The Benedetti Foundation was established in 2019 by inspirational Scottish violinist and dedicated music education advocate Nicola Benedetti.
The Foundation delivers transformative experiences through mass music education and aims to ensure equal access to music participation and appreciation for all. The Foundation announces its 2022-23 Season which will feature four in person Benedetti Sessions and twelve residencies across the UK; four Virtual Sessions that continue to grow the global music community and its annual Ambassador Programme continues to develop 18+ students by developing practical and instrumental teaching skills and growing a love for performance.
Live Sessions: Benedetti Sessions & Residencies The Live Sessions are transformative three-day orchestral and musicianship workshops and 5-day residencies that put leading music educators in front of young people, students, teachers and adults. They are high energy, high inspiration in-person workshops which put the greatest music educators in front of young people and teachers. They provide a common goal to work towards, as well as being a place to make connections, and to collectively share the greatest examples of music education.
There will be four live Benedetti Sessions a season and each one will focus on the local area with a wide geographical spread across the UK. This season the Benedetti Sessions take place in: Cardiff (9 – 11 September), Glasgow (17 - 19 December), Dundee (21-23 April) and Manchester (Dates to be confirmed).
There will be twelve residencies this season, and each one will focus on the local area with a wide geographical spread across the UK. The Residency Sessions are delivered in partnership with local music services to provide a motivational opportunity for young people and a source of support and uplift for instrumental teachers. Collaboration is at the heart of these sessions. They are designed closely with the partner organisations to ensure they are of greatest benefit in enhancing their day-to-day work. During each residency, the Foundation will visit local schools to lead primary music workshops and host professional development sessions for primary classroom teachers and instrumental teachers, as well as delivering a Benedetti Sessions Strings Day. During this season the Foundation will work with circa 15,000 primary school children. In 2022-23, the Residencies include Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway (24 – 28 October); Buxton (7 – 11 November); Inverclyde (14 – 18 November); Aberdeen (21 – 25 November); Devon & Torbay (5 – 9 December); Hounslow (23 – 27 January); East Riding (13 – 17 February) and Northern Ireland (1 – 5 March).
The first Virtual Benedetti Sessions took place in lockdown in 2020 and provided musicians of all ages and stages, from all over the world, with three weeks of consistent online tutorials and inspirational workshops. Over 7,000 participants ages 2 – 92 from 66 countries prepared collectively for a final weekend of activity, celebrating the coming together of the global music community. Since May 2020, the Foundation has presented 7 Virtual Sessions and will deliver one, three-week Virtual Sessions and three, short one-week Virtual Sessions this season. The Virtual Sessions will continue to break down musical, societal and cultural barriers through the commissioning of new works, which will be taught to an international music community. In 2022-23 the Virtual Sessions include Baroque (26 September – 2 October) and a Winter Virtual Sessions with an exciting new arrangement by The Ayoub Sisters including singing for the first time, inviting the whole family to take part (28 November – 11 December).
The Ambassador Programme is an annual training scheme for students (18+) dedicated to developing their practical and instrumental teaching skills and growing their love for performance. They gain a greater knowledge, understanding and insight into all areas of music and education communities. The students are encouraged to question their surroundings, to think deeply about their role as performers and educators and to consider what they share just as much as what they receive. The aim of this programme is to create a legacy of world leading and innovative musicians and educators. The time the Ambassadors spend with the Foundation is transformational in shaping their careers and in turn the experiences of the next generation of learners.
102 students and recent graduates were offered a place on the programme in 2021 and 13 Ambassadors were offered the role of ‘Lead Ambassador’, who work in a mentoring role, supporting the new Ambassadors. There are two concurrent cohorts each year, dividing the musicians into their best-suited category:
• Instrumental Ambassadors: Focused on performance and teaching skills but also encompassing teaching workshops
• Creative Learning Ambassadors: Equipping musicians to lead school and community work
By taking part in the programme, Ambassadors have the opportunity to:
• Rehearse, prepare and perform alongside like-minded players and world-leading musicians including Nicola Benedetti, Elena Urioste and Wynton Marsalis
• Prepare, plan and present workshops for young people both online and in-person under the guidance of the UK’s foremost creative leaders including Lucy Drever, Calum Huggan, Patrick King and Rosie Bergonzi
• Develop and put into practice teaching and leadership skills in person and online though joining in the Foundation’s live and online activity
• Attend inspirational presentations by leaders in education and industry including Dame Evelyn Glennie, Jess Gillam, Anna Lapwood, Karen Cargill and Nate Holder
• Be part of a new vision for how professional musicians interact with the broader music education sector
• Make new contacts within various sectors of the music profession
• Form a community of visionaries that educate, perform, develop and deliver
• Gain insight and mentorship into leading educators and influencers in the world of music
• Design content for social media
The application process for the new cohort of Ambassadors will open on 1 November. It is open to instrumentalists, singers, creatives and workshop leaders and the new Ambassadors will begin the programme in early 2023.