversary this year, I am happy to see so many projects receiving funding so that our children and young people can continue to have the opportunity to engage in music in different ways.

News of the latest projects to receive funding has been confirmed as the next round of funding has been secured and applications for Access to Music Creation and Youth Music Empowerment funds open, today Thursday 3 November, with a 2 p.m. deadline, Thursday, December 8.

Today’s announcement also coincides with the release of new research findings on the YMI 2021-2022 initiative, which highlight how it continues to address inequalities by forging and sustaining partnerships with third sector organizations to support the most needy children and young people. The report also presents overwhelming evidence of the positive impact on the health and well-being of young people by providing opportunities that support stress reduction, the ability to connect with others. The statistics contained in the report show that:

  • Over 362,000 children and young people participated in over 80 projects (an increase of 80,000 from 2019-20)
  • 1,100 jobs and more than 5,600 professional development opportunities have been created

Morag Macdonald, Creative Scotland youth music manager commented: “In his 20e Anniversary year, YMI continues to create crucial opportunities to develop individual and collaborative musical skills in young people, sparking creativity, friendships and increased self-confidence. Not only are these opportunities changing the lives of the young people involved, but they are also providing crucial jobs for arts professionals and freelancers across the country.

Download the full list of YMI Award winners


1. The Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI), which is administered by Creative Scotland, creates access to high quality music-making opportunities, enables young people to realize their potential in or through music and supports the development of the sector for the benefit of young people.

2. You can access Youth Music Initiative funding application forms and guidance in Funding.

YMI has two distinct components:

  • Musical creation at school: activities planned and carried out by the Local Authorities. Local authorities apply to the YMI formula fund for this activity
  • The informal sector: activities planned and provided outside school hours. There are two ways of financing the informal sector: access to musical creation and the strengthening of young people’s music. Organizations and individuals can apply for these funding streams.

3. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries in all parts of Scotland by distributing funds provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. More information at follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join us at #YMIScotland #YMusicMatters

Media Contacts

Sophie Bambrough, Media Relations and Public Relations Manager, Creative Scotland
Email: [email protected]
M: 07747 606 146


Comments are closed.