'The change in her is phenomenal'
Three families involved in Big Noise Douglas are telling the stories of their first-hand experience of the programme. The children have gained in confidence and made new friends as a result of taking part in Big Noise. For the parents, seeing their children learning and achieving has filled them with pride.
Big Noise has an impact on the whole family, with improved structure and routines mentioned as important benefits. The regular concerts and community events at Big Noise Douglas also positively affect community spirit.
The parents and children spoke about their experiences of Big Noise Douglas as part of a series of case studies carried out with Research Scotland to explore the impact of taking part in the programme.
Erika, whose sons Lloyd and Cameron attend Big Noise Douglas, believes the Big Noise Douglas after-school club gives an opportunity to learn something new. She says that it is a constructive way for them to spend their time after school. She has also noticed a range of improvements in their skills and confidence since they joined Big Noise.
She reflects that, “They’ve become a lot more confident. It makes me really proud of them…It’s opened that door for new friends.” For Lloyd, the best thing about Big Noise is that it “...makes me feel included.”
Gemma, whose daughter Ailidh attends Big Noise Douglas, spoke to researchers about her experience with Big Noise. Over the past few years, attending the Big Noise Douglas after school club has had a positive impact on Gemma, Ailidh and their family.
Lana, whose daughter Elleass attends Big Noise Douglas, was also involved. Lana has noticed a change in Elleass’ confidence since she started at Big Noise. Previously, she was quite shy but now she is more outgoing. “The change in her is phenomenal”, says Lana.
The researchers also spoke with three alumni of the original Big Noise programme in Raploch, Stirling. They talked about how taking part in Big Noise has helped prepare them for the next stage of their lives. They reported that the benefits of participating in Big Noise include developing skills such as self-belief, resilience, communication, and leadership skills.
Big Noise has supported young people to achieve positive post-school destinations. The experiences of the young people in the case studies shows the value and impact of increased confidence in helping them fulfil their potential. It is anticipated that participants in Big Noise Douglas will experience these benefits as they continue to develop as part of the programme.
Ryan, who attended Big Noise Raploch, is now working on building a career in IT and feels his time with Big Noise has helped him to pursue this path. Big Noise Raploch alumni Lewis is currently studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Symone, who has been involved with Big Noise Raploch since the beginning, is now studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Ryan says, “Big Noise is a safe place…you could go and talk to them if you didn’t want to talk to your parents or anyone else…I definitely did speak to my tutor about things that weren’t to do with music.”
The skills gained from taking part in Big Noise have helped Ryan in this new phase of his life. “It gave me the skills to communicate in the job I have now - that ability to speak to people with confidence.”
The case studies add to the significant body of research on the Big Noise model. They further demonstrate the impacts identified in the independent Big Noise Douglas evaluation report carried out by the University of Dundee last year, led by Professor Divya Jindal-Snape. This report can be found here.
Nicola Killean, OBE, CEO of Sistema Scotland, said, “These first-hand experiences from families taking part in Big Noise highlight the vital positive impacts that the programme has on children, their families and the local community in the short and long term.”
She continued, “The reflections of our Big Noise Raploch alumni show that taking part in Big Noise helps young people to grow into positive, resilient adults who are better prepared for positive post-school destinations.”
“We are committed to ensuring the children and young people at Big Noise Douglas will also benefit from these impacts as they continue to grow in the programme and realise their full potential.”
John Alexander, Leader of Dundee City Council, said, “Dundee has a long and positive track record in using music as a vehicle for making a positive impact on young people’s lives. Big Noise Douglas is one part of that work and it has made an important impact on the Douglas community.”
“I was delighted to read the recent research which illustrates this. I've had the privilege to visit the project over the years and it's always a pleasure to see the young people grow over their time with the project.”
Sistema Scotland delivers Big Noise Douglas in partnership with Optimistic Sound and Dundee City Council, supported by Strategic Partner Gannochy Trust, the Scottish Government and a range of other trusts, foundations, and individuals, including players of People's Postcode Lottery.