|Gustavo Dudamel conducts Raploch's Big Noise orchestra in the opening event of the 2012 cultural olympiad|
Supporting Big Noise however was “an easy decision” said Tom.
“I am not sure people realise
the full extent of the work this orchestra does. It goes way beyond simply free music lessons to something genuinely transformative, not just for a few children but for huge numbers. For me, it took about five seconds. I just got it, and it is a privilege to support this fantastic idea that originated in the poorer areas of Caracas and is now being delivered here in Stirling and in many other parts of the world.
“I hope there are others in Scotland that can also get behind this musical phenomenon. This programme will be truly life-changing for the children involved.”
In 2011 a Scottish Government evaluation of Sistema Scotland's work in Raploch found:
“...there is evidence that Big Noise is having a positive impact on children’s personal and social development, including increased confidence, self esteem, a sense of achievement and pride, improved social skills, team working skills and expanded social networks. For those children with special educational needs, behaviour issues or unsettled home lives, particular benefits include a sense of belonging, improved ability to concentrate and focus on a task, a sense of responsibility and positive behaviour change.”
One in the eye, perhaps, for those who are hell-bent on wrecking the fine work of Sistema in the UK. There's a lot of it around at the moment - involving first of all some interesting political divides, and secondly some fundamental misunderstandings about how much work it takes to make musical progress, and how early in life you have to start if you're to get anywhere with it.