Most frequent questions and answers

Students range from 11-21 years and range from about grade 5 (or playing for 2-3 years) up to, and beyond, Diploma level. One of the main points of the course, and one which makes it so unusual, is that we can be very flexible and our orchestras and groups will be different each year as we work to the strengths of the players. We try to ensure that students have the chance to play with better players, so their music-making and confidence grows, but also that they have some repertoire they can manage easily and have fun playing.

By having several orchestras and orchestral groups and placing people carefully, so that everyone gets stretched but no-one struggles. We carefully monitor the repertoire thay every single student plays via the instrumental tutors.

Those who are getting used to playing with a large orchestra play some items of repertoire in the appropriate orchestra(s) and do some work in smaller ensembles. We make sure you grow, but don’t get frustrated or bogged down.

Then you will play with Sinfonia and may want to audition to play a movement from a concerto. You will no doubt want to play Chamber Music during ‘Options’ and chamber groups are chosen to play in the main concerts and many have their work recorded. Tutors and Conductors do their very best to make opportunities available.

The day begins with half an hour of Gospel Choir, Samba Percussion or Alexander Technique, then it’s breakfast. The first orchestral rehearsal of the day is at 09.15, then there is a break for half an hour. Another rehearsal after break is followed by lunch. After lunch there’s a sports activity with the house-staff, or leisure time. Next is 30 minutes singing for everyone, followed by the third orchestral rehearsal of the day. After that is the first ‘Option’ which might be Chamber Music, Chamber Choir, Jazz, World Music, Big Band – then supper. After supper it’s the second ‘Option’ slot. At 20.30 there are activities with the House-staff and that might be anything! Barn Dance or Line-Dancing; Students’ Revue; Summer Party; Karaoke; Films and of course the famous Tutors’ Concert. A sample schedule is available to view above.

Students might to use the time to practise or read, or to use a computer. They may want to watch the games, or have a rest. Any one of those things is fine, so long as the house-staff are able to check where you are.

Once all activities have got underway, each student is asked individually whether they are happy with their orchestral placement, options, etc. The feedback is carefully monitored and then, through our instrumental tutors and house-staff, we try our best to give everyone all the opportunities they want to take up during the week.

There is a Gospel Choir, Chamber Choir and Course Choir at EYSM and there are other vocal ‘Options’ which will be announced when the course is launched.

The course is for instrumental players, but you can offer piano as a ‘second-study’ and there are Chamber Music, Jazz and Big Band ‘Options’ where you might play piano.

You can audition to play a movement from a concerto, if you would like. If so, in early summer your teacher will be asked to agree that the movement you wish to play is concert ready.  You will be asked to send a recording of your performance electronically (accompanied or non-accompanied) to our musical team.  You will receive a reply before the course and you may be asked to audition again in person on the first day of the course.  

For everyone, at every level, to get the most possible out of the course. For everyone to have fun whilst their musicianship moves on to another level. For people to join together to make music in ways they’ve not tried before. For the music we make to be uplifting, for players and audience.

Yes, we begin to record on Thursday and record a lot of the work for study purposes and all final performances.

They can come to listen from 15.00 to around 19.00 on the final day of the course. If parents live close enough, or are arriving in Surrey the night before, they can also join us for the Course Performances on the previous day and details of the times will be sent by email during the week, as soon as we know the programmes.

Read the section on bursaries at the bottom of the ‘Costs’ page.

Yes, you can either pay all at once in April, when you receive the course pack, or by instalments in April, May, June and July. If you apply late, you should ask about late instalments.

We will respond to you within 48 hours.

Yes you will. There will be lots of information and you can also telephone or email.

Comfortable clothes for playing instruments and playing games. For the concerts you will need a white shirt and black trousers or black jeans. You will need towels but bedding is provided.

Don’t forget to bring the instrument you want to play! (Unless you’re a percussionist)

Twin, triple rooms or small ‘dorms’ – according to numbers and ages. Shower blocks have single cubicles and plenty of toilets. Meals are in the Dining Hall and the food is hot and cold buffets with choice at every meal. There are vegetarian options and we can cater for all food allergies.

They are the pastoral staff who look after you when you are not in rehearsal. All involved in music performance and all hold enhanced DBS disclosures. Their job descriptions are available to parents on request and our Safeguarding Policy is sent out with the course pack. They cover a range of ages, some are young adults who have been on the course in previous years and want to give something back. Others are older. All have special skills and most are either qualified teachers or nurses.

– Young people join us from across the world
– The range of experience is exciting
– We play a huge amount of music throughout the week
– The Conductors and Tutors are amazing
– We create stunning performances, whilst having so much fun