Saturday Music Schools London(11 Posts)
Hi. My 12 YO DS is quite talented musically speaking (grade 7 piano, grade 3 guitar, grade 2 viola), but doesn't get to do anything interesting with his music beyond lessons and the obligatory school concert. Before he loses interest altogether. I would like to look into the official music academies and conservatories in London that run Saturday programs. Ideally I would like him to have an inspirational, fulfilling and most of all fun experience but I am worried that the competitive aspect might make things unpleasant. Or perhaps not, I am not sure. What schools should I be looking at? We live in the SE so can do London, West Sussex and Kent. Many thanks.
Hi,my ds is 10 and plays violin and we're also looking to do the same. We're in South east too. We're going to look at Guildhall next Saturday which is next to Barbican. Look on their website. We've decided to look there first as it's the closest to us geographically. Ds attends our local council run music school but needs more of a challenge and wants to pursue a career in music. All the music colleges do a Junior Conservatoire.
Good luck,come back and let us know what you decide.
That is a problem with piano - it can be very solitary.
Blackheath conservatoire has a saturday orchestra, but it's not as well attended as it used to be. He could play either his guitar or viola, although the viola would be more obvious for an orchestra.
There is also Bromley Youth Music Trust, which would probably have something suitable for him. They have a lot of groups, including a very good concert band that does international tours, and I am fairly sure there is a piano group class, to give that social aspect to pianists that other musicians get more easily.
Sorry, I realise he couldn't play any of his instruments in a concert band. They do have various orchestras and strings groups, as well.
Can I suggest something a little out of the box? Cecil sharpe house in Camden is the centre for English Folk music and run a youth programme including a youth ensemble. Guitar, viola and violin are all folk instruments. My kids all did classical music before joining and have learned amazing skills of playing by ear and come to love folk music. Fab set of kids and tutors involved. Can't recommend it highly enough. Technically it's a little late to join the ensemble but I know they have spaces and might consider it. Also they do half term and summer courses.
There's also Centre for Young Musicians (CYM) in Lambeth which is a division of Guildhall but much cheaper! They run orchestras, bands, guitar ensembles, percussion groups (lots of pianists double up there), piano duets, choirs, composition groups, musicianship, jazz, basically everything you could hope for. It's massively sociable and low-pressure - kids are there because they love music but no-one forces masses of parctice ... it comes from them. It's a bit scruffy compared with the conservatoires but hugely inclusive and encouraging, so you might go in as a first study pianist and come out as a first study oboist. Great staff, great kids. My eldest spent 5 very happy years there before he headed off to boarding school this Sept.
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. TRL, CYM sounds exactly like what I am looking for and I will ring them tomorrow. Do you actually know this place personally or anyone who attends? Thank you so much for the recommendation.
Yes, Mandy DS1 was there for the last 5 years so we know it well. If you want a pressure-free but completely musical Saturday, I can't recommend it enough. I was so surprised the first year when we went to the annual concert to find that all these kids who look like they're ambling round the building chatting half the time delivered amazing performance after amazing performance - really, every ensemble is just superb. DS1 went in as first study cello and ended up playing bassoon better (it's now his preferred instrument), singing in a fab choir, composing, in a jazz ensemble, a string ensemble and an orchestra. He had a ball there and has only left as he went to boarding school. It really was the highlight of his week.
Thank you SO much! I have booked us for their open day in January!
Bird College is also worth looking into (Sidcup) & there are various orchestras etc at Dartford Grammars Mick Jagger centre. I seem to remember Goldsmiths College running youth orchestras too. Kent Music Service also.
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