The National Centre for Early Music runs a lively year-round education programme for all ages, from early years to adult, which encompasses a wide range of musical genres including early music, jazz, folk and world music.
Central to the calendar are two prestigious competitions: the biennial York Early Music International Young Artists Competition , which spotlights the cream of young professionals in the early music world, and the annual NCEM Young Composers Award , which aims to create awareness of the music of the past in the composers of tomorrow. The NCEM also works closely with local universities to offer opportunities to students and supports younger musicians through The Minster Minstrels . The highlight of the year for 10- to 15-year-olds is the annual summer school, the Musical Play in a Week .
The NCEM produces a regular Education Newsletter and a selection of Learning Resources for schools and other groups. We are an official Arts Award Supporter , offering activities to help young people aged 7 to 25 to develop as artists and art leaders. We also offer Arts Award to members of the Minster Minstrels and Young Minstrels. We are a validated Learning Destination for the Children's University , a national scheme which aims to inspire children aged 7 to 14 to discover exciting new learning experiences and activities outside school hours. In addition, the NCEM co-ordinates Music4U , an educational programme funded by Youth Music, which offers musical opportunities to young people in challenging circumstances.
In 2013/14 the NCEM has initiated an exciting year-long collaboration with violinist Rachel Podger and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, which offers both teachers and young string players the opportunity to work with some of the finest players in the country as part of York Baroque Strings Project .
The education programme is made possible thanks to support from Youth Music, Mayfield Valley Arts Trust and the City of York Arts Academy.