The Benedetti Sessions


The Benedetti Foundation will focus on providing enrichment, inspiration and variation to the UK’s education system and communities and will produce a series of string orchestra-based weekend workshops – the Benedetti Sessions – designed to address, in equal part, the needs of young musicians and of teachers.



The Benedetti Sessions will be open to all young musicians and teachers, whatever their background or circumstances, and it is possible to have all of your fees paid for you. We offer financial assistance through bursaries so no one should be prevented from attending a workshop weekend due to financial hardship. Each case is assessed individually and all applications are treated in the strictest confidence. Please indicate on the application form if you will require financial assistance.

The cost for the Benedetti Sessions 2020 is:

  • £10 for Advanced Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra and String Teachers CPD Weekend

  • £5 for Beginner String Orchestra

  • £3 for General Musicianship Morning

  • General Classroom Teachers Workshop and Primary School Session – this is a free session for schools



The Benedetti Sessions 2020 will be taking place in:

  • Glasgow

  • Dundee

  • Manchester

  • London

  • Saffron Walden

  • Antrim


Further details can be found on the Benedetti Foundation website

The City of Edinburgh Music School


Nowhere else in Europe is there a school in the maintained sector which offers a complete specialist music programme from primary to secondary level in two neighbouring centres. The happy association with Flora Stevenson Primary School ensures the musical development of our students from an early age within a caring and sensitive framework. The intensive training – involving regular practice, various ensembles and individual expert tuition from the most talented and dedicated teachers in the land, paves the way for our students to secure positions in some of the most prestigious colleges, universities, ensembles, orchestras and media organisations in the world.

Also unique is the commitment to all styles of music. Building on our exceptional reputation for classical teaching we also offer expertise in the fields of rock, jazz and traditional Scottish music. New exciting ventures have included workshops with internationally renowned singers, songwriters and instrumentalists and lectures on the music industry. The City of Edinburgh Music School keeps abreast of all that is new on the music scene while ensuring the highest standards and finest traditions of teaching, performing and academic study.

Please note: the closing date for applications to the City of Edinburgh Music School for the school year 2020/2021 is 10th January 2020.

All instruments and all styles of music are considered equally.

A preliminary audition can be arranged through the Director of The Music School at any time during the academic year. On the basis of this informal meeting advice will be given on whether or not to proceed further.

Those short-listed for a final audition, will be called in February, March or April for assessment by a panel of highly-renowned musicians from both within and outwith the School. All instruments and all styles of music are considered equally. Over the years students have successfully secured places in The Music School with their performances on a wide variety of instruments such as drum kit, electric guitar, bagpipes and recorder along with standard orchestral instruments.

The audition is a straightforward 15-minute performance of music of the candidate’s own choice plus a variety of other possibilities such as aural tests, scales, sightreading and improvising as appropriate.The whole audition normally lasts 30 minutes.

The panel is aware of the widely differing backgrounds of the applicants and is looking much more for potential ability than for present attainment. For this reason it is not possible to prescribe a level of performance required for entry at any stage. The technical skill of a young primary student may be of little significance in the selection. On the other hand it would be unrealistic to consider seriously an S4 or S5 student who is not already well on the way to the technical accomplishment expected by one of our major colleges of music. There is no set number of places to be allocated annually. There are many musical children for whom a specialist education is not necessarily the best course.

The City of Edinburgh Council will offer places only to those children who, in the opinion of the panel, have a musical talent and personal motivation of such a degree as to justify a highly-specialised form of education. If you are unsure of suitability for application, please feel welcome to telephone the Director of The Music School for an informal discussion.


Further details can be found on the Edinburgh Music School website

Aberdeen City Music School


The aim of this specialist music school is to allow talented musicians from all over Scotland to continue their general education whilst receiving expert tuition and additional time for music study.

Admission to ACMS is decided on the basis of an 30 minute audition. We are also happy to hear prospective pupils play at an informal meeting to offer advice. Initial enquiries are welcome at any time – with auditions held in November, February and March each year.

We recommend that the candidate presents two contrasting pieces on their first instrument, and one on a second study, if applicable. A selection of suitable scales and arpeggios will be  expected where appropriate. There will also be a piece of sight reading (time will be given to prepare this) and some simple aural tests in line with ABRSM lower grades.

