Friend International Flute Academy July 2023

Friend International Flute Academy (Founded in 2010) is excited to offer a non-residential weekend flute masterclass on the 8th /9th February 2023 in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire (only 20 mins on the train from London Marylebone Station and a 7 min walk from the station to the venue).

We are delighted that Stewart Mcllwham (Principal Piccolo player of the London Philharmonic Orchestra / Professor-Royal College of Music) will be joining us as a guest teacher.
Places are limited in order that we are able to continue dedicating adequate 1-1 time for each student.
Please let us know if you would like us to put your name down on our reservation list for one of these places for our two-day July 2023 masterclass. We will then send you further details in due course.
Friend Flute Academy Summer Masterclass 2023 


Sat 8th Jul /Sun 9th July 2023 (10-5 pm)
The Friend International Flute Academy (Founded in 2010) are excited to offer a non-residential weekend flute masterclass on the Sat 8th/Sun 9th of July 2023 in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire (20 min train journey from London Marylebone to Gerrards Cross on the train).
This friendly two-day flute course is aimed at intermediate (Gd 6+) to advanced/professional flautists, with repertoire and chamber music sessions, all in a lovely venue in the heart of the Chiltern Hills (a stone’s throw from London).We welcome both performing participants and audience participants.

Course Tutors

Lisa Friend (Flute – Repertoire Masterclasses)
Stewart McIIwham Flautist: Principal Piccolo Player of the London Philharmonic Orchestra / Professor Royal College of Music (Repertoire Masterclasses)
Anna Stokes (Flute – Ensemble Classes)
Mark Kinkaid (Resident course pianist for repertoire classes)

Course Highlights

  • A friendly, inspirational non-residential two-day flute course
  • For intermediate (gd 6+) / advanced to professional players
  • Repertoire Classes (Flute & Piccolo)
  • Performing/audience participants welcome.
  • Course pianist on site for rep classes
  • 20 mins by train from London Marylebone
  • Gerrards Cross, Bucks, SL9
  • Eve concert Sat 8th July 23′ (6-7 pm) (Further concert info Tbc)
  • Hotels within walking distance for those that wish to stay nearby.

For those of you who are interested in attending, please Contact us and we would be delighted to send you more detailed information (Course features and costs). We welcome both performing participants and audience participants.

To apply, please visit:


Flutes at the Barns with Zoë Booth 2022

Flutes at the Barns with Zoë Booth 2022

Flutes at the Barns Online allows you to participate from the comfort of your very own home. Whether you’ll looking to take part in an online workshop, receive tips by performing and/or watching others in an online masterclass or take part in a live duet-session with FATB tutor, Zoë Booth, Flutes at the Barns has it all covered. It’s easy and free to get set up to take part; you only have to decide which of the online classes in the changing, weekly-timetable will most inspire your playing! Click on the link above for more information.


Residential Flute Courses for adults are held in the beautiful Staffordshire and Derbyshire Peak District of England. Arrive with your flute on a Monday for a week of musical participation with the first-class FATB tutors, including an individual lesson, private rehearsal with professional accompanist, workshops and sessions playing music in small and large groups, masterclasses and concerts, before departure on Friday. Top-class accommodation on-site – in one of the amazing secluded venues – provides an indiviudal room and bathroom for each musician (partners welcome), with our own private chef taking care of all the practicalities whilst you immerse yourself in the music-making. Click on individual courses for more information.

Whether you’re keeping in touch between residential courses, or perhaps only have time for the mini-Flutes at the Barns experience, an FATB Flute Day is jam-packed with music, fun and inspiration, led by Zoë Booth and the other brilliant FATB tutors. Activities include rehearsals, workshops and warm-ups and the themed Flute Days (on variety of topics) also include the opportunity to take part in an accompanied masterclass; alternatively the “Play Days” are all about ensemble playing, forming a flute choir from scratch for the day to cover a wide choice of music. Our beautiful Arts Centre venue provides a fitting backdrop for the wonderful range of fully inclusive music-making. Click on individual Flute Days for more information.

Flutes at the Barns Overseas Courses provide particularly special opportunities to make music – with all the wonderful flute-playing musical activities you would expect from FATB – whilst exploring exciting non-mainland-UK destinations through a programme of sight-seeing activities fitted around the musical sessions. Varying by destination, courses are 7-10 days in length; individual accommodation for each musician is of the highest standard. Flutes at the Barns has so far taken nine tours of happy flute-players – and some partners, who are welcome too – to Tiree in The Inner Hebrides, Cork in Ireland, Croatia and Sri Lanka. Click on individual courses for more information.

NCO-The National Children’s Orchestra-Apply

NCO-The National Children’s Orchestra-Apply

The National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain (NCO) inspires children and young people – who are 7-14 years old and are British citizens, residents of or studying in the British Isles – to achieve their full potential through learning, performing and creating orchestral music.

The young musicians in our membership are at the heart of our educational activities, and through large orchestral performances alongside smaller scale child-led projects, we encourage teamwork, responsibility, creativity and leadership skills for all of our orchestra members. We nurture both the buzz of collective performance and the role of the individual within that.

