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Sage Gateshead opens applications for its Young Musicians Programme 2021/22

Posted on 22 February 2021

Young Musicians Programme

Young Musicians Programme, Sage Gateshead’s programme of tuition for aspiring musicians, has opened applications for 2021/22. From children beginning to explore music to young people who want to become professional artists, the Young Musicians Programme helps fulfil musical potential.

There are many benefits to joining Young Musicians Programme where young people can meet new friends, improve skills, confidence and self-esteem. Students have gone on to access a wide range of careers and apprenticeships alongside higher education and the UK’s top conservatoires.

The programme is open to all children and young people who are passionate about music and want to learn.

Sage Gateshead wants to encourage applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds, making sure that everyone has the chance to join the Young Musicians Programme. Access to music study is supported and the team has specialist skills in working with children and young people experiencing challenging circumstances.  Sage Gateshead wants to make sure that there are no barriers to taking part and financial support is available through grants and bursaries.

In 2020/21, families involved with the programme received over £230,000 of bursaries and many students don’t pay any fees at all.

The bursaries have been invaluable to enable my children to access the best music training and realise their potential as young musicians.” Louise, Parent of Young Musicians Programme student.

“It’s a place where anybody can come, and you can feel part of something.” Yohan James, Centre for Advanced Training student

For children and young people aged 4 -14, there is a mix of musicianship classes, foundation instrument lessons in strings, wind, brass and singing alongside choirs and ensembles – no audition is required. Young people aged 10 -16 can join one of the training ensembles to explore musical interests in a relaxed and enjoyable weekly class.

Young people with the passion and potential to take it further can audition for the Centre for Advanced Training which is for 8-19 year olds. It involves one-to-one lessons, ensemble training, music theory and history classes alongside a wide variety of performance opportunities. Young people aged 13-19 can also audition for one of the four youth ensembles where they can hone playing and singing skills. Support from the Department for Education’s national Music and Dance Scheme means that young people can benefit from world-class music training whatever their personal circumstances.

Those interested in finding out more can attend the online open day on Saturday 13th March 11am-12.30pm when there will be a presentation about the programme, introductions to Young Musicians Programme staff and Tutors, a chance to ask questions alongside a video tour of Sage Gateshead and the Music Education Centre.

More information and the application form are at



For further information, interviews or images please contact:
Jackie Thompson, Marketing & Communications Manager, Sage Gateshead

Susie Gray, Director, The Corner Shop PR, 07834 073795


  • Since opening 15 years ago, Sage Gateshead has worked side by side with partners and the wider community to help address the complex blend of social and economic challenges the region faces.
  • Sage Gateshead continues to be major employer and has brought investment and tourism into the region, generating c. £500 million contribution to the local economy.
  • More importantly, Sage Gateshead has brought social, cultural and educational value to over 10 million people and millions more via digital and broadcast activity.
  • Last year Sage Gateshead attracted 2 million visitors; 5,000 people took part in weekly music classes; 17,854 school children experienced live orchestral music and we worked with a further 2,418 vulnerable young people; more than 2,000 adults a week took part in music making designed to tackle social isolation.
  • The North East region is one of the worst affected by Covid-19. The region will be one where the recovery is slow and hard. Arts and culture have a pivotal role to play in regional and nation-wide recovery.
  • Covid-19 presents a major financial challenge to Sage Gateshead, the iconic Foster + Partners designed NE landmark.  80% of its income has been affected, and in 2020-21 £10 million in revenue will be lost. The organisation has taken swift action to overcome this crisis, but further challenges lie ahead. 90% of the workforce has been on furlough, significant cost savings have been sought and found, and its fundraising campaign aims to raise £3 million to help secure the organisation during the next three years. However, income levels are likely to be drastically reduced well into next year, and so the charity is redoubling its fundraising efforts.
  • Arts and Culture in the North East had a turnover of £400 million, providing employment for 2,450 people in 2016 (last year for which figures are available)
  • Performing arts accounted for 33% (i.e. >£133 million) and 700 jobs
  • Gross Value Added of arts and culture sector to the NE is £203 million


Sage Gateshead is an international music centre and renowned conference and event venue located in the North East of England. It is for artists, for audiences and for the North.

We are a charity and rely on the support of donors to ensure everyone in the North East community can experience the joy of music.

Every year we welcome more than two million visitors. More than 400 concerts featuring all kinds of local, regional and international music, take place all year round. Music-making and learning activity takes place not only in the building but across the region, with 190,000 people of all ages taking part in over 10,000 music classes and workshops.

The iconic building, designed by renowned architects Foster + Partners, is home to Royal Northern Sinfonia and is a place where emerging artists are nurtured through dedicated programmes and festivals.