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Orchestras for All

Orchestras for All (OFA) believes that all young people should be able to access the life- changing experience of ensemble music-making whatever their circumstances.

We work with young people (11-18) who face multiple challenges, including social, behavioural or learning difficulties, chronic medical conditions, being a young carer, living in an economically deprived household, having no fixed abode or being a newly arrived unaccompanied refugee. What unites our young people is a commitment and dedication to music, often in the most challenging of circumstances.

We work to address the inconsistent provision of high quality music experiences across the UK in order to help disadvantaged young people realise their full potential and develop crucial life skills and self-belief. We do this through three targeted programmes:

– National Orchestra for All (NOFA) – which gives young people from England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland the opportunity to join the only free, non-auditioned, mixed ability national youth orchestra in the UK. Over a nine-month season they come together to learn, create and perform music.
– Modulo – which provides the support and resources to enable under-resourced schools and community groups to run ensembles (‘Modulos’), regardless of musical skill level or instruments available. The national and regional meetings we arrange give the individual Modulos opportunities to meet and perform together as larger-scale orchestras.
– Conductors for Change (CFC) – which offers a modular training programme for early-career music teachers and community music leaders to help them develop their music conducting and leadership skills through practical workshops with mixed ability ensembles and free online tuition.

OFA is unique in its multi-dimensional approach to the problem of access for our beneficiaries. We tackle all kinds of barriers: logistical, financial, geographical, personal and cultural. Our combination of in and out of school music education activity, operating at school, community, regional and national level, is rare. So too is our focus on secondary, rather than primary school age players with complex lives; as well as our belief that starting a musical instrument relatively late – after the age of 11 or even much later – can still have huge benefits musically, socially and in terms of personal well-being.

Cecil Sharp House 2 Regent's Park Road
London NW1 7AY
United Kingdom