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Scottish Borders Council

Play On
Play On Together Jazz Funk Day

The Play On Together project is funded by the Scottish Arts Council's Youth Music Initiative through the Formula Fund

Play On

80% of the Youth Music Initiative (YMI)'s budget is distributed directly to local authorities to develop music provision in schools.  Since 2005, Scottish Borders Council have been using some of their funding to develop three strands of activity:

  • PLAY ON - young people playing
  • SING UP - young people singing
  • IN A CHORD - partnership working with other local authority departments and local arts organisations.
  • Scottish Borders trad music project; Photo: Alison Lincoln

    Each strand involves several projects.  For PLAY ON this includes:

    Play On Freely, a project helping to sustain the P6 target by offering free music tuition to primary pupils, as well as free transport to Saturday morning rehearsals.

    Play On Rock, providing rehearsal spaces, equipment and instructors for young people with ambitions to be in a rock band.

    Play On Samba, a 4-week introduction to Samba drumming for primary school pupils.

    Play On Together Jazz Funk Day

    One of the most interesting PLAY ON projects is Play On Together, a series of whole-day events which bring together young people from throughout the Borders to focus on a particular genre, instrument or style of music.  Jazz Funk Day; Photo: Alison Lincoln

    So far, workshop days have included brass band, traditional Scottish music, drumming, and jazz and funk.  Workshops have been led by a combination of professional freelance musicians and Scottish Borders' own tutors.

    The Borders Funk Day was held on 17 June 2008 when Scottish Borders Council buses transported 74 young musicians to St Andrews Arts Centre in Galashiels from all over the Borders.  The aim of the day was to encourage young musicians to develop their skills in the genre, and learn to play jazz and funk greats such as Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition' and Herbie Hancock's 'Chameleon'.

    Jazz Funk Day 2; Photo: Alison Lincoln All young musicians in the local authority were invited to attend, regardless of their instrument.  Although most players brought the expected range of guitars, drums, horns, keyboards and brass, more unusual funk instruments included recorder and accordion!


    The Play On Together project recognises the benefits of gathering young people together both in and outside of school time to develop their skills in a specific genre or instrument.

    Instrumental Music Manager Iain Fraser comments:

    Jazz Funk Day 3; Photo: Alison Lincoln

    "One of our biggest challenges is to offer pupils high quality music experiences in a rural area with a widely dispersed population.  Without the Play On Together project, young people interested in developing their skills in a particular type of music would find it very difficult to get together."

    For more information about YMI Formula Fund projects in the Scottish Borders Council, contact Iain Fraser, Instrumental Music Manager.

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    * Scottish Borders Council
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