KGS Big Band

Youth Music Group Case Study



Name of Project

Kirkwall Grammar School Big Band

Agencies involved

Kirkwall Grammar School

Orkney Islands Council Education Department

Description of work


Rehearsals and concerts

Time Frames for meetings

Thursdays after school, 4-5pm during term time


Geographical Context

Membership is open to secondary age students of KGS by invitation from the instructors including those resident on mainland and on isles.

Socio Economic Context

Membership open to all school students with no membership fee.


Total cost of the work

Instrumental instructors teach/hold rehearsals and are helped by 2 youth trainees and 1 volunteer.

Where did the funding come from?


2 trainees are funded by YMI

Ticket sales cover costs of sheet music, etc.



How many staff members (incl. Volunteers) were involved in delivering the work?






Positive outcomes identified by the young people in the group


1.     Learning about swing and jazz

2.     Learning about harmony

3.     Learning to improvise

4.     Learning to do solos

5.     Learning a new instrument

6.     Learning about rhythm

7.     Getting the opportunity to perform and go on tour

8.     Being able to socialise with student from other age groups.

How did you measure the above outcomes?


Speaking to band members


Were there any Child Protection Considerations?

Staff members all had disclosure checks. Ratio of staff to students was considered for tour to Shetland.

Were there any Health & Safety Considerations?


Specific members are designated to move and plug in electronic equipment under supervision of staff.


Were there any Equalities Considerations?

Promotion depends on ability not age. Members ages range from 12 to 18 years of age.


How does the group meet Curriculum for Excellence targets?

Successful Learners

Learning instrument and new styles of music

Confident Individuals

Learning to perform in public

Responsible Citizens

Learning to take responsibility of task on behalf of group – eg. Organise publicity.

Effective Contributors

Band has given time to play for community fundraising events.

Focused Learning Point


Jazz and swing is a style of music that promotes the idea that a soloist can only excel when relying on the consistent support of the rest of the band. In a small band of 16 members, no-one can take a back seat and sometimes players have to be ready to take a solo spot if another player is absent.










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