NYJO currently works in partnership with over 90 Music Education Hubs, schools, arts organisations & venues to deliver our Learning & Participation programme.  All projects are designed individually to meet the different needs of our partners. We also offer bespoke designs, always working in partnership with you  to support the needs of local education providers and young musicians. Please get in touch if you’re interested in developing a partnership with NYJO.

Below are some examples which indicate the types of workshop options we offer:


Jazz Inspire Concert: A NYJO Associate Educator and a team of NYJO Ambassadors, will perform a 60-min concert for school children, lifting the lid on how jazz works.  During the concert students will learn about the history of the music, about each of the instruments and their role in creating swinging music.  Concert programme can be designed for all ages of children and, where relevant, will be shaped to address elements of the national curriculum.  A digital resource pack for teachers will accompany the concert including; history, exercises for incorporating jazz into the classroom, playlists & signposting to local & national jazz activity.


Improvisation Workshop: A NYJO Associate Educator and a team of NYJO Ambassadors work with a group of young musicians, addressing some fundamentals of jazz performance practise such as; feel, ensemble skills and improvisation. All young musicians will learn tunes by ear, explore harmonic possibilities and gain confidence improvising.  These sessions are flexible to the ability level of the students and can work with any instruments.  Workshops can range from 90min right through to several days!


Side-by-Side workshop: Mark Armstrong and all 23 members of NYJO run a side-by-side session with a hub/school jazz ensemble, working on new repertoire or polishing and existing piece and facilitating everyone to improvise.  We think it’s inspiring for school-age musicians to sit next and work alongside NYJO players, who are often only a few years older than them.  These workshops often culminate in the hub/school ensemble being ‘support act’ for NYJO in a local concert or sometime even performing together as a double big band!


Jazz Explorer Day: This option works with education partners with a lot of young musicians itching to get involved, but not the time to host NYJO educators for multiple visits. Alongside Mark Armstrong, one of NYJO’s Associate Educators and all the band members could deliver two workshops simultaneously, with two groups of young people (swapping over halfway):

– An aural-based improvisation workshop led by a NYJO Associate Educator and assisted by five NYJO Ambassadors as detailed above

– A side-by-side big band workshop led by Mark Armstrong (NYJO Artistic Director) alongside the rest of NYJO


Workshop programmes can range from one-off 90 min sessions to week-long residencies and regular sessions, often led by our artistic director Mark Armstrong or one of NYJO’s esteemed Associate Educator team.

Our NYJO Ambassadors are an integral part of our participation programmes. Comprised of members of our orchestra who take a keen interest in leading on education work, their focus is to work closely with young people during our projects. As young musicians themselves, we hope this acts as a tool to inspire, engage and create a relaxed open environment on our projects.

Please get in touch if you’re interested in developing a partnership with NYJO.


NYJO’s National L&P Projects