06 Jun 2014

Apply to Young Choirleaders Plus now!

Are you in Year 11, 12 or 13? Studying music at GCSE or A-Level?
Keen to become a choral director?

Then here’s an ideal opportunity for you.

Young Choirleaders Plus

An innovative learning programme for aspiring conductors

This unique programme is designed to give you an insight into the fundamentals of best practice choir leadership - and more. It brings together three distinct elements, to provide you with a rounded learning experience and access to the choral conducting community:

- Specialist Training
- Association Membership
- Observation & Practice

ELEMENT 1 -  Specialist Training

A 3-day Saturday course, covering key techniques for good conducting and development of musicianship skills which are essential for the role.

10:00am-4:00pm on:
27 October 2014   15 November 2014 16 February 2015

Course venue: The Old Courthouse Westgate, Thirsk YO7 1QS.
Lunch not included: bring your own or eat at the cafe.

Days 1 and 3: Conducting (led by The Association of British Choral Directors - abcd)

Through practical worked examples, you’ll learn:
- How to teach a song by rote
- Basic conducting patterns
- Some rehearsal techniques
- Score preparation
- How to plan a rehearsal

You’ll have an opportunity to conduct the whole group, and you’ll take away some songs to try with other choirs. No previous experience is necessary; a willingness to sing with the group is desirable.

Day 2: Musicianship (led by music education charity The Voices Foundation)

Using simple songs, rounds, canons and part songs, you’ll:

- Explore the core elements of music such as pulse, rhythm, pitch, phrase and structure
- Understand the importance of listening, musical memory and inner hearing

Through this aural/vocal approach, you’ll discover how a good aural foundation can lead to true musical literacy; the ability to “hear what you see and see what you hear”. You’ll also learn about vocal development, tuning, how to structure singing in parts and, most importantly, the expressive power of music.

ELEMENT 2 - Association Membership

Links to the choirleading community, via a year’s FREE membership of The Association of British Choral Directors (abcd). This entitles you to:

- Access to abcd members’ area on the website, The Podium, including online editions of Choir and Organ magazine and its exclusive library, Mastersinger online
- Discounts on abcd training courses AND selected publishers’ sheet music
- Advice and support on a local and national level

ELEMENT 3 - Observation & Practice

Opportunities to reinforce and embed your learning experiences, both for choral conducting and musicianship*.
(*Some subject to your school’s permission)


- Working with the Musical Director of the North Yorkshire County Youth Choir at rehearsal day on Saturday 28 March 2015 in Harrogate, to practise the skills you’ve learned
- In discussion with music staff, the chance for you to conduct a choir at your own school


- If your school agrees to release you: Shadowing a Voices Foundation Advisory Teacher during musicianship training at a local primary school, so that you can witness how children (and class teachers) learn key musical skills and concepts through simple songs and games

And what’s the cost?

Courtesy of generous subsidy funding via Hub partners, the fee to take part in this programme is just £5 per person - but there’s a downside, in that there are ONLY 20 places available. So you need to move fast; send in your application form plus payment as soon as possible, to avoid missing out! Download the application form at the link below.

Young Choirleaders Plus is a partnered initiative from:

North Yorkshire Music Hub (Supported by Arts Council England)

NYMAZ (Supported by Youth Music)


The Voices Foundation (Supported by Promenaders’ Musical Charities)

About the Delivery Partners

Association of British Choral Directors - abcd

We’re the only national organisation devoted entirely to helping everyone who leads singing. We work with people of all ages and experience who lead amateur and professional groups of all kinds of singing. Our members form the best singing leadership network in the country, including teachers, composers, singers and students as well as some of the best-known singing leaders. In addition to our training, we hold a variety of events including an annual convention, which attracts over 200 singing leaders each year.

Our vision is of a world where well-led choral singing enriches everyone’s lives and where abcd enables every leader of choral singing in the UK easily to access appropriate support for their development.

The Voices Foundation

We firmly believe that a high quality music education can transform the lives of, and learning outcomes for, young children. Our approach is based on achieving this transformation through the instrument which we all have, regardless of background and ability: the singing voice.

Our inclusive training programmes involve every member of staff in primary schools; giving them all the skills - and importantly, the confidence - to deliver really effective classroom music lessons that can support and enhance their pupils’ development, musically, socially… and academically.

By “training the trainers” in this way, and providing them with quality material in the shape of our Inside Music resources, we help schools to raise the bar significantly in their music education provision. Both for now, and in the future.


  • Email contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


  back to news listings