Candidates may play any principle instrument and may also take the opportunity to perform with a second instrument.

These tasks are set to find out what a pupil can do, not to trip them up.

Finally there will be a short interview with questions about commitment and musical experience. We are looking for enthusiasm and potential. Candidates will have the opportunity to put any questions of their own to the panel.

Results will be sent out by post and we aim to inform the candidate of the outcome within a couple of days.

Candidates may bring their own accompanist. Should they require accompanying, a copy of the music should be sent at least 10 days in advance. In order to avoid unnecessary professional fees we will not provide an accompanist unless you request one. Please bring the original copy of the music on the day.


Further details can be found on the ACMS website

The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music


The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music is an exciting opportunity for young Scottish traditional musicians to develop their talent to its full potential. We offer top class tuition and an all-round, in-depth experience in traditional music which includes individual tuition, groupwork, workshops and masterclasses, performing, recording, and the history and background of the music.

The Centre is a residential project based at Plockton High School, and students follow a normal comprehensive educational curriculum in addition to their specialist music studies.

Applying to the Music School

The process of applying and auditioning for The National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music is very straightforward. Application is open to pupils in the Scottish secondary education system. Applications close at the end of February or early in March each year, and auditions are held in late March with applicants being notified of whether or not they are successful before Easter.


Further details can be found on the Sgoil Chiùil website

Douglas Academy – Music School


The Music School is a unit within Douglas Academy where young musicians of  exceptional ability can continue their general education while receiving special  instrumental and vocal tuition and extra time for their musical studies.

The School was set up in 1979 by Strathclyde Regional Council in response to the  Cameron Report on Gifted Young Musicians and Dancers, which recommended that  specialised courses should be provided for musically gifted pupils in an existing comprehensive school.  In the specialist course, while particular attention is paid to the development of a pupil’s principal instrumental study, it is also the aim to provide an all round musical training, and to develop the pupil as a whole artist.

The following subjects are studied:- Principal instrumental study, second  instrumental study, possibly a third study, Rudiments of Music, Harmony & Musicianship, Aural Training, History & Form.  In addition there are ensemble classes and all pupils are required to take part in orchestral playing and choral singing.

Opportunities are available for performance, not only in informal recitals within the School, but in concerts outwith; music specialists also take part in joint  Music School/Music Department concerts.

Music specialists are presented for the SQA Higher Music and Advanced Higher Music examinations as well as A level, and many also achieve distinction in the grade examinations of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.  Opportunities exist for pupils to obtain professional performing diplomas while still at school.

Tutors are largely drawn from the staff of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the B.B.C. Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the pool of professional musicians based in Glasgow.

There are links with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where certain pupils can participate in masterclasses. There are also opportunities to hear some of the many professional music recitals and concerts in the Glasgow area.

All applicants are asked to take part in a session of interviews and auditions and  the final choice is made by an independent panel and is based on an assessment of  each applicant’s musical potential and of their general suitability for the special  course.  Pupils of the Music School are regularly members of the National Youth  Orchestra of Great Britain, the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, the  West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra and Concert Band, the National Youth Choirs of Scotland and Scottish Opera Concert.

Extra-curricular activities in Douglas Academy : Chamber Orchestra, Senior Choir,  Chamber Choir, First Orchestra, Junior Choir, Chamber Music, Second Orchestra.

Recitals and talks given by visiting musicians have included:

  • Fali Pavri– Piano
  • Scottish Ensemble – Chamber Orchestra
  • Scottish Cooperative Brass Band
  • Natasha Boyarskaia – violin
  • Andrea Gajic – violin
  • Tai Murray – violin
  • The Ayoub Sisters


Further details can be found on the Douglas Academy website

NYJOS – Summer School


The summer school represents a wide range of ability but a common enthusiasm for jazz. Any instrument is welcome. Students gain experience of playing in small combos and enjoy classes covering rhythm, harmony, listening, theory and much more. Each day of the summer school concludes with a jazz club where anyone can take the floor.

Thanks to the support of Creative Scotland’s Youth Music Initiative, a number of subsidised places are available for our Training Ensembles and Jazz Summer School. Please visit our Financial Assistance page for further information.

