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Learning at the CAT

The Centre for Advanced Training at Sage Gateshead is packed with opportunity for passionate young musicians. Learn more about the programme here.

Learning at the CAT

Sage Gateshead’s Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) is a high-level music training programme for young people with exceptional potential and passion for music. It is part of the Department of Education Music and Dance Scheme network.

Taking place on Sunday during term time, students receive tuition, ensemble training and classes in music theory, alongside individual guidance and development. There are exciting opportunities to compose music and work alongside inspirational visiting artists, as well as multiple performance opportunities.

The CAT is open to a wide range of musical genres and instruments including voice.

Students on our Centre for Advanced Training are encouraged to apply for a bursary from the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme. We’re keen to encourage as many applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds to access a bursary where needed. Here’s some information about CAT Fees.


Support Young Musicians

Here at Sage Gateshead, we work hard to ensure that music making opportunities are available to everyone; regardless of their background or personal circumstances.

If you love music as much as we do, and want to help us to make sure more children and young people can access our high quality training, make a donation. Thanks in advance for your support.

Core Curriculum
  • 60 minute 1:1 lesson
  • Music Language (aural/theory/musicianship skills)
  • Small ensemble / piano class
  • Performance opportunities
  • Enrichment programme (including Improvisation and Presentation Techniques)
  • Guidance from study leader team
  • Workshops with visiting artists

Please see information on the individual study areas:

The CAT promotes multiple performance opportunities throughout the academic year. These range from a regular lunchtime concert series and end of year festival in the halls of Sage Gateshead to occasional external concerts.

Extension Curriculum
  • 1:1 lesson in a second instrument / voice / composition
  • Youth Ensembles

The CAT scheduling is fully integrated with our Youth Ensemble provision which includes exciting performance experiences as well as work with musicians of international standing. Students must apply and audition for these ensembles separately.

The Centre for Advanced Training isn’t just for young people who want to make their music their profession. Former students have gone on to pursue a variety of careers and attend universities across the UK.

We do all we can to ensure that as well as having an enjoyable and fulfilling time in their musical studies, we prepare the young people with skills that will aid them in whatever career path they choose.

Term Dates 22/23


Having gone to Leeds College of Music and studied a Jazz degree at music conservatoire, I’ve recently completed my teacher training and I’m responsible now for planning and delivering my own exciting music curriculum to the students of Blyth. All of which wouldn’t be possible without the years of tuition and support I received at Sage Gateshead. My weekends have not been better spent since!

– Jonny Thornton – Former student