Who Are Youth Music Theatre?
Founded in 2003, YMT quickly established itself as a leading national youth arts organisation, with a presence across the UK and a reputation for innovative work, offering high quality training and development for up to a thousand 11-21 year olds each year. In 2005 YMT became one of nine National Youth Music Organisations, supported by funding from Arts Council England and the Department for Education. Its principal purpose is to offer talented young people a bridge between school or local music theatre and formal training at drama school – so successful auditionees will be talented, with many going on into the acting, music or stage technical professions or into the creative industries more generally.
YMT has a strong relationship with the UK’s largest teaching union, the NASUWT, who are its principal sponsors and with Trinity Guildhall who formally assess some areas of its activity. The full range of work extends from working with young people (some with no previous experience) in socially disadvantaged areas to short courses at postgraduate level for those starting professional careers. YMT caters for young people over a wide age range, from 11-21, as well as offering training opportunities for recent graduates and emerging artists.
Youth Music Theatre's Unique Offer
To ensure that we are working at the most challenging level for talented young people, we aim to work at a high artistic level, engaging top creative teams and contributing to the development of the art form. Uniquely, we work exclusively on new productions, either by commissioning new musical theatre from experienced writers and composers or through the devising process; creativity is at the heart of the work and we actively encourage as much participation as we can from the young people who join the company. As a result YMT has a back catalogue of about twenty productions created over the last few years and now being published online.
We define ‘music theatre’ widely, and work has ranged from chamber opera to Scottish traditional, from Greek myth to contemporary politics, from physical theatre to the exploration of actor/musicianship.
How We Work
Most, although not all, of our work is residential; so we have a substantial duty of care to the 600 young people who stay with us on our courses each year. Additional to the creative staff, we also have a dedicated team of pastoral staff who look after young people on these courses and ensure compliance with our own guidelines and our legal obligations under child protection law and best practice.
Youth Music Theatre Locations
Our courses take place across the UK and we have ongoing relationships with the Aberdeen International Youth Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the South Hill Park Arts Centre Bracknell, the Barbican Theatre Plymouth, the Rose Theatre Kingston (London) and the Riverside Studios Hammersmith (London).
Generally we accommodate young people and rehearse in universities or boarding schools close to the venues. We seek to make the company open to a wide range of young people from different backgrounds and try to promote outreach and local projects as much as possible and to provide Hardship Funds and bursaries to those who cannot afford the courses.
Writers - Composers - Voice Works - Vocal Coaching - Technical Theatre
In addition to our core programme of productions for which young people audition, we also run: Easter and Summer Skills - week long residential courses open to any young person aged 11-18; Music Theatre for All - outreach work in selected areas of Fife, Tees Valley and West London; Young Writers and Composers course; Voice Works - a CPD vocal coaching programme for teachers.
YMT is a registered charity, a member of the Theatrical Management Association and of the Fundraising Standards Board. It was the first arts organisation to be awarded the Department for Education’s Learning Outside the Classroom kitemark.