Sistema Scotland is a charity on a mission to create permanent social change in some of the most deprived communities in Scotland.  We use participation in our Big Noise orchestra programmes to change lives by fostering confidence, discipline, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children and young people taking part.  This enables the children and young people to reach their full potential, leading successful and fulfilled lives.  This philosophy has a knock on effect for their families and the wider community in general. 

Our teams provide an intensive orchestral programme for school-age children and young people.  We use a variety of immersive music teaching methods delivered during school time, after school and during the school holidays.  We also provide opportunities for growth such as trips and residentials.  Regular performances help to keep the wider community as involved as possible.  There is no charge for the tuition, instruments, healthy snacks, trips and t-shirts.

Altogether there are more than 2,500 children and young people engaging regularly with the three established Sistema Scotland centres.  In addition to the Big Noise orchestras attended by children up to 11 hours each week, we run Baby Noise and Adult Noise programmes which enable the Sistema Scotland family to reach as many as possible in the communities where we are based.


We currently have four Big Noise communities:

  • Big Noise Raploch, Stirling, was established in 2008 and currently engages with almost 500 children and young people
  • Big Noise Govanhill, Glasgow, was established in 2013 and currently engages with almost 800 children
  • Big Noise Torry, Aberdeen, was established in 2015 and currently engages with almost 500 children
  • Big Noise Douglas, Dundee, was established in 2017 and currently engages with more than 400 children.


Sistema Scotland aims to:


  1. Transform children’s lives
  2. Empower communities
  3. Create a sustainable charity, with permanent benefits


We have produced a brochure highlighting the work we do across our centres and the results of the independent research based on our work. Please click here to download.


We take the Sistema name from the "El Sistema" orchestra movement established in Venezuela in 1975 by Maestro José Antonio Abreu and delivered through the organisation Fundacion Musical Simon Bolivar. We are very proud to be official partners with the original organisation in Venezuela. We seek to benefit from the South Americans’ expertise, while adapting their methods to suit conditions in Scotland.


Applications open - Super Strings Sessions: with Big Noise and Nicola Benedetti

As Big Noise celebrates its 10th year of delivering in communities in Scotland, we are inviting young players from all over the country who have been learning to play in many different ways, to form one-off string ensembles to celebrate what we all love – to make music together!

Sistema Scotland invites you to join Nicola Benedetti and the children, young people and teachers from Big Noise centres as we celebrate all that is wonderful about string playing in Scotland! Find out more here!


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