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SCO Academy - Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

SCO Academy courses are completely free!

What standard do I have to play at?

You should have already reached at least Grade 6 standard for strings, and Grade 5 for percussion.

If I don’t have exam certificates can I still take part?

Yes, as long as we receive a recommendation from your teacher. Please ask your teacher to email Atzi Muramatsu at connect@sco.org.uk to confirm that the repertoire we have chosen is of a suitable standard for you.

Do I have to audition?

There are no auditions, but places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

I am a percussionist and I don't have access to my instrument. Can I still join in?

You do not need access to your instrument to take part in the Percussion Academy. We encourage you to join us whether you have your instrument with you or not and can give advice on how to create instruments using household items.

How do I book a place?

- Apply online at www.sco.org.uk/academy

- We will email you to confirm your place within a week of receiving your application.

- If your section is full, we will ask if you would like to be added to the waiting list and will let you know as soon as possible if a place becomes available.

What if I can’t join every week?

We expect participants to be able to attend all three online sessions, and encourage as many as possible to join us for the final live session in Edinburgh. The course dates are

String Academy
Sunday 7 November | Group 1, 2 – 3pm or Group 2, 3.30 - 4.30pm
Sunday 14 November | 2 – 3pm
Sunday 21 November | Group 1, 2 – 3pm or Group 2, 3.30 - 4.30pm
Sunday 28 November | 2 - 5pm (at George Watson's College, Edinburgh)

Percussion Academy

Sunday 7 November | 2 – 3pm
Sunday 14 November | 2 – 4.30pm
Sunday 21 November | 2 – 3pm
Sunday 28 November | 2 - 5pm (at George Watson's College, Edinburgh)

When will we be sent the preparation materials?

We will send you the preparation materials on or before Monday 18 October.

String Academy participants will receive parts and a link to a video of the course repertoire. This video will also be used when we play through the repertoire online in week 3.

Percussion Academy participants will receive the parts, a video of the repertoire, and instructions on how to submit audio recordings during the course.

We will email you instructions on how to access the Zoom session on or before Monday 1 November.

Do I need to learn the repertoire and/or excerpts beforehand?

You should familiarise yourself with the repertoire and/or excerpts, but we don’t expect you to perfect your part before the course.

What do I need to prepare for online sessions?

While any device will work, including mobile phones and tablets, we recommend you use a laptop or desktop computer if available. Before joining each session you need to ensure microphone and camera functions are enabled, have printed parts and a pencil ready on the music stand, your instrument tuned and be ready to play. We will provide you with a guide document on how to set up your Zoom in advance.

Will there be a public performance?

The String Academy session on week 3 will involve an online playthrough to a video of a recent SCO performance. Family and friends are welcome to tune in and join us for a chat afterwards.

There are no public performances for the Academies, but friends and families are invited to listen in at the end of the live session on week 4.

Will I be filmed?

We encourage you to record each session on zoom, so that you can revisit the coaching at a later date.

Screen shots or short clips of the sessions may be used by the SCO and St Mary’s Music School for reporting and marketing purposes only. In accordance with the SCO Child Protection Policy, we will record each session but the footage will not be shared and will be deleted after one month.

What should I do if I need special assistance?

We offer financial assistance towards travel costs for the live session in Edinburgh.

Please email SCO Education Officer Atzi Muramatsu at connect@sco.org.uk if you need technical assistance or have any other requirements.