Nicky's Notes


The importance of Sistema Scotland

Sistema Scotland is admired and celebrated by music teachers, charities and organisations worldwide, and with good reason. Their teaching is exemplary, their mission is solid and profound. Their music director Francis Cummings is more serious about developing and delivering high level, yet accessible, music teaching than any one else I have come across, and their accumulated research and experience over the last decade, and commitment to creating an inclusive society, is a vital resource to Scotland’s creativity – an achievement that should be a deep source of pride for this country.

Yes, Sistema Scotland directly teaches and impacts 2,500 children per year and growing, but their wider impact on music and societies within Scotland will grow exponentially. They have helped raise public awareness of how impactful collective music making can be, and they have demonstrated that this is possible in some of the hardest hit communities.

I am deeply disheartened and concerned to see the drastic proposed reduction of support from Stirling Council. Combined with proposed cuts to music services up and down the country, appearing in all different shapes and sizes and guises, this is another travesty, demonstrating a deep-seated lack of understanding on what it is to make music together. This is an activity that, when undertaken with commitment and meaning, penetrates deeper than words, communicates something of complexity and wholesomeness, takes us all away from one screen or another, and genuinely brings people together. Please stop threatening its continuation.