World-class violinist Nicola Benedetti and Big Noise are offering an exciting opportunity for hundreds of young musicians across Scotland to make music together at a series of free 'Super Strings' sessions.

Run by Sistema Scotland, the Big Noise programme is celebrating its 10th year in Scotland. The charity is inviting young string players to join Nicola Benedetti, students and teachers from Big Noise centres to form one-off string ensembles.

During four days across September and October, young people will have a chance to work with Nicola Benedetti and to experience working with peers at their level from across the country.

Supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery, Super Strings sessions for around 500 youngsters are taking place in Aberdeen, Stirling, and Glasgow, culminating in a huge Festival of Strings Day at the Caird Hall, Dundee on 9th October.

The workshops will be planned and delivered by inspirational music staff, including teachers from all four Big Noise centres. Nicola Benedetti will be present at, and contributing to, all sessions.

The Big Noise programme uses music to transform the lives of children living in disadvantaged communities. It introduces them to the orchestra and the learning of a musical instrument in an immersive and intensive programme. This provides the tools to equip children with a wide range of social and life skills including confidence, resilience and aspiration.

Nicola Benedetti said, "I am grateful to my friends at Sistema Scotland for facilitating these Super Strings sessions for children and young people across Scotland and to players of People's Postcode Lottery for providing the funding to make this project a reality. This is a very fitting way for me to help celebrate Sistema Scotland and Big Noise's 10th birthday!

"Whether the children are learning at Big Noise, in-school or privately; are at beginner, intermediate or advanced level we are all united in our love for string playing and music-making.

"I am also delighted that alongside the artistic and social aims of the sessions, there will be time for children and young people to share their thoughts and opinions. I want to help young string players in Scotland to develop a shared voice to celebrate everything that is good about making music together.

"There is an incredible amount of musical talent and creativity in Scotland and many excellent teachers in music education sharing their passion, dedication and expertise with young people. I’m delighted that we are all able to pass on our gift of music making to the next generation in Scotland."

Nicola Killean, Chief Executive of Sistema Scotland, said, "We are thrilled once more to be given this fantastic opportunity to work with Nicola Benedetti, who is such a supporter of Big Noise and wonderful role model for young musicians in Scotland.

"The young people from across our Big Noise centres are excited to be able to join together with other young people from across Scotland to work together and share this experience. It's a great way to celebrate our 10th birthday with all of these super strings players!"

More than 2,500 children attend the Big Noise programme each week at centres in Glasgow, Stirling, Aberdeen and Dundee.

Independent research shows that Big Noise has a wide range of positive impacts including:

  • engagement with education,
  • developing life skills,
  • securing emotional wellbeing,
  • building social skills,
  • encouraging healthy behaviours, and
  • offering respite and protection for some of our most vulnerable children.

Find out more about the 'Super Strings' sessions.

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Nicola Benedetti is helping Sistema Scotland's Big Noise programme celebrate its 10th anniversary

"I can’t wait to come and be with so many young musicians in Scotland at the same time, hear them play and work on improving together!"

Nicola Benedetti, Violinist