Four strands of activity underpin the NCO curriculum, each of which supports the development of fully rounded musicians:

Mastery – the art of creating something wonderful through performance
Wellbeing – we embrace a holistic approach to the minds and bodies of our young musicians
Autonomy – developing the individual voices and musical identities of our musicians
Purpose – understanding of the value of a creative education and sharing that knowledge

Every autumn, NCO auditions over a thousand 7-14 year olds and identifies 600 young musicians to form 11 orchestras: five age-banded national symphony orchestras and six symphonic mixed-age regional orchestras. Many children progress through all our national orchestras gaining up to 7 years of learning opportunities as part of NCO.

A place in NCO gives children access to inspirational residencies during school holidays as well as monthly regional orchestra rehearsals in the local area. As a charity, NCO is open and accessible for all young musicians living in the UK aged 7-14 years old, and we are pleased to offer financial assistance to support fee costs.

Many of our former members are in leading professional orchestras across the UK and further afield. NCO alumni includes winners of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition, Guy Johnston (2000), Nicola Benedetti MBE (2004) and Martin James Bartlett (2014), as well as acclaimed conductors Robin Ticciati, Daniel Harding and Jonathan Bloxham.

We love to hear from all of our past members, so please keep in touch via our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, as well as the dedicated NCO Alumni Facebook page.

NCO has over 40 years of experience in training, nurturing and mentoring young musicians. Founded in 1978, our late founder, Vivienne Price MBE, envisaged an orchestra solely for young children to learn and developing alongside like-minded compatriots. Since then NCO has steadily grown from one orchestra to eleven, and has nurtured generations of the UK’s extraordinary young musicians.

When to audition

Auditions take place around the UK each October/November. Some of the audition venues change yearly – further details are published when audition applications are being accepted. All applications must be submitted online when you will have two choices: To apply for an in-person audition, by selecting the date and timeslots which best suits your needs, or you may be eligible to apply for a video audition.

Bookings for auditions generally open at the beginning of July and close at the beginning of September.

To be able to audition, you need to be 7-13 years old on the 31st August in the year you apply. We do not specify grades required, but do provide indication of NCO’s current standards by age and instrument which are a helpful guide. More information about eligibility is here.

We aim to make your audition a really relaxed and fun experience. There is no need to be nervous!

Late Auditions

Occasionally we have vacancies for certain instruments at other times of the year. Please contact us for more information.


National Orchestra for All

National Orchestra for All

Orchestras for All-Music Without Boundaries. Our mission is to unlock access to the life-changing experience of ensemble music-making for 11-18 years olds with complex lives.

The challenge

The importance of access to high-quality musical experiences is widely accepted. Research shows us that music-making transcends educational ability, socio-economic status and disability; gives young people a unique way to express themselves; improves confidence and self-esteem, self-efficacy and cultural awareness and can provide a safe space for young people with challenging home or school lives. Ensemble music-making extends these benefits further, giving young people access to broad and diverse social networks and developing teamwork and communication skills.

Across the UK, a wealth of high-quality music-making opportunities for young people exists, both at the local and national level. The government continues to fund the work of Music Education Hubs, applications to higher-level music courses have risen from 25,000 in 2007 to 40,000 in 2016, and the benefits of music education are lauded: indeed, a longitudinal study published in 2018 found that ‘test scores on inhibition, planning and verbal intelligence increased significantly’ for primary school-aged children who had music lessons.
In spite of this, research from the University of Sussex, leading music researcher Professor Sue Hallam and Sound Connections for Arts Council England explore the range of barriers faced by young people in accessing existing music provision. Recent national studies and surveys have highlighted a significant decline in the uptake of GCSE music, a reduction of compulsory music at Year 9 and falling music staff numbers in state secondary schools.

A key challenge addressed by OFA is that young people who lack financial, social or cultural support repeatedly miss out on the unique opportunity of ensemble music-making and cannot experience all the non-musical benefits. A 2014 report by the National Children’s Orchestra noted that 70% of its successful state school applicants received private instrument lessons and a 2014 Youth Ensembles report conducted by the Association of British Orchestras concluded that 80% of youth orchestras charge an annual membership fee – one of only a range of significant barriers faced by a prospective young member.

With reduced support in school for music and music teachers expressing a sense of isolation, it is increasingly important that we continue to work with partners across the country to reach young people who would otherwise miss out on the life-changing experience of making music together. Many excellent youth music organisations exist in the UK and do valuable work with participants of varying needs, experience, skill levels, backgrounds and interests.

So, what makes Orchestras for All unique?

The solution
In 2011, Marianna Hay, former Director of Music at Highbury Grove School, set out to address the inconsistency of music provision and barriers faced by young people to access opportunities by forming the first National Orchestra for All for 40 11-18-year-olds in 2011. Since then, Orchestras for All has evolved into three distinct and innovative programmes with the core aim of bringing the profound musical and social benefits of ensemble music-making to 11-18 year-olds with complex lives.

