Youth Music Initiative Scotland

Putting music at the heart of young people's lives and learning.

At a national level, Creative Scotland administers the Scottish Government’s YMI programme which intends to:

  • create access to high quality music making opportunities for young people aged 0 – 25 yrs, particularly for those that would not normally have the chance to participate
  • enable young people to achieve their potential in or through music making
  • support the development of the youth music sector for the benefit of young people

View the latest report

The YMI programme works towards 8 annual outcomes and all East Lothian projects have one or more attached to them. These are:

  1. young people have more opportunities to take part in enjoyable and quality music-making opportunities
  2. young people who would not normally have the chance to participate can take part in music-making opportunities
  3. young people develop their music and music-making skills
  4. young people develop their skills for life, learning and work
  5. young people increase their awareness of music and culture across Scotland, the UK and the world
  6. young people influence or lead youth music opportunities and have their voice heard in design and delivery
  7. people delivering youth music develop their skills and confidence
  8. organisations in the music sector and beyond work together to strengthen the youth music sector for the benefit of young people

A key strength of the YMI programmes is in the variety of music and music-making opportunities that it supports. The What’s Going On Now? Report published in 2019 highlighted the need for a range of music provision.

View Report


On 8 April 2020, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) warned of the ‘grave physical, emotional and psychological effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on children’. The UNCRC called on States to focus on 11 key areas, including the recommendation to maximise all opportunities for children to enjoy their rights to rest, leisure, recreation and cultural and artistic activities and address structural inequalities that constrain these rights.

in 2021-22, YMI reached 362,483 young people in 32 local authorities. YMI supported 1,182 jobs, 200 volunteers and 114 trainees. YMI benefitted 5,631 people via training and CPD.

The Music Education Partnership Group (MEPG) is a network of music-based organisations set up to advocate for the life-long benefits of a music education enriched by singing and playing – for the people of Scotland.  Click below to see their new music manifesto for young people.

View Manifesto