Skip to content

Bringing the fun of playing music to young people across the UK

9th September 2022

Charity Drake Music Scotland is set to transform music education in the UK with the latest release of their innovative music teaching method Figurenotes, which facilitates the new National Plan for Music Education for greater access to music tuition in schools in England. Figurenotes assists young people, particularly those with disabilities like Autism and Dyslexia, to learn to read music more quickly and to play instruments easily.

The charity is offering a free bundle of support, including webinars and downloadable resources to demonstrate and try Figurenotes, to help teachers understand how Figurenotes can unlock music for young people, enabling pupils to learn in a more accessible and exciting way.

Figurenotes is simply a colour and shape-based system, where colours represent notes, shapes indicate octaves and there is a clear progression to reading conventional notation. It has already seen great results in over 60 schools in Scotland with more than 1000 pupils each year through Drake Music Scotland projects and is used all over the world.

As a charity Drake Music Scotland helps disabled musicians to learn, play, compose and perform but with the growing need for more accessible music tuition in schools, their new software, supported by Scottish Power Foundation, is being offered out to all schools, music teachers, educators and children’s charities across the UK at an affordable rate.

Figurenotes was created in Finland by music educators Kaarlo Uusitalo and Markku Kaikkonen and introduced to Scotland and the UK by Drake Music Scotland in 2010. Initially designed to enable those with learning disabilities to play music, it has since developed into a tool to help everyone get started. Ten years ago Drake Music Scotland took Figurenotes into the digital domain and now the new web-based software can be accessed by everyone, anywhere as long as they have an internet connection.

Sistema Scotland Music Teacher Alison Gornall who uses the method said: “It’s incredible how this software tool can unlock youngsters’ music potential and allow them to read music in a much more fun and contemporary way. It has been particularly beneficial to pupils with additional support needs, but I’m delighted to see it now being rolled out across the whole of the UK education system.”

Chief Executive, Drake Music Scotland, Thursa Sanderson said: “Learning music notation is one of the most common barriers to playing music. Figurenotes software makes it possible for any learner to pick up an instrument and play music instantly.

“We all know the power of music to transform lives. By playing music we not only hone our musical skills but also develop communication, concentration, confidence and self-esteem. Music making reduces isolation offering an opportunity for social interaction and finding shared enjoyment in playing and performing to our family and friends.”

To access the free bundle of support please email:, quoting #FigureOutFigurenotes to get involved.