• We identify young people who lack opportunities to access ensemble music-making and have shown a dedication to music in the face of challenging circumstances
• We equip music leaders with the skills, resources and networks to establish inclusive ensemble music-making opportunities and, in the long term, cultivate a culture of music-making in their community
• We collaborate with young people, music leaders, professional musicians and music organisations, and cultural venues to create exciting, innovative and inspiring events and performances around the UK, that express the identities of the young people we work with.

We do this through our three programmes:
National Orchestra for All: A unique, mixed-ability youth orchestra comprising 100 young musicians with complex lives from across the UK, who come together throughout the year to learn, compose, rehearse and perform ensemble music. Find out more about the National Orchestra for All!

What makes us unique?
Inclusivity: We deliver our programmes in a flexible and inclusive way so they are accessible to all, regardless of instrument skill level, additional needs or background. We value commitment to music above ability and aim to provide high-quality artistic experiences to young people at any point in their musical journey.

Wellbeing: We believe that, regardless of individual instrument skill level, ensemble music-making is uniquely placed to significantly improve personal and social skills, and as such, should be available to all. We are committed to ensuring the safeguarding and welfare of the young people we work with in all of our activities. We expect all of the adults we work with to demonstrate understanding and awareness of our expectations and create a safe and supportive atmosphere for our participants.

Collaboration: We work with external artistic partners, freelance music arrangers and composers, workshop animators, cultural venues, social and additional needs experts, and a team of highly trained and experienced orchestral and pastoral tutors to ensure our programmes are delivered to the highest standard and give our participants positive and memorable experiences of music-making.

Ownership: We value and actively seek the perspectives of all our stakeholders in guiding the artistic output of Orchestras for All. We strive to continually develop our approach in placing the voices of the young people and music teachers with whom we work at the centre of our programmes. Our priority is giving participants a positive and memorable experience of ensemble music-making, sowing the seeds of long-term community belonging and musical identity.

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain-Apply

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain-Apply

NYO believes in inspiring its teenage members with a sense of personal responsibility for giving world-class performances. That starts with giving them fantastic role models. Together we’re building the future of orchestral music.

Playing in NYO can be a life-changing experience. As an NYO Musician, you make incredible music, try out new ideas with the brightest young musicians in the country, and work with accomplished tutors at an exceptionally high standard. But that’s not all. Being part of the Orchestra helps you develop as team players and young leaders, encourages you to pass on your skills to other teen musicians, and helps you become more confident in taking risks. Plus you’ll make some of the best friends you’ll ever meet along the way.

NYO wants to give the UK’s most dedicated young musicians every opportunity to participate in our vibrant, challenging orchestra. We look for musicians and composers who combine considerable technical aptitude and flair for orchestral playing with a taste for adventure, open minds and a great team spirit. Our musicians have a responsibility not simply for themselves as performers but for each other and as ambassadors, encouraging other young musicians to deepen their relationship with orchestral music.

As a strictly teenage orchestra, we have the following requirements:

You will need to be between 13 and 18 on 1 September 2020 in order to apply for NYO 2021.

Unless you’re applying as a composer, you should be at Grade 8 dstinction level or equivalent. You will either need a copy of your certificate or mark sheet, or a letter from your instrument or music teacher to provide written confirmation that you are of the required standard.

You are a British citizen, or resident or studying in the British Isles.

You are not studying full-time at a college of music, or on a joint course with a music college.

You are available for all of the rehearsal residencies, tour dates and performances and between 5-10 days of NYO Inspire activity. In addition, we may ask if you would like to attend other activities that come up throughout the year. These will be voluntary. For musicians in the orchestral keyboard section, we will rotate all of these dates as the repertoire dictates. We ask that all applicants are available for the complete NYO calendar at audition stage; you can see these NYO activity dates here.

When you complete your application, there is space to let us know about any availability issues you may have. Once you have been scheduled an audition slot, please let us know within four weeks if you cannot make this date, venue or time. We will do our best to reschedule any auditions, but have extremely limited flexibility.
All auditions are offered completely FREE. Once we are four weeks away from the date, cancelled places become very difficult to fill. The actual cost of auditions to us is around £150, so if you have to cancel your place at the last minute we will ask you to make a donation towards this cost. Exceptional circumstances are, of course, always acknowledged and this is a suggested donation.

We have travel bursaries available to help with costs to and from the audition venue.

The audition experience aims to be positive and constructive and all auditionees will receive a workshop and written feedback. Bursaries are also available to cover the full cost of a place in NYO.

Financial information: costs and assistance

We can help you be part of NYO.

NYO subsidises every seat in the orchestra to a manageable level. We raise over £1.8m so that we can do this. Also we ensure that free places are available to musicians who need them.

For NYO 2020, we ask for a contribution of £2,142 from each musician. The actual cost of being part of NYO is £8,000, so your contribution represents around a quarter, and equates to the cost of accommodation and travel on tour.

If you are offered a place in NYO and require financial assistance to cover the contribution our bursary scheme will help you. Depending on your financial circumstances we will fund all of the contribution or some of it. We can also guide you in applying for support from other organisations.

If you would like to help fund NYO bursaries, please contact our development team.