Open Sound Ensemble

Applications are now open for our Open Sound Ensemble taster day on Tuesday 30 July 2019

John Webb, Open Sound Ensemble Leader

The London Philharmonic Orchestra is excited to launch our Open Sound Ensemble from Autumn 2019 – a free creative music opportunity for young people of secondary school age with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents/carers in Greenwich. Open Sound Ensemble courses will run three times a year in school holidays and focus on making new music in an inclusive, supportive and creative environment. The project is run with the support of the Royal Greenwich Music Hub, through the South Riverside Music Partnership.

Open Sound Ensemble – Taster Day

We will be running an Open Sound Ensemble taster day on Tuesday 30 July 2019. Applications are now open and we would love to invite you to apply to be part of our first ever ensemble session.

What can I expect from the Open Sound Ensemble?

Working as one group alongside specialist workshop leaders, John and Dav, and musicians from the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), we will create, rehearse and perform our own music. We will use a mixture of traditional and digital instruments to explore sounds, rhythms and melodies, and devise new music together. We will be interacting with each other as an ensemble, sometimes following cues from the LPO team and each other, and sometimes making our own creative decisions. Open Sound Ensemble courses will often conclude with a short informal sharing to family and friends of the music that the group has created.

Open Sound Ensemble sessions are based around a structure but the sessions will always respond flexibly to the individual requirements of the young musicians taking part, creating a musical role for everyone in the group. All professionals involved are experienced and trained to work specifically with young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

On Tuesday 30 July we will be running two different Open Sound Ensemble sessions, and there is the option to be involved in either the morning or afternoon group. The session will be two hours long, inclusive of time for young people to access and become orientated with the space. Each session will include time for breaks for the young people involved. Places are limited to 10 young people per session.

Date: Tuesday 30 July 2019
Venue: Willow Dene School, Swingate Lane, SE18 2JD
Time: Session 1 (10.00–12.00) Session 2 (13.30–15.30)

Who can take part?

The Open Sound Ensemble is designed to be accessible to young people of secondary school age with special educational needs and disabilities. The courses will be run in Greenwich but we welcome applicants from across Greenwich and other local boroughs. Each young musician will need to be accompanied by a parent or carer – accompanying adults will be required to stay throughout the session and are very welcome to join the ensemble to play alongside their young people if they wish!

Whilst there are no specific entry requirements or audition process for young people, we would suggest that the project will be most suited to those who are:

  • aware of their surroundings and able to interact in a group setting
  • able to follow guidance from the LPO team, make deliberate creative choices and communicate these (verbally or non-verbally) to the group
  • aware of their contribution to the group and able to participate with intention
  • able to maintain focus for an extended period of time (note that there will be flexibility in this and breaks can be taken throughout the sessions as required)

Please note that young people do not need to be able to play an instrument (whether traditional or digital) before they join the ensemble. We will discuss with them and their families how they would like to take part musically in advance of the day.

All applications will be considered on an individual basis, and the LPO Education & Community team will be in touch to discuss your application in more detail once we have received it. If you would like to discuss the application before this point, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

How to apply

Application to the Open Sound Ensemble is a two-stage process:

  • online application form to provide basic details
  • follow up conversation with a member of the LPO Education and Community team

To apply, please click below:

Apply here

We are keen to get to know our ensemble before the project day, and we will be inviting all participating young musicians to meet the LPO team on Monday 17 June, 4pm. This will also be an opportunity to try out a variety of instruments to decide what everyone would like to play on the day. We hope that this will help facilitate music-making on the day and provide an opportunity for parents/carers to meet the LPO team and ask any questions.

If you have any questions about the project or your application don’t hesitate to get in touch – by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 020 7840 4203.

The Open Sound Ensemble is generously supported by the Thomas Deane Trust, John Horniman’s Children’s Trust, The Viney Family and Faraday.