MusicPlus returns to offer the  opportunity for people aged 14-19, to take part in a range music activities; from instrumental and technical tuition to song-writing, new technology, DJ and rapping skills, sound engineering and entrepreneurship through Scottish Music Centre’s MusicPlus programme.

Joshua Mackenzie (Lionel) said of MusicPlus ” I went from having no idea how to use recording equipment to now being able to make rough demos at home after just a few sessions.”

The organisation aims to provide support  tailored to the specific interests of the individual young person and include practical one-to-one advice and support as well as hands-on learning sessions. Run by a team of Scottish music industry professionals, from musicians, songwriters and composers to live music promoters, band managers and entrepreneurs, Music Plus covers all genres of music from hip-hop to opera and all aspects of the business.

Originally piloted in Glasgow, Fife and The Highlands Music Plus covers the whole of Scotland thanks to support from the Scottish Government Youth Music Initiative (YMI) programme which is administered by Creative Scotland. Locally the scheme has been used by the likes of Alice Bentley, Joshua Mackenzie, Dylan Tierney

YMI intends to create access to high quality music making opportunities for young people aged 0 – 25, particularly for those that would not normally have the chance to participate, enable young people to achieve their potential in or through music making and support the development of the youth music sector for the benefit of young people. Music Plus has also attracted match funding from the Robertson Trust.

As part of the mentoring scheme, local acts were given the opportunity to record some tracks;

Alice Bentley said of MusicPlus " To anyone who is planning on applying, just do it. I had the best fun learnt so much about the industry and also made friends for life"
Alice Bentley said of MusicPlus ” To anyone who is planning on applying, just do it. I had the best fun learnt so much about the industry and also made friends for life”

Iona McPartlin was one of the people supported in 2013 and was keen to highlight the benefits of the project  “From taking part in Music Plus, I learned that there are so many different parts to the music industry that all have to work together and that communication is really important.

I also realised how important is to network with other people. I’ve had the chance to attend workshops held through Music Plus, which although weren’t based on the type of work that I would plan on doing, it was still very interesting and useful to go along and find out more about different sectors in the music industry.”

Joshua Mackenzie (of Inverness based Lionel) who was involved in the programme in 2013 said “I would say to anyone thinking about doing it to go ahead. It’s experienced guys sharing their insight with you for free. It’s a no brainer! Do it!” A thought echoed by Alice Bentley; “Overall one of the best things I have ever done and it helped me understand so much more about the music industry”

For more information and details on how to apply, please contact Sace Lockhart: 0141 552 5222 /sace@scottishmusiccentre.com or Robbie Dunsmore at robbie@musicplus.org.uk. You can also visit http://www.musicplus.org.uk.

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A lifelong passion for music matched with a geeky fascination for social media and websites resulted in the creation of Inverness Gigs back in 2010. The aim of the site is to help promote, support and generally raise awareness of the local music scene.In fairness fifteen years of being a psychiatric nurse never prepared me for the experiences that we have had over the last few years and the evolution of Inverness Gigs has certainly been a steep learning curve.I currently write (less and less), edit and co-ordinate most of the Inverness Gigs activities.Occasionally seen on Twitter, and  LinkedIn, if you want get in touch you can contact me direct at chris@igi.gs