Junior Trinity’s Main programme is for children aged 10 – 19 years. There are thirty teaching weeks per year, following similar patterns to school terms, plus one week each term for masterclasses, large concerts and other activities. There is one weekend off for half term.
The Junior Trinity day starts around 09:00 and finishes around 17:00, depending on your age and timetable. It may be possible to arrange a later start for students who travel a long distance. At the end of each day we have a weekly recital series “JT @ Teatime” for solo and chamber groups to perform.
An amazing place to learn and develop as a musician and the perfect way to try to figure out where you want music to take you.
Junior Trinity leaver July 2015, now reading Music at University of Manchester
The Junior Trinity Main Programme includes the following core elements:
- A 40-minute individual lesson on your principal/first-study instrument
- Musicianship class (50 mins)
- Choral Ensemble (40-60 mins)
- Chamber Music and Large Ensembles (or in some cases a performance class) (40-60 mins)
Principal Study (instrumental/vocal/composition/conducting)
Principal or First-study lessons are 40 minutes long with one of the Junior Trinity teaching staff. Lessons can be extended to 60-minutes at additional cost (see below). See ‘Tution‘ for more details.
Musicianship classes are lessons in groups of 12, matched on similar age and ability. The musicianship classes cover a wide range of subjects taught be various teachers during your time at Junior Trinity, so you will learn from a wealth of experience. See ‘Musicianship‘ for more details.
Choir is a key part of Junior Trinity’s curriculum, acknowledging the benefits of singing at all stages of a student’s development, regardless of vocal ability. Choir is compulsory for all students, but is often the area that our leavers say they loved most about their time on the programme. See ‘Performance‘ for more details.
Ensembles & Chamber Music
Our large ensembles include everything from a full symphony orchestra to big bands, jazz ensembles, and 100-member strong choirs! Chamber music opportunities and the ensembles each student takes part in will vary depending on the instrument/vocal study and availability (e.g. a first study pianist will take part in a performance class, though if they also play violin as a second instrument they may be added to one of the orchestral ensembles). Some ensembles and seating positions are subject to audition at the start of each year. See ‘Performance‘ for more details of our large ensembles.
Further Study options
Students may add additional lessons to their timetable subject to availability (additional fees may apply). These often include:
- Second/third study lessons
- Extended lessons on first study (increase to 60 minutes)
- Alexander Technique lessons (weekly in groups of two)
- Individual support for Trinity College London Music Exams
- GCSE/A Level classes in Music (reduced core programme)
Junior Trinity offers a full range of instrumental and vocal tuition as well as composition and conducting classes to ensure that every student is able to develop their potential in their chosen area.
Teachers aim to develop a student’s musical and technical skills as well as stylistic awareness. Students are encouraged to participate in concerts, masterclasses and competitions and also study towards Grade Exams where appropriate.
We are fortunate that our Trinity College London exam board provides an exam day each term at Trinity, enabling students to take their practical examinations in a familiar environment with one of our regular accompanists.
JT @ Teatime concerts take place each week and teachers enter individual students and chamber groups when they are ready; most students participate in at least two concerts over the year.
Performance opportunities are rich and varied at Junior Trinity. As well as our Teatime concerts, Junior Trinity promotes concerts in venues including:
Old Royal Naval College Chapel
Recent collaborations have included students performing alongside the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir John Tomlinson and the Brighton Youth Orchestra, composer-choreographer projects with our Centre for Advanced Training and operatic performances with students from our degree programmes. Junior Trinity students also take part in CoLab.
These concerts provide an invaluable opportunity for our students to perform in a variety of prestigious venues and ensembles providing a wealth of experience and musical variety.
Charles MacDougall: Four-Part Choir, Cambiata Voices & Vocal Consort
Katrina Makepeace-Lott: Equal Voice Choir
Junior Trinity acknowledges the benefits of singing at all stages of a student’s development, regardless of vocal ability. The department encourages students to experience an expansive range of vocal repertoire from varied traditions, and to enjoy performing it with their peers. The choirs give performances at least three times a year in our public concerts.
Equal Voice Choir is for young and unbroken voices, often singing in two-three part harmony with a wide range of repertoire.
Cambiata Voices is a choir to support young male voices though their vocal transition to become tenors, baritones and basses, with repertoire written specially to suit all voices.
Four-Part Choir is our largest ensemble with up to 100 singers. It comprises the older students at Junior Trinity, singing a range of SATB repertoire.
Vocal Consort, Junior Trinity’s chamber choir, made up of advanced first and second study singers, explore more advanced repertoire and perform in concerts at the Old Royal Naval College Chapel and in external festivals and events.
