Aldeburgh Young Musicians

An artist development programme for advanced young musicians and composers aged 8-18.

Our distinctive approach to advanced musical training brings together like-minded young musicians and composers to rehearse, perform, and exchange creative ideas.

AYM is a Centre for Advanced Training, based at Snape Maltings Concert Hall and part of the national network. Through intensive residential courses, professional advice, mentoring and performance opportunities, AYM nurtures the creative, innovative and distinctive musicians of tomorrow.

We support passionate young musicians who have the potential to be the best from any background and discipline.

Aldeburgh Young Musicians have access to the best musical training on offer, working alongside professional musicians as equals to create, rehearse, perform, compose, workshop, improvise, sing and collaborate with some of the most exciting and like-minded young musicians around. AYMs explore different genres and approaches as creative and thinking musicians. Each AYM develops their own individually-tailored pathway to become the creative and diverse professionals of tomorrow.

How to apply

AYM @ Ten

July 2018 marked a significant landmark as Aldeburgh Young Musicians celebrated the tenth anniversary of the first ‘officially’ auditioned cohort to the full scheme. To mark the occasion, AYM invited some of its remarkable alumni back to Snape Maltings to celebrate and showcase three main areas of their work on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July.

As part of our celebration concert, we commissioned a new film. This short documentary focuses on the past ten years, the present and the future of Aldeburgh Young Musicians. Interviewing the visionary individuals involved in the conception of the scheme, the professional artists who lead the activities, various alumni in professional work, the young musicians at the core of the programme and the team of passionate staff who facilitate the AYM scheme, this film encapsulates the distinct AYM way of learning that makes the programme so special.

The AYM offer

AYM offers a diverse range of activities and approaches, encouraging versatility and musical development

The Full AYM scheme focuses on exposure to repertoire and musical development through a mix of full weekends and full courses. Those in their first year attend VocalLab, and many individuals receive mentoring.

The AYM Apprentice scheme offers a less intense version of the full scheme, with a specific focus on developing core musical skills. AYM Apprentices engage with Elements days, VocalLab and mentoring, as well as being invited to attend a small number of full weekends and full courses.

  • Full courses occur during school holidays, and focus on a wide range of musical styles with professional musicians. Recent courses include: Contemporary Music and Composition, Going Beyond the Song [Songwriting], Tribute to an Imaginary Folk Band [Folk/Jazz fusion], Chamber Music, Sessions Orchestra [Classical/pop fusion], and a tribute to West Side Story [Musical Theatre]. We look forward to exploring Indian Music with Sanju Sahai, working with the Eddie Parker and the Debussy Mirrored Ensemble, focusing on Music for Film with James Olsen, exploring Chamber Music with Jack McNeill and working with Kabantu, an amazing 5 piece band which draws on music from around the world. We conclude the 2018/2019 year with a performance at the FolkEast festival, Suffolk.
  • Full weekends explore similar themes to full courses, but in a more bitesize way! Full weekends occur throughout the year. Recent full weekends have focused on Jazz with Dave Kane, Heidi Heidelberg and Cath Roberts; technology and leadership with Gawain Hewitt, James Rose and Sarah Freestone; Chamber Music with Jack McNeill, Kay Stephen and Martyn Sanderson. Upcoming full weekends include Early Music and a weekend focusing on performance.
  • VocalLab is a resource designed to explore vocal technique and repertoire, as well as AYMs’ compositions and arrangements. VocalLab occurs on a regular basis, with different leaders exploring different concepts, repertoire and ways of working.
  • Elements days are mini-residencies in which a specific focus or core skill is explored. Elements days occur regularly, and explore composition, rhythm, electronics, leadership, improvisation and lots more!
  • AYM Chamber forms a number of full weekends and a full course. Core ensemble skills and techniques are developed through standard and new repertoire, alongside specialist sessions with instrumental experts.
  • Open House offers the chance for AYMs to use the space at Snape Maltings to create ensembles, rehearse, compose, jam and record.
  • Mentoring offers the opportunity for young musicians to be paired with an experienced professional musician throughout their time at AYM. The mentor is a critical friend who can offer support and advice, and works with the young musician to enrich their musical life.


AYM Apprentices

For less experienced, younger musicians who have the potential to become an Aldeburgh Young Musician. The Apprentice scheme offers opportunities as diverse as the full scheme, but with a more specific focus on core skills and the groundwork of a well-rounded and inspired musician. This less intensive programme is aimed at younger musicians who do not necessarily have as much experience as their older peers.

An AYM Apprentice programme includes:

  • A focus on developing core skills through a series of Elements days
  • Vocal work and aural training as part of VocalLab
  • Mentoring as part of the AYM Mentoring Scheme, supported by the Foyle Foundation
  • Access to guidance and bespoke advice from the AYM team, who can broker lessons and masterclasses on the young person’s behalf
  • An Individual Learning Plan, working with the AYM team to plan and shape a young musicians’ development
  • The opportunity to attend an intensive, week-long AYM residency

Meet some of the musicians

Aldeburgh Young Musicians gratefully acknowledges the substantial financial support of the Department for Education.

Creative Workshops

Our series of Creative Workshops have concluded for 2019. If you’d like to host or participate in a workshop in 2020, please email to register your interest.

These inspiring day-long workshops give an insight of what it is like to be an Aldeburgh Young Musician. Working with professional musicians, participants will develop their musical skills, working with like-minded people to create music in an imaginative way. These workshops are aimed at potential new students, aged 8-16, and provide an opportunity for anyone who is interested to learn more about AYM.