Applications Open Soon!

We are looking for enthusiastic young people aged 14-18-years who are interested in getting creative in the world of improvisation, ready to go wherever their artistic minds take them. We welcome applications from players of all music styles including classical, jazz, contemporary, Scottish traditional, folk and world music.

Ages: 14-18
Grade Equivalent: Grade 6 (No exams required)
Requirements: Comfortable in playing your instrument to its full extent. Born, living or studying in Scotland, or with a Scottish family connection. 

2024 NYOS: LAB Dates
October 2024: 4 Days - During school break
February 2025: 2 Days - During half-term


NYOS: LAB allows you to explore approaches to creative music-making and more to push your musical abilities and create something new. You will have to chance to meet like-minded people and work with professional musicians in groups of various sizes to make music in creatively: remixing existing melodies, writing pieces collaboratively, and free improvising. You will then be invited back to NYOS: LAB in February to record what you create. 

NYOS: LAB goes beyond the conventions of orchestral music to explore improvised and co-created approaches to ensemble music-making. Combining sound palettes and techniques that draw on classical, jazz, the Scottish folk tradition, and music from around the globe, NYOS: LAB provides space for aspiring young musicians to explore their musical abilities and creative voice all under the artistic direction of double-bass player and composer Emma Smith.

Making music is like going for a walk. In classical music, you know where you're going and you know how you're going to get there, but each time - depending on the weather for example, or time of year - you can see something new. Jazz improvising, or more accurately extemporising, is when you know where you're going, but you don't know exactly the route you're going to take to get there. Free improvising is when you don't know where you're going, you are just simply going wherever the mood takes you.”

Emma Smith, NYOS: LAB Lead Artist