Why is Sistema Scotland opening a new Big Noise Programme in Dundee?

We aim to bring our Big Noise programmes to the children and communities who will benefit most from their transformative impacts. We also need to find the right partners to work with and are delighted to be bringing Big Noise to Dundee in partnership with Optimistic Sound and Dundee City Council. Optimistic Sound is a charity established by a group of prominent Dundee business people and community members to realise the aspiration of the late Dundee singer-songwriter, Michael Marra (and his wider family) to bring a Big Noise centre to Dundee for the benefit of local children and young people. Michael was touched by the story of one of the original participants in Big Noise Raploch, who explained the transformative impact the programme had on his life. Over the past few years, Optimistic Sound has campaigned relentlessly, influenced key stakeholders and raised funds to bring Big Noise to Dundee.


Who are the partners in the Programme?

Big Noise Douglas will be delivered by Sistema Scotland in partnership with Optimistic Sound and Dundee City Council.



Why did you choose the Douglas Community?

We worked together with Dundee City Council to look at possible communities to host the Big Noise centre, taking account of factors such as community self-identity, size, history, educational infrastructure, current cultural provision, and need. Douglas was identified as a great fit for a Big Noise centre and we are really looking forward to working in the community and with community members.


How will the programme work in Douglas? What schools will be involved?

The team that delivers the Big Noise programme will be based within the community. The programme will be delivered through a mixture of in-school and after-school sessions across the two primary schools: Claypotts Castle Primary and St. Pius Primary.


What children will be involved?

We start working with the younger year groups of children and the programme grows with them year by year as they get older and we take in the next year group below them. During the first year (2017/18) we will roll out the programme progressively so that by the end of the year we will be working with Primary 1 and 2 children during the school day and with Primary 3 children during after-school. Over time we will add additional strands such as Baby Noise for babies and their parent/carer, Nursery session and a community adult orchestra.


Where will you be based?

We are still confirming the location of the office space for the Big Noise Douglas team but the programme will be delivered within the two local primary schools.


When will Big Noise Douglas open?

We plan to start recruiting the Big Noise Douglas team in the first half of 2017 so that they can be working with the children in the local primary schools of Claypotts Castle and St Pius from August 2017. We plan to have a celebratory launch concert in spring/summer 2018.


When will Big Noise Douglas finish?

Big Noise Douglas is a long term commitment to the communities we serve.


What can the children expect?

An immersive, creative, fun experience with lots of group work. The children will get to learn to play instruments and experience a life filled with music. Longer term, the kids will get to perform in some amazing locations and potentially have residential stays in Scotland. They will learn the value of persisting in learning something difficult and the rewards that come as a result. They will also develop vital life skills such as listening and following instructions, concentration, team work, confidence and resilience.


What can the parents expect?

A creative contribution to the community around school and after-school, the opportunity for their children to learn to play at least one instrument. In the longer term, they will be able to see their children perform in an orchestra and experience the full benefits of the Big Noise programme. If they wish, there will be opportunities for the parents to get involved through an orchestra created for adults and through volunteering.


What can the wider community expect?

A long term commitment from a team of people dedicated to helping Douglas grow. The Big Noise Douglas orchestra will belong to the community and there will be opportunities to see the children perform, volunteer, and grow. The children are able to bring the staff musicians home for tea and will able to invite their neighbours and friends for a private concert in their homes with the musician.


How many staff will be employed?

We will start with a team of around seven people in the first year and this will grow over time as the programme develops.


What kind of jobs will there be?

During the first half of 2017, we expect to be recruiting a Team Leader, Operations Manager and the initial group of Musicians. To keep up to date, please check the Recruitment page regularly and sign up to our Facebook and Twitter accounts.


How many volunteers are needed? What will they need to do?

We are always looking for volunteers to help with the Big Noise. The other centres have about 15 regular volunteers. The volunteers help with children in the classes, moving children from school-to-school, getting the snacks ready and a multitude of other tasks. We need people with an enthusiasm for working with children and who know the community. Having an interest in music would also be good.


Will you be employing anyone from the Douglas Community?

We welcome a wide range of applications for our jobs and would be particularly delighted to see members of the Douglas community applying to work with us.


How else can the Douglas Community help the Big Noise Centre?

Get involved, have fun and support the children and the team. We welcome suggestions on how else we can work together.


How does the afterschool club work?

Afterschool is an opt-in part of the programme. The children will get to have fun, learn about music and rhythm, have healthy snacks, and learn to play music through instrument classes. The after-school club is open to the local children from when they are in Primary 3.

It’s completely free and inclusive for the children in Douglas.


How does the Big Noise education programme fit in with Curriculum for Excellence?

We work in partnership with schools to ensure that our education programme fits with the Curriculum for Excellence. We work with teachers to make sure it is up to date.


Can children who don’t live in Douglas join the Programme?

Unlike other interventions, we are a community-based social change programme. The orchestra has to belong to the community it serves and therefore only children from the community are eligible to participate.


Do children have to pay to attend Big Noise?

No. There is no charge to take part in any of the activities.


Do children have to pay for their instruments?

No. Instruments are provided by the charity free of charge.




Keep up-to-date with all the latest events.

Click here to sign up to our e-newsletter!

This site uses cookies, for more information please read our Privacy Policy.