NYJO in Cumbria: Jazz Residential

May 23, 2023

NYJO x Cumbria Music Hub: Easter Jazz Residential  


In April 2023, NYJO partnered with Cumbria Music Hub to host a Jazz Residential weekend, led by NYJO Educator Olivia Murphy. The project was designed to bring together young people from across Cumbria with different musical backgrounds and levels of experience. The weekend combined group music-making sessions and a programme of activities delivered by outdoors leaders at the Hawse End Centre (including canoeing and ghyll scrambling!), resulting in a fun, immersive environment, merging creativity and physical activity. Take a look at the result below!


Mental Health is a major factor in the development of young people’s health and wellbeing. Through outdoor pursuits and music, we are promoting the benefits of physical and mental health. We are equipping the young people with a toolbox of activities they can draw on to navigate life’s future challenges.

Marion Hinds, Cumbria Music Hub




We know that rural isolation is a barrier for many young people looking to access music-making opportunities across Cumbria. The decision to deliver the project as a residential meant that young people received around 4 hours a day of face-to-face music making contact time, without the usual barriers in finding appropriate transport to rehearsals. Full bursaries and free transport was provided for young people who would otherwise have been unable to attend. As a result, a group of young people were able to share the joys of learning and playing together, supporting each other, and making new friends, regardless of their background or financial circumstances.


It has helped me to make friends with other young musicians. I enjoy playing a lot more and I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished. I feel more confident now. I have learnt different ways of coming up with solid melodies and also a little bit on harmonies. I think it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.

Anna, young musician



Every young person deserves to benefit from dynamic, open access music-making experiences. Through our Widening Access programme, we support Hubs and Music Services to try out new ways of supporting young people to overcome barriers to accessing these opportunities. This residential was an exciting, creative way to explore improving access to group music-making for young musicians across Cumbria.


I wanted all of the young people to have a go at improvising during this project and have them finish the residential feeling more comfortable with the idea of composing and soloing, and have an idea about how open jazz music can be. I feel like this was really achieved – everyone was happy to take a solo in our final performance and they all sounded amazing.

Olivia Murphy, NYJO Educator



If you work for a Hub or Music Service and are interested in finding out more about our Widening Access programme, please get in touch today by emailing NYJO’s Head of Learning Vikki Maudave, or calling 0330 500  2002.

Lucy-Anne (EP quote)

“Since joining NYJO, I’m so much more confident as a performer. Especially in terms of being able to entertain and keep the crowd engaged with you. It’s really nice to be able to feel that difference.” 

Lucy-Anne, NYJO Emerging Professional (Vocals)

Georgia (EP quote)

“It’s hard to just learn this music in the practice room but being immersed in the music at NYJO is a great environment to really push my playing. ” 

Georgia Ayew, NYJO Emerging Professional (Drums)

Sam Eastmond (MD quote)

"Giving them space to create whatever they wanted, without setting parameters of idiom or style helped them to conceptualise how they could bring these new concepts into their work without scaring them off, or mystifying the process."

Sam Eastmond, NYJO Educator

Jazzwise quote

"NYJO has never been conformist, never hewing to one particular line, never known for fawning replications and very deliberately these days a vehicle for new possibilities."

Jazzwise Magazine

Lydia (EP quote)

"The past year has been an absolutely incredible experience, pushing me way out of my comfort zone into playing with some of the greatest young jazz players of my generation and getting to call them my colleagues and friends has been beyond inspiring, and also an obscene amount of fun!"

Lydia Cochrane, NYJO Emerging Professional (Saxophone)

Anna (Learning national quote)

"[The NYJO residential in Cumbria] helped me to make friends with other young musicians. I enjoy playing a lot more and I’m quite proud of what I’ve accomplished. I feel more confident now. I have learnt different ways of coming up with solid melodies and also a little bit on harmonies. I think it’s been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had."

Anna, NYJO Learning Widening Access participant

Briony (Learning U18s quote)

"I’ve felt very fortunate to be surrounded by amazing musicians, and I think that the environment at NYJO – which has fostered creativity and improvisation – has allowed my confidence and musical ideas to grow."

Briony, NYJO Under 18s

Oscar (Learning U18s quote)

"I think I’ve progressed a lot in my piano-playing. NYJO has helped me to flourish and really enjoy it. I’ve really enjoyed being engrossed in a high level of playing and learning things in a hands-on-way. I also like the diversity of perspectives and abilities of all the players and teachers which enables me to try things I might not normally."

Oscar, NYJO Under 18s

Jennie (Learning U18s quote)

"NYJO has got me listening to more jazz and learning more changes. It has also helped with working as a band. I’ve really enjoyed the free jazz, learning by ear, the people, and the atmosphere."

Jennie, NYJO Under 18s

Leah-Anais (Learning U18s quote)

"I love the people at NYJO. Everyone here is so encouraging and lovely and it makes the experience worthwhile. Though I have fun I’m still learning on the way which makes me feel productive too."

Leah-Anais, NYJO Under 18s

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