Update, 4 January 2021:
Snape Maltings Shops and Café are temporarily closed. We very much look forward to welcoming you back as soon as it is safe to do so. In the meantime, please do use our online shop. Read more >

Become an Aldeburgh Young Musician

Aldeburgh Young Musicians welcomes applications from any young musician aged 10-17, who wants to collaborate with like-minded young people and professional performers. Please see our FAQs below for further information about AYM.

Taster Days

Young Musicians interested in AYM are encouraged to find out more by attending one of our taster days which give a first-hand experience of what it is like to be an Aldeburgh Young Musician. Participants work with professional musicians and current AYMs to develop their own music, typical of an AYM activity. There is a chance to meet AYM staff, ask questions and find out more about the scheme. Taster days are the best way to find out what we do, for prospective AYMs, parents and guardians.

Attend a free taster day

Get first-hand experience of what it is like to be an Aldeburgh Young Musician in a free workshop at Snape Maltings.

Our Taster Days are currently postponed due to Covid-19. Please email mwigley@brittenpearsarts.org to register your interest and you will be notified as soon as our Taster Days are scheduled.

Applying for Aldeburgh Young Musicians

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, auditions are currently postponed. If you would like to register your interest, please email mwigley@brittenpearsarts.org.

For more information regarding Auditions, please see our FAQs below.

Start Your Application

This link will become live once applications are open.


Important Information & Frequently Asked Questions


The cost of attending our programme for an academic year is £3,250, including VAT.

We offer a range of Grants and Bursaries which can help to cover the cost of your fees, and in some cases, leave you with a surplus to spend on additional items. We are committed to ensuring that no one is prevented from accessing AYM due to financial concerns and encourage you to get in touch if you have any queries.

We believe that our fee represents fantastic value for money – see ‘What’s Included’ for more information. Whilst we operate online due to Covid-19, we are offering a fee reduction.

What's Included?

The fee is all-inclusive and covers the cost of all musical activities, as well as accommodation, meals and transport (between accommodation and Snape Maltings) whilst attending our residential activities. There are no hidden costs or extra charges.

As an AYM, you will have access to all available courses and weekends on offer, as well as advice and support from AYM staff, access to Mentoring support from our Ambassadors, and access to our Additional Activities. Once part of Aldeburgh Young Musicians, you can be part of the programme until the end of the academic year in which you turn 18, without the need to re-audition.

Commitment and Expectations

As an AYM, you’re expected to be available for and attend at least 2/3 of our activities – at least 4 courses and 4 weekends per academic year. However, if you’re available for more, that’s a good thing!

We expect AYMs to be passionate about making music collaboratively and to be open-minded about trying something new. We don’t expect anyone to be a perfect musician – we’re an artist development programme and want to help you reach your full potential!

It is not possible to attend a single activity – you must be an AYM to access our offer.

What Level do I Need to Be to Apply?

You don’t need to have a certain grade or qualification; whilst we recognise that these give a great sense of musical ability, we don’t want to turn anyone away who has potential but may not have taken an exam. We are a Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) and our remit is to work with young musicians of potential, but we don’t expect anyone to be a musical maestro from day one, after all, we are an artist development programme and want to be part of your musical journey! What we do expect is for applicants to have a clear passion for music, an interest in benefitting from what we offer, and the motivation to develop and become the best they can be.

As a benchmark, we go by ‘a grade a year’, e.g. if you’ve been playing for 5 years, we expect you to be around the grade 5 mark, or progressing slightly faster than that. We’re also looking for attributes such as; open-mindedness, curiosity, a passion for musical excellence, the drive to innovate with like minded-people, and the the ability to question. We want to see an interest in collaborating with, and learning from others, as well as the motivation to practice and develop as a musician. You need to be comfortable with trying something new and to be able to live away from home for a number of days.

The best way to find out whether AYM is right for you is to attend one of our Taster Days.

What Activities & Performance Opportunities do you Offer?

See a sample of our activities by visiting the AYM Programme webpage.

We plan our activities based on the musical needs and interests of the young people. All activities aim to introduce AYMs to a diverse range of ways of working. We therefore expect the young musicians to be aware of the benefits of trying something new and to approach each new activity with an open mind.

