Scotland gives £2.5 million to Sistema

Scotland gives £2.5 million to Sistema


norman lebrecht

March 13, 2016

The nationalist government is increasing its subsidy to the local version of the Venezuelan music traiining system. Over the last four years Scotland gave £1.5m to music teaching in deprived areas.

Over the next four years it will be £2.5m. More here.

The remedy must be working.



  • Alexander Prior says:

    Good news! Just to point out – the SNP is not a nationalist party not are its inclinations nationalists, it’s a national party seeking an equal voice and position in the world for Scotland, not to trump out any sense of superiority as nationalism tends to do

    • V.Lind says:

      Thank you. My first thought reading teh front page lead was exactly the same.

    • Halldor says:

      Keep telling yourselves that. And whatever you do, don’t ask Sir James MacMillan why he’s no longer on social media.

      Nationalism is nationalism: fundamentally malign, no matter how slick its PR machine. And hatred is no less toxic, even if (by being directed at the UK) it tickles bien-pensant sensibilities.

      • Emil Archambault says:

        Any scholar of nationalism will tell you that nationalism is NOT necessarily exclusionary or violent (although some iterations may well be). I may suggest Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities (1983) as a starting point.

      • Alexander Prior says:

        But here is what you are missing: the SNP is not a nationalist party nor are its’ intentions nationalist. Wanting your nation to play on equal terms with others is not nationalist, and the SNP is only called a nationalist party by imperialist BritNats. If you view joining the community of nations around the world with one’s own, equal but distinct voice as anything but fair and noble, I have to very strongly question why you see it that way. In the face of tory cuts the SNP has stewarded Scotland very well, by no means flawlessly, but very well; when (and it is a question of when) Scotland becomes a normal country like Finland, The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and countless others are, no one will see that most natural state of affairs as anything but that: natural. Very sad to lose Sir Peter today.

        • Stereo says:

          What planet do you live on. It has to be a fishy party to be run by Sturgen and Salmon(d)
          As far as people in England are concerned it is a nationalistic party and are thoroughly pixxxx off at the result of your referendum. Mind you with the price of oil as it is I think they would have been crawling back begging to be part of UK Plc again!

          • Alexander Prior says:

            Well I am from England, born and raised in London, and though I live quite internationally my family remains in England and I am still registered and live my free-time here, indeed in the home counties.. I, however, have solidarity with anyone who wants to believe in themselves and create a nation that is based on healthy values like a love of peace (as opposed to invasions!) and not punishing the poor for being poor.
            However you are right, a lot of people – perhaps even a majority – in England feel the way you describe. I am afraid that is reflective only of their perceptions and the media that has fed them those views.
            As far as oil goes – plenty of countries that are very similar to Scotland in size and nature like Denmark and Finland survive with hardly any oil at all, indeed they do better than the UK by many, many measures. Furthermore, countries with oil like Norway are not suddenly begging to be absorbed by their neighbor, they are not begging for independence because of a fall in oil prices.
            Your condescending tone is reflective only of a certain group of people in England (and I don’t believe it’s the majority) who think Scotland is too weak, too poor, and her people too daft to stand on their own two feet. I for one see how innovative, positive, progressive, and beautiful Scotland is and believe in her fully, not as a country that is better or superior, but simply for what she is, can be, should be, and will be.
            And by the way, the SNP’s 2015 party broadcast started with the words “we don’t think we are better than anyone else, we just don’t think we are worse either”. How in the world can you fault a party for simply wanting an equal voice for their nation?

  • enemigopublico says:

    Comment from John Guerrier on a recent Guardian article on this topic:

    I have worked as a brass teacher in the Govanhill area for over 20 years. I am passionate that children are given the opportunity to learn instruments whatever their circumstances, and in this I fully support the objectives of The Big Noise. However, in Glasgow there is already a committed team of instrumental teachers throughout the city working in many schools that have high levels of deprivation. The city council is to be applauded that these lessons are free of charge, nevertheless money for music, instruments repairs etc is always tight. In my experience The Big Noise is good at making a big noise of publicity for itself, but seems to feel that it is the only one with the answers, and is unwilling to work with music teachers who have been in on the ground doing what they preach for years. I am now being pulled out of a primary school to make way for there latest venture. Absolutely we need children to learn instruments, lets work together to achieve this and not get bogged down in systems when we have systems in place already that just need support.