Chance for young Scots musicians to develop their skills

Young musicians can now sign up for special two-day courses offering high-quality instrumental training with the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS) this summer.

Budding musicians aged between eight and 14 are being urged to join the Training Ensembles programme

Budding musicians aged between eight and 14 are being urged to join the Training Ensembles programme to play with others online in July.

“NYOS Training Ensembles are four, short, non-auditioned summer courses that adopt a holistic approach, concentrating on learning repertoire, listening skills, musicianship, audition preparation and having fun,” explains Nick Žekulin, chief executive and artistic director of NYOS.

“The values of studying musicianship or learning to play an instrument from an early age have been well documented: these include physical co-ordination and motor control, integrating mental and physical activity, being expressive, using creativity and imagination, building self-belief and confidence, and nurturing emotional intelligence.

“NYOS Training Ensembles are four, short, non-auditioned summer courses that adopt a holistic approach, concentrating on learning repertoire, listening skills, musicianship, audition preparation and having fun”

“But many young musicians across Scotland do not have the opportunity to play with other instrumentalists, especially if they live in a rural or remote community or play an instrument that is less commonplace like the harp, tuba or double bass.”

The NYOS Training Ensembles programme was launched in 2015 with the help of funding from Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative in response to demand for high-quality training for musicians as young as eight years old.

It includes courses for strings, pedal harp, wind and brass: those for brass instruments are for players working on Grade 2 material upwards, while it’s aimed at Grade 3 material upwards for wind, strings and harp.

This year all courses will be delivered completely online due to the continued uncertainty around future COVID restrictions.

This year all courses will be delivered completely online due to the continued uncertainty around future COVID restrictions.

Nick added: “Having spent last year developing digital projects to ensure that Scotland’s most promising young musicians did not miss out on the opportunity to develop their musical skills at this crucial time in their lives, NYOS is now well placed to deliver an excellent level of tuition online, with course directors and instrumental tutors working closely with individuals and groups via Zoom.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for young people to come together and make music with their peers, and we have found the increased accessibility of online sessions, bringing together those from the most rural areas and the inner cities, has had real benefits.”

Applications opened on Thursday, 18 February, and close on Wednesday, 31 March.

All courses take place between 26-31 July and each two-day course costs £65 per player.

Applications close on Wednesday, 31 March and all courses take place between 26-31 July

For more information about the courses, head to https://www.nyos.co.uk/classical/training-ensembles or contact course manager Jill Dykes via email [email protected] or call 07392 934438.

Thanks to funding from Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative and other trusts and foundations, bursaries of up to 100 per cent are available for participants who find it difficult to meet the costs of membership fees. Each case is assessed individually, and all applications are treated in the strictest confidence.

To find out more about financial support, visit www.nyos.co.uk/classical-applicants/financial-assistance

The NYOS mission is to ensure that our work is open to young people from all backgrounds and circumstances each year and that no young person misses out on our life-changing projects due to financial circumstances.