At the end of our courses, we have an Open Session Performance, which are open to families, friends and the general public. These are designed to introduce AYMs to performing in a safe and nurturing environment. Open Sessions are an opportunity for AYMs to share their work with an audience and whilst they maintain the formalities of a performance, it doesn’t matter if a mistake is made. It’s all part of learning how to perform!

What Happens When I Finish at AYM?

The majority of AYMs progress to study music at University or Conservatoire, but there’s no expectation from us to do so. Regardless of whether you’d like to pursue music as a career, or whether you’d like to be an astronaut or a vet, we’ll support you and offer appropriate and unbiased advice within your best interests.

AYM has an extensive network of contacts and we can introduce you to appropriate contacts. Our staff are on hand to help and our Ambassador team can offer mentoring support, giving you the resources you need to make your own decisions. Many AYM Alumni are now professional musicians and have experienced further education and are always happy to offer their advice and insights, too.

Who Will be my Teacher?

We don’t offer conventional one-to-one lessons at AYM. The AYM programme is designed to supplement your instrumental, vocal or compositional lessons by offering you the opportunity to collaborate with like-minded young musicians and expert professionals. We sometimes offer tutorials and activities focusing on your first-study, but these are not lessons.

We will never ask you to change your teacher, unless you proactively wish to do so and explicitly request for our input. If you would like our advice, we can suggest teachers and broker lessons for you.

We want your teacher to be involved in AYM! They’re always welcome to attend one of our Open Session performances or meet AYM staff.

As an AYM, you will work with many different musicians. Some will have the same instrument as you,  some won’t. We believe that everyone can learn from working with others and will offer you the chance to work with instruments in a traditional setting but may also introduce you to working in less-familiar environments!

Visit the AYM Programme webpage to learn about the activities we offer and the professional artists that we work with.

What are AYM Auditions Like?

We pride ourselves on our distinctive audition process which reflects our open-minded ethos – it’s not an exam and we’re very friendly! Auditions are led by AYM staff with support from professional musicians, expert accompanists and AYM Alumni, who have all been involved in auditions themselves and know what makes a positive experience!

Our auditions are designed to give you the time to showcase your potential, lasting around 45 minutes. We make sure you have all the time you need to settle into the space and perform confidently. It’s an interactive experience – we’ll listen to you perform, play musical games, workshop excerpts of music, ask you questions, and have lots of fun making music together. You aren’t required to perform scales or to sightread, but we do want to see you have the right sort of technical knowledge and the instrumental ability to meaningfully engage in the activities we offer.

Regardless of the outcome of your audition, we will write to you with constructive feedback. We always enjoy meeting new applicants and want this to be a positive experience for you.

If you’re not successful, we know it will be disappointing, but don’t worry! We hope that the experience has been constructive and encourage you to take our feedback on board and apply again next year to show us how you’ve progressed. We always enjoy meeting young musicians who reapply and many applicants who haven’t been successful the first time round are successful when they audition again.

Which Instruments and Musical Studies Does AYM Cater For?

Absolutely anything! We are not trying to create an ensemble and don’t have quotas to fill.

Whether you’re a string player in an orchestra or a quartet, a vibraphone player from a jazz quintet, a singer-songwriter who sings at home or a electric guitarist who’s just played their first heavy metal gig, AYM welcomes you to apply.

Composers are also very welcome and have the opportunity to experience working with many different instruments in workshop settings. Vocalists and singer-songwriters are also very welcome!



Being an Aldeburgh Young Musician

Find out about Lauren’s experience as an Aldeburgh Young Musician and how she has benefited from the opportunities on offer.

Read more


We’re committed to protecting young people’s safety. Read our safeguarding policy.

Contact AYM


AYM is generously supported by Arts Council England, Angus Allnatt Charitable Foundations, The Cedar Trust, in memory of Sheila Stainton, The Department for Education, Foyle Foundation, The Ganzoni Charitable Trust, The Leverhulme Trust, Limbourne Trust, Sorkin Family Charitable Trust, Trinity College London and the Garfield Weston Foundation, in addition to a number of generous individuals, including Edward Bray, Professor Sir Barry Ife and Jeremy & Elizabeth Wagener.