NYOS Jazz applications are now closed and will open again in September 2020.

Open to keen young musicians who want to improve their ensemble and improvisation skills? Are you aged between 12 and 21 and have links to Scotland i.e.

  • born in Scotland
  • living in Scotland
  • studying in Scotland or;
  • with Scottish family

Standard: Instrumentalists and vocalists who are comfortable on their instrument and share an enthusiasm for jazz. We welcome all levels to this course, including young people with less experience who are keen to learn more and develop.


Further details can be found on the NYOS website

NYJOS – Jazz Access


Young instrumentalists and vocalists enjoy opportunities to refine their improvisation and key solo and ensemble skills, as a step along the pathway to participation in the flagship Jazz Orchestra. They perform a wide range of big band repertoire including traditional jazz standards and more modern repertoire; through this they also learn key jazz history.

Having performed at venues across Scotland, including residencies at the Aberdeen Festival, 2016 will be the first year when Access goes on the Summer Tour with the flagship Jazz Orchestra, performing at 2 Scottish venues in July.

NYOS Jazz applications are now closed and will open again in September 2020.

Open to keen young musicians who want to improve their ensemble and improvisation skills? Are you aged between 13 and 17 and have links to Scotland i.e.

  • born in Scotland
  • living in Scotland
  • studying in Scotland or;
  • with Scottish family

Standard: Open to instrumentalists and vocalists who are proficient on their instrument with some experience of improvising.


Further details can be found on the NYOS website

NYJOS – National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland


Under the direction of Malcolm Edmonstone and Andrew Bain, NYOS Jazz is for talented young musicians. It provides education, performance experience and the opportunity to learn from and play with world class soloists. To date, the Jazz Orchestra has undertaken new commissions, made studio recordings, performed at International Festivals (including the BBC Proms and the London Jazz Festival) and has worked with international guest artists Liane Carroll, Iain Ballamy, Mike Walker, Iain Dixon, Chris Batchelor, Mark Lockheart, Jacqui Dankworth and Duncan Lamont.

NYOS Jazz applications are now closed and will open again in September 2020.

If you are an instrumentalist or vocalist aged between 14 and 25 and have links to Scotland i.e.

  • born in Scotland
  • living in Scotland
  • studying in Scotland or;
  • with Scottish family

Standard: Open to instrumentalists and vocalists (ABRSM Grade 6 or equivalent) MUST be a competent/experienced improviser (Qualification as a guide only)


Further details can be found on the NYOS website

NYO Young Promoters & Teen Hangouts


NYO Young Promoters are a team of dedicated teenagers from across the UK who share NYO’s passion for orchestral music.

They are part of the NYO family and work with NYO’s Young Promoter Tutor Tom Redmond to learn about the music alongside NYO Musicians and develop their presentation and promotional skills.

NYO Young Promoters host, promote and present NYO’s workshops and performances in their schools and local concert halls alike.

NYO Teen Hangouts

NYO concerts begin with a free Teen Hangout event hosted by NYO Young Promoters. These events are exclusively for teenagers attending the concert, and provide a friendly environment for young people to meet NYO Musicians, enjoy some free snacks, relax before the concert begins, and discover the stories behind the music.

There are currently more than 120 NYO Young Promoters nationwide. They are selected by schools NYO meets during NYO Inspire and NYO Play the School projects. To find out more about becoming an NYO Young Promoter, contact Nick Thorne on


Further details can be found on the NYO website

NYO – National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain


Applications to join NYO 2021 will open in April 2020.

Applications to join NYO 2020 have now closed. If you have a question relating to your application or the audition process, please email


Interested in joining NYO?


If you are aged 13-18, play at Grade 8 distinction level or equivalent, and are totally committed to music… the world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers needs you.


Be part of NYO and break through to the next level of orchestral brilliance, perform the most challenging music with the world’s greatest conductors and inspire other teenagers through NYO Inspire. We are also recruiting teenage composers.


Auditions are FREE and you will receive feedback. Bursaries are available to cover travel to and from the audition as well as your place in the orchestra. Auditions are friendly, positive, and great learning experiences. NYO Tutors share playing tips in a workshop, and all applicants receive performance feedback.


Further details can be found on the NYO website