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Junior EYSM

JUNIOR is the younger sibling of EYSM! Children aged 8 – 12 who have playing experience at Grade 1 or above can take part in three fun filled days of music making, with a final night performance to parents and friends.

JUNIOR is from 29 – 31 July 2024, with the option to arrive the evening before for residential students.

Junior EYSM offers a range of opportunities for ensemble and solo work. See FAQs or email us on [email protected] to ask any questions you have about how Junior would suit your child.

Norma Whitson

Junior Team Leader and Conductor

Norma graduated from The Royal Academy of Music to enjoy a career involving a wide range of genres in performing and teaching throughout Europe and the UK. Her teaching experience has been varied, working with all ages and abilities from Schools to the Junior Royal College of Music. Many of her pupils have become professional musicians and teachers, some of which regularly play in the London orchestras and The West End.

Norma worked as Head of Brass for the Merton Music Foundation and currently conducts the Merton Youth Concert Band, who have entertained at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for around 20 years. For over 15 years Norma has been a trumpet tutor for the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain, a highlight of which was working with them at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Norma is a dedicated music educator who understands the need to inspire young people to want to achieve a high level of performance. She is enthusiastic and passionate about introducing children to music.

Dan James

Junior Orchestra Conductor

Dan is a cellist, conductor and educator whose musical career has taken him from Brighton to Bangalore.

As a cellist Dan has performed commercially on BBC radio, Classic FM and ITV in musical settings ranging from full orchestra to cello quartet. Alongside this he has worked on a number of West End productions and recorded for Linn Records.

The recipient of the George Hurst Conducting Prize from the Blackheath Conservatoire, Dan has worked with orchestras from both the UK and abroad. He began his conducting studies under Andrew Morley, later working with Sian Edwards, Denise Ham and Colin Metters.

Dan teaches cello and directs ensembles at Junior Trinity and Eltham College. As a mentor he works with students on the joint Music Masters and Birmingham University PGCEi for instrumental teaching. The former Head of Strings at Highgate School, he is currently also Director of Music at West Lodge Prep School.

Our Junior EYSM Team

Junior EYSM is supported by the tutors and staff of the main course.

A typical day

Each day will vary according to rehearsal needs, as such this is only a rough guide.

Singing & Signing

A song for the deaf

Junior Orchestra
Junior Orchestra

Time built in for orchestra-watching, or joining ensemble groups with buddies

Working on Compositions
World Music
Some short rehearsals/tutorials
Close of the day

Except on final night, which will be at 20:00 after the performance


There will be final-night performances of Juniors and their ‘buddies’ from the main EYSM course. There is no charge for parents/friends at these performances.

How much does it cost?


Day Places

09:00 to 19:30 on Monday and Tuesday, ending 20:00 on Wednesday

Payable as a deposit of £130 on application, then a second payment of £105 in May. This can be paid in three instalments of £35.

  • 2 Meals Provided*
  • Full Tuition

* Breakfast can be provided at a small additional cost


Residential Places

Residential Juniors are asked to arrive the day before, so they can be settled in their rooms.  They can register at any time from 15:00 to 17:00 on Sunday 28th July.

Payable as a deposit of £160 on application, then a second payment of £210 in May. This can be paid in 3 instalments of £70.

  • Full Board
  • Full Tuition

Frequently Asked Questions

What is JUNIOR?

JUNIOR is the younger sibling of EYSM!  We had lots of enquiries from parents of younger children so we created ‘JUNIOR’.

Where is it?

At St Catherine’s, alongside the main EYSM course.

What preparation has to be done before coming?

None, it’s a creative course, though you can work on one of your own pieces if you like.  You will learn about composition and create a own musical piece for the end-of-course performance; you will sing, and sign, a song, and prepare other performances. There will be Percussion, World Music and other exciting new things each day.

How will it work if we're all at different standards?

If you are a high flyer who has already played in lots of ensembles, then you may spend quite a bit of time playing with ‘buddies’ from the EYSM course who join the Junior Orchestra and ensemble groups. If you have not had a lot of experience of playing with others, then you may concentrate on the Junior Orchestra and enjoy World Music and Composition best. Each JUNIOR will have a full and individual programme so they achieve good things, whilst really enjoying the fun atmosphere of this summer course.

Sounds good, but will it all be work, work, work?

No! There will be fun things organised and free time each day. Junior has its own house-staff (pastoral helpers) who will organise activities which like Rounders – Party Games – Treasure Hunt – Movies – and lots more!

Do we have our own performance opportunity? Who will be our audience?

Yes, you will perform for family, friends, tutors, teachers, and all the EYSM students and their tutors. 

When will I know if I've got a place?

We will let you know right away; it’s a first-come first-served course, advertised only by word of mouth and on this website.

Will I receive an information pack before I arrive?

Yes you will – and we are always at the end of the telephone/email if you have questions in the meantime.

What's the food like?

Meals are in the Dining Hall and the food is hot and cold buffets, with choice at every meal, there’s also a pasta bar, vegetarian options and we cater for all food allergies.

Who are the house staff?

They are all involved in music performance and all hold enhanced DBS disclosures. Their job descriptions are available to parents on request and our safeguarding policy will be sent out with the course pack. House-staff 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.

What do the house staff do?

House-staff make sure that Juniors have lots to do and have rest time too. House-staff meet each day to report on the welfare of Juniors. If there are any problems we deal with them in full consultation with parents / guardians / carers.  Oh, and, house-staff not only organise Juniors’ leisure activities, they join in them too.

How do I apply for a bursary?

Read the section on bursaries at the bottom of the About EYSM page.

Can we pay by instalments?

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.

What will I need to bring?

Comfortable clothes for playing instruments and playing games. For the concerts you will need a white shirt and black trousers or black jeans.

What's the accommodation like?

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.

What's so special about EYSM?

  • 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

Get in touch

Send us an email

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Course information
[email protected]

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