Information For Parents
Our aim is to offer all young people an amazing creative, fun and educational music theatre experience and we are committed to ensuring that they are able to do this in a safe environment. The following information will give you an idea of how we do this.
About our projects / Pastoral care / What is the experience like? /
Course fees / Casting / Further information / Do I need insurance? /
What if a young person has to cancel or withdraw? / We welcome your feedback
We have two streams of activity with which your son/daughter/dependant can get involved:
Auditions / Summer Productions / YMT Company: These are two/three-week residential projects that take place during July/August all across the UK. Young people create a brand new show on these projects that is then performed in a professional venue. Each year we create at least eight brand new shows, which makes up YMT's Summer Season of New Music Theatre. To see advance details of these shows keep an eye on our Shows page here. Generally we start posting information about the next year's Shows in November of the previous year and more shows will be added through to January as the creative teams are recruited. Check out past Shows here. To take part in YMT's Summer Productions, young people are auditioned and those that are successful are invited to join the YMT Company. Auditions take place nationwide throughout January and February. Selection is based upon which project best suits the abilities of the young person and not on where they live. Information about Auditions can be found here.
- Skills Courses: these offer the same type of experience as the productions (they are residential and involve the creation of new work in an intensive working atmosphere) but young people don't need to audition and they last just one week instead of two or three. more about skills here.
Most of our projects are residential, so young people are in our care for the duration of their time with us. We have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of all young people aged 11 through to 21. For those aged under 16 we are in loco parentis and for those over 16 we still have a duty of care. You can visit our Pastoral Protection page for further information on our policies and child protection.
The ‘YMT experience’ is incredibly intense and highly creative with long hours – up to ten hours of rehearsals a day. Your child will be working with industry staff who treat them like professional artists and will expect the same in return. Our projects (courses and productions) are residential, and participants live on-site with creative and pastoral staff. Young people often tell us that being on a YMT project is like being in a bubble, remote from the real world and surrounded by like-minded people. This kind of environment, plus being away from home, enables them to build powerful, long-lasting friendships and develop their social skills such as team work, leadership, self-discipline and listening whilst building confidence and self-esteem. And of course their performance skills improve in leaps and bounds with at least 30% of our alumni going on into top level Higher Educatiion training at Drama School or Conservatoire and others taking their skills and YMT experience into other career areas, both within the creative industries and without.
Working with YMT will probably be quite different from performance experiences that your son/daughter/dependant has had in the past. We create new music theatre, so they won’t be doing familiar repertoire that they may have done at school or with their local youth theatre (e.g. Annie, Oliver, West Side Story), the cast will be contributing creatively through improvisation, lyric writing, choreographing and composing alongside our experienced artistic staff. Working with YMT is challenging, and is excellent preparation and experience for those considering a career in theatre.
Many of the productions include young people across the age spectrum – from 11-21. Others may be restricted to those over 16 because the material is of a more adult nature and some may be for just under 16s. Our open access Skills Courses are also open to anyone aged 11-21.
Our projects almost always take part in school/college/university holidays, mostly in the summer. Very occasionally, a production may overlap with some school terms, but we find that most schools are happy to release pupils once they know they have been selected to join a major national company. We also take into consideration the varying term dates in Scotland and Northern Ireland when we are casting for productions.
The cost of our activities varies dependending on the nature of the course. A Skills Course cost starts at around £570 for the week, with longer projects from around £1,450 for 2/3 weeks. This covers:
- Training from excellent professional artistic staff and care from our pastoral team – we have high staff/student ratios
- Residential accommodation
- Meals, drinks and snacks
- A contribution to theatre costs, marketing and our overheads.
We appreciate this is a substantial amount of money and have developed a number of ways of addressing funding issues:
- All course fees can be broken down into smaller instalments across several months
- We have developed a pack to help young people fundraise from a huge variety of sources - their school, local trusts, Rotary/Lions clubs, local business sponsorship, events and donations from friends and family.
- We operate a Bursary Scheme that offers bursaries of up to 75% of the course fee for those households on low income. Anyone who has a gross household income of up to £30,000 per year is eligible to apply but we still expect parents and children to make an effort at fundraising.
- If you have any funding issues, please call the office on 020 8563 7725 and speak to the office. We are always here to provide advice and guidance. Rest assured that nobody will ever be excluded for financial reasons.
We only cast roles once a production or course has started, so all the participants have an equal chance; inevitably some people receive larger roles than others but everyone is part of a close ensemble. Creating a strong, cohesive company is one of the most important parts of a YMT project as it is an important skill that lies at the centre of the professional industry and is a crucial part of any young performer’s education.
We provide a full information pack whenever a young person joins a project, which includes:
- Details of venues for performances and residential accommodation, with a map and directions
- When to arrive
- What to bring (and what to leave at home!)
- What to wear
- Who the staff working on your project will be
- Contact details
- What to expect and what the show/course will be about
Parents/carers will be given an emergency contact number to use for the duration of the project. This mobile phone is staffed by a member of the pastoral team 24 hours a day. Young people are not allowed to have their mobile phone switched on in the rehearsal room but on arrival at the venue they are informed of break/meal/start & finish times, so you can catch up with them then. Pastoral phones will be switched on one week in advance of the start of the course. Before and after the project you can contact our office (020 8563 7725 or email@example.com).
We have Employers’ and Public Liability Insurance through Zurich Insurance. The company does not cover insurance of personal items and assumes no responsibility for damage, loss or theft of personal property on any of our premises. It is advisable to ensure that musical instruments or any other items of value are covered by your household insurance policy. Expensive jewellery, cameras etc. are better left at home!
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer a refund in the event that you cancel or withdraw from the project once you have signed and returned the Acceptance Form (terms and conditions are explained in full). We strongly recommend that you take out full insurance that includes cover against the loss of deposit or cancellation charges. Activity Holiday Insurance can be obtained from a variety of companies. Check with your own travel/home insurance providers to see if your current policy covers you already.
Whether you have a question, concern, complaint, or you want to tell us what a great job we’re doing, your feedback enables us to constantly review and improve the services that we provide to young people. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8563 7725.
Any more questions?
Please give us a call on 020 8563 7725 and we’ll direct you to the most relevant member of our team for advice.