Hopefully you’ll find the answer to your NYJO Academy question below.  If not, please do get in touch via nicole@nyjo.org.uk or 020 7494 1733.  Alternatively, you can speak to one of the team on Saturdays at the rehearsals.

 How can I join the Academy?

For our non-auditioned ensembles: The NYJO Academy hold taster days at the start of the autumn and spring terms. Our taster days welcome prospective students to visit our spaces, try out our Academy ensembles and possibly secure a place.

For our auditioned ensembles:  Applications for our auditioned big band go live in Summer 2019.

Which band will I be placed in when I join?

Most first timers initially attend NYJO Academy Jazz Ensemble or our aural skills workshop NYJO London (or both).

If you feel the band you are playing in doesn’t match your skills, then have a chat with the Music Director.  Any transfers between ensembles are at the discretion of the MDs.

Is there an age limit?

There’s no minimum age but the maximum age for all is 25 years old.

Can I still attend if I play clarinet or flute?

Flautists are welcome.  For the Academy Big Band and Jazz Ensemble, clarinettists need to be primarily saxophonists, but should bring their clarinet as some charts require it as a double.

For NYJO London, all instruments are welcome.

As a drummer, will I need to bring my own kit?

No. We have our own drum kits but drummers should bring their own sticks and/or pedals and cymbals too.

Do guitarists have to bring their own amps?

We have our own amps, but you are very welcome to bring your own.

If I am a double bass player or keyboard player will I be expected to bring my own instrument?

No, we have a double bass and keyboard available. Bassists may, however, wish to bring a bass guitar to use for funk and more modern repertoire.

Is there a refreshment break?

Yes, usually a 20-minute break. Morpeth is tucked away in Bethnal Green and the break doesn’t afford enough time to run out to the nearest corner shop so please bring snacks and refreshments with you.

What happens at the beginning and end of the session?

Big bands need a lot of equipment, and it all needs setting up – so the rehearsals usually get underway once stands and amps have been set up. The same process happens in reverse at the end of the rehearsal, as the school needs to be left the way the band found it – so taking care of your own stand and pad is obviously appreciated.

As a member of the NYJO Volunteer Crew or an MD usually stays in the room, you don’t need to be afraid of leaving your instrument out during the break, but remember you are responsible for your own instruments and property – neither NYJO nor Woolwich Works accepts any liability for loss, damage or theft.

Will I be offered the opportunity to play in concerts/gigs?

Yes. NYJO Academy bands do several concerts a year, in which all rehearsal attendees are welcome to play with the band. Music Directors arrange concert personnel based on their ability and availability.

I have a physical disability. How accessible is the rehearsal venue?

Woolwich Works has full disabled access as well as a car park if you are not able to use public transport to travel in. Rehearsals for most sessions take place on the ground floor. There are lifts available for use for sessions which take place in the basement. If you have specific requirements please phone the NYJO office in advance on 020 7494 1733 – we may be able to help, and we have made provision for those with both physical disabilities and sight impairments in the past.

Download our disability statement here

If you have asthma or a severe allergy you should advise the MD. We cannot guarantee to have a First Aider on site at each rehearsal – if you need medication for your condition, please make sure you have your Epipen or inhaler with you.

For more information see www.anaphylaxis.org.uk

If a parent wants to accompany me will they be able to stay and watch?

Yes. Parents/carers are welcome to stay, as well as any siblings who are not players. If sessions aren’t too busy, there are seating areas for parents to listen in and there is also a waiting area for parents to read or catch up with work on laptops.

We strongly advise NOT to bring babies or the very young though – it’s loud and hectic!

If my parent wishes to leave and collect me following the rehearsal will I be supervised?

Parents/carers of younger players often leave them at Woolwich Works, and whilst all reasonable efforts are made to supervise, we do expect that players should in their parent’s/carer’s opinion have reached such maturity which allows them to cope with a level of freedom.

Do you have a safeguarding and bullying policy in place?

Yes we do. You can read our safeguarding policy here: NYJO Safeguarding Policy November 2019

Bullying is a serious breach of NYJO’s code of behaviour in affiliation with its Academy terms and conditions. Sanctions may include, but not limited to; monitoring, evaluation and review, official written warning, suspension, exclusion. You can read our policy here

Are there bursaries available to cover my travel to London?

We offer means-tested bursaries to cover NYJO Academy fees but unfortunately are unable to support travel costs.  If you need assistance we’d recommend looking at Help Musicians UK:  https://www.helpmusicians.org.uk Awards for Young Musicians http://www.a-y-m.org.uk.  Also, please do speak to us in the NYJO office.