What our students say
The highlight of my day would change from week to week. Perhaps I’d have a particularly stimulating piano lesson one week and then a good time in orchestra the next. But this last year the best part of my day has got to have been the Barbershop group – I’ve had such fun and learnt so much! I cannot imagine any other establishment in the world could have given me the same support and encouragement I have received over my years at Junior Trinity. I have developed hugely as a musician and I am sure that the Saturdays I spent there were a key factor in my progress.
Duncan Ward, Junior Trinity alumnus, Sir Charles Mackerras Junior Conducting Fellow for Trinity Laban. Formerly lead composer in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Conductor: Tom Smith
Performs the mainstays of the genre from swing to more contemporary jazz arrangements, giving students an opportunity to perform as an ensemble and develop the important skills of style and improvisation.
Conductor: Dan James
Players of approximately Grade 5 to Grade 6 standard develop their ensemble skills and stylistic awareness in this string orchestra and perform a range of baroque, classical and contemporary works.
Conductor: Andrew Morley
The Junior Trinity Sinfonia comprises of string and wind players of approximately Grade 7 to Grade 8 standard. Players continue to develop their ensemble skills, exploring a wide range of works for chamber orchestra.
Conductor: Andrew Morley
The Junior Trinity Symphony Orchestra comprises up to seventy players of Grade 8 standard and above. Players are introduced to major works from the orchestral repertoire as well as lesser known but equally challenging works.
The Symphony Orchestra also provides a platform for selected final year Junior Trinity students to perform concertos at one or more of our public concerts in prestigious venues.
Conductor: Leo Geyer
Wind Orchestra gives woodwind, brass and percussionists an opportunity to explore a wealth of concert band repertoire ranging from Holst to film scores.
Conductor: Darren Bloom & Leo Geyer
Composers’ Ensemble is an invaluable space for students to explore writing for a mixed chamber ensemble and be able to experiment with a group of willing musicians. The ensemble performs works by student composers at concerts throughout the year, and have even managed to perform live in online broadcasts!
MASTERCLASSES AND WORKSHOPS
Junior Trinity produces an impressive series of masterclasses at the conservatoire and online. These give students the chance to perform to distinguished visiting professional musicians in a supportive setting.
MASTERCLASSES (since 2017)
Woodwind – Wissam Boustany (Flute), Karen Jones (Flute), Maxwell Spiers (Oboe), Kathryn Spencer (Clarinet)
Brass – Philip Cobb (Trumpet), Alan Thomas (Trumpet), Mark Templeton (trombone)
Percussion – Joby Burgess
Piano – Andrew Ball, Christine Croshaw, Danny Driver, Norma Fisher, Kathryn Stott, Huw Watkins, Andrew West,
Voice – Jon Christos, Jennifer Hamilton, Sarah Leonard
Orchestral Strings – John Crawford (Violin), Steven Bingham, (Violin), Roger Chase (Viola), Richard Crabtree (Viola), Susie Mészáros (Viola), Nicholas Pendlebury (Viola), Joely Koos (Cello), Jesper Svedberg (Cello), Eduardo Vassallo (Cello), Leon Bosch (Double Bass), Valentina Ciardelli (Double Bass)
Folk Fiddle – Ruairidh MacMillan
Guitar – Graham Devine, Craig Ogden
Bass Guitar – Laurence Cottle
Chamber Music – Wihan Quartet, Nicholas Pendlebury
Hindustani Classical Music – Prabhat Rao, Helen Anahita Wilson, Morgan Davies
Jazz Improvisation – Nikki Iles, Omar Puente
Film Music – Neil Brand
Electronics and Chamber Music – Steven Bingham
Junior Trinity has a long and well-known tradition of creative musicianship training which gives students greater confidence in their approach to composing, listening and performing. The philosophy underlying the classes is very much in parallel with the emphasis on composing skills in GCSE, AS and A-Level courses, and a wide range of music is explored.
Aural skills and a general musical vocabulary are developed through singing, playing and written dictation. Students learn to extemporise and improvise as soloists and in groups, and to compose for members of the class. A historical awareness is developed through musical examples and project work.
Students’ compositions and arrangements are frequently performed in our Teatime concerts and the Composers’ Ensemble at end of term concerts and public events, including external workshops run by professional orchestras and contemporary music organisations.
Classes tend to be fairly small (approximately 8-10 students) and students of similar age are grouped together.
General musicianship is an important element in the Junior Trinity timetable and students find that it enhances all aspects of their musical training.
Talking about Musicianship:
There is a different energy at Junior Trinity. I would wake up at 6.30 a.m. and leave Trinity at 6.00pm and never be tired. You just run on this weird musical ‘high’. There are the most inspiring teachers, great facilities and a nurturing and supporting atmosphere. All the musicianship classes and the Music Discussion Forum are invaluable.
Junior Trinity students have opportunities to experience chamber music playing at various levels. This is often their introduction to the genre as chamber music coaching is often not available to them elsewhere.
