Our Work with Young People

Year-round and during August, we work with a number of young people on projects that range from explorations of the artforms and international artists we present on stage through to opportunities to participate and perform at the International Festival, connecting at all times to relevant curriculum learnings.

Young Music Pass

Four youth orchestra musicians, dressed in blue blazers and red trousers, stand holding their musical instruments outside the Usher Hall.

The National Youth Orchestra of the USA outside the Usher Hall

© 2019 Ryan Buchanan

Discover a world of classical music for free.

Every year some of the world’s finest musicians, orchestras and ensembles come to perform in Edinburgh at the International Festival. With a Young Music Pass, you can see them for free!

From world-class orchestras at the Usher Hall, to breathtaking soloists, singers and instrumentalists at The Queens Hall, the International Festival’s classical music programme has something for everyone. Every year we give away hundreds of free concert tickets to local young people, so why not take up the opportunity to experience the best classical music from around the world on your doorstep?

Learn more

Opera Project

The performances were all very interesting. The workshop was extremely engaging. It was a very creative and unique way to show us different opera styles.

A pupil from The Royal High School


Made me want to go and see an opera.

A pupil from The Royal High School

The International Festival’s Opera Project is an annual initiative that seeks to make the artform of opera accessible to young people, breaking down barriers and perceptions. After a brief hiatus, Opera Project returned this year in a new format which looked at opera across the ages and how the artform has evolved. Covering a wide array of musical concepts and techniques, this year’s project was designed to sit alongside the secondary music curriculum and is suitable for S3 and above.

We are looking to present our next Opera Project in September 2022. If you would like to know more or participate in a future workshop, please email learn@eif.co.uk

This project was made possible through the generous support of the Stevenson Charitable Trust.

Lament for Sheku Bayoh

Two women stand on stage with emotional expressions, with a guitarist in the background

Lament for Sheku Bayoh

© 2020 Mihaela Bodlovic

Following inclusion in the 2021 Edinburgh International Festival programme, we have teamed up with the National Theatre of Scotland and the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh to bring schools across Scotland access to Hannah Lavery’s Lament for Sheku Bayoh.

Suitable for upper secondary school, Lament for Sheku Bayoh is a poetic reflection on grief for the human behind the headlines and a non-apologetic reflection on racism in Scotland today. Available via the National Theatre of Scotland’s new education portal, teachers can get access to a film of the full production of the play as well as an in-depth teachers’ resource that explores the themes of the play and how to tackle them in the classroom, as well as a creative writing workshop from Hannah Lavery.

Teachers can sign up for the NTS’ Education Portal here.

Young Musician's Passport

Every year some of the world’s finest musicians, orchestras and ensembles come to perform in Edinburgh at the International Festival. With a Young Musician’s Passport we offer our younger audiences the chance to see them for free!

This year, with Covid-19 restrictions and smaller venue capacities, we worked on a special ballot system to allow over 150 young people the opportunity to attend classical music events in the Festival for free. This was made possible through the generous support of the Turtleton Charitable Trust and The Pirie Rankin Charitable Trust.

Previous Projects