A variety of ensembles are formed each year depending on the student cohort, with everything from string quartets/octets, wind quintets, baroque trios, brass quintets and saxophone ensembles.
Pianists who may have fewer opportunities to perform chamber music often participate in a multi-hand group, exploring unusual repertoire, and will participate in one of our Piano Performance Classes.
Jazz ensembles can be available for students wishing to delve into jazz repertoire and improvisation techniques in more depth alongside the larger traditional Big Band.
Students are encouraged to perform chamber music in the weekly JT @ Teatime concerts and in public concerts. Many ensembles perform regularly in high-profile events, regional festivals and competitions coordinated by the students themselves.
What our students say
I really like Alexander technique and I find it very useful in music and day-to-day life. It helps me calm down and deal with stress or anxiety, and has actually improved my cello playing and how I feel playing. After playing the cello for a long period of time I used to feel quite achy but now that has improved dramatically and I can play for a long period of time without feeling uncomfortable! Alexander technique was really useful in my exams as I was sitting down for a long period of time and was stressed. I managed to sit in a way that was comfy and calm down and centre myself when I was stressed!
Over the past year of learning about Alexander Technique, I have felt more open and free, and it has helped me take more notice of things around me, rather than rushing past them as I used to do. As a result, a possible byproduct is that I feel that my life is more satisfying and full, and weirdly time seems to pass slower the more I notice the things around me. Overall, I feel less stressed and feel as though life has become easier to live.
[EC, 15 years]
Alexander technique is a process where you are taught to move in a way which excludes previous bad habits, and instead focuses on living in a mindful state. Alexander technique means to live in a state of relaxation. Although Alexander Technique focuses on posture and bad habits, to me this affects our nature and our way of life. Alexander technique has helped me through a wide range of difficulties throughout the past year. For example, Alexander technique has helped me to control my performance anxiety. It has also helped me to be more mindful of my posture, which subsequently has had a large impact on my RSI (repetitive strain injury).
[EJ, 16 years]
Conducting classes are available for small groups of more advanced Junior Trinity students who wish to broaden their musical perspective. Our conducting students find that their acquired skills are very useful in their schools, local community activities and when they progress on to Higher Education.
Students learn the rudiments of conducting technique for the first few weeks including beat patterns, beating styles and how to communicate specific musical effects through gesture. Gradually the classes develop into conducting the other members of the group and studying core repertoire. We may also be able to give our advanced young conductors opportunities to conduct the Junior Trinity ensembles in rehearsals and concerts on occasions.
In addition to the experience they gain in Musicianship classes and GCSE/A Level lessons at school or through Junior Trinity, many students take individual composition lessons to explore their skills in more depth. Junior Trinity gives them many opportunities to hear their works performed by fellow students in the weekly Teatime concerts, through the Composers’ Ensemble, as well as opportunities in more formal settings and projects with student choreographers for collaborative music and dance projects with Trinity Laban’s Centre for Advanced Training in Dance.
Many Junior Trinity composers have achieved top awards including BBC Proms/Inspire Young Composers’ Competition and the European Piano Teachers Association Composers Competition.
Junior Trinity encourages its composers to apply for prestigious vacation courses to extend their skills and contacts further, notably in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain ‘composer in residence’ scheme and the Sound and Music Summer Schools.
We are privileged that eminent professional composers visit Junior Trinity regularly to lead invaluable workshops with our students.
What our students say
“Junior Trinity has made me grow as a person and helped me become more confident with myself in music. Being able to share the same passion and love with so many people has inspired me for my future as a musician and performer. Junior Trinity is like a family, developing our strengths and making us stronger people because of it.”
Junior Trinity leaver July 2015, now reading Music and English at University of Leeds
“It’s a place that allows its students to specialise and thrive in their own directions. Both the teachers and the students share a common enjoyment for music, but besides that, individuality is accepted, even welcomed.”
Junior Trinity leaver July 2014, now studying English at King’s College London
Term Dates and Fees
How to apply
Applications for entry in September 2023 are now open.
How to Apply
To apply for our Main Programme please complete our online application via this link. Please read our application guidance for help with your application.
Applications will close at midnight on Tuesday 1st March, 2022. If you wish to be considered for a late audition after this date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applicants are expected to be at least Grade 5 standard or equivalent on their first study instrument.
However, there are many factors, including the instrument played and whether students have received formal musical training, that also inform the audition panel. Places at Junior Trinity are limited and being of the right standard alone is not a guarantee of acceptance to the department.
Auditions will take place in-person during March and April at King Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College. There is an audition fee of £35 which can be paid via our online shop*. Please note that the audition fee is non-refundable.
Full audition requirements are available below.
Download Audition Requirements
* Students on our String Time and Band Time programmes are exempt from paying the audition fee.
Life at Junior Trinity 2022
Staff and students share their experiences of our Main Programme for young musicians aged 11-19.