Our successful Music Education Outreach and Development Programmes include, but are not limited to:

  1. In-school and after school music tuition on various instruments such as Violin, Cello, Double Bass, Recorder, Trumpet and Trombone, Euphonium, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone and Percussion.
  2. Music Theory.
  3. Aural Training.
  4. Ensembles and Bands.
  5. Symphony Groups (Developmental-, Strings-, Woodwind-, Percussion, Junior and Senior Orchestras.
  6. International Accredited Exams for Grades, Diplomas & Licentiates with Rockschool, UNISA, ABRSM and Trinity College London.
  7. Youth Choirs Training.

Public schools do not always provide enrichment programmes with outlets for students to express themselves creatively. Very few affordable, if any, organised music programmes are available in the West Coast to children from disadvantaged areas and schools. Children need enrichment programmes to keep them motivated and complete their school careers.

According to statistics, musically stimulated children, participating in any type of group music environment, are seven times more likely to finish their high school career. WCYO programmes transfer skills by teaching them to play an instrument of their choice, build their confidence and teach them respect and responsibility. Thus, WCYO changes lives, develop creative talents, build solid foundations for at-risk children and the youth of the West Coast, strengthen their cognitive abilities and ensure that they have a successful educational background and a stronger kick-start for their future.

At the WCYO, we cultivate a love for orchestral and group performances with weekly tutoring sessions. We believe that students should be taught all genres of the music spectrum. Classical and orchestra music is typically not part of their home lives and becomes a unique channel to create a common ground for our students to learn the value of what it means to work together, share experiences while gaining confidence and character.

WCYO picThis programme is vital to the development of our students as we create opportunities for them to showcase their diverse cultural and artistic South African heritage, by performing repertoires that combines classical instruments with traditional African instruments like marimbas and djembes, to create a new and vibrant sound. Click here for information on how you can support our Orchestral Programmes.

Music stimulates brain development in children and is a stress reliever. Players learn perseverance when practicing a skill for a long time in order to achieve success, which leads to better self-confidence. The ability to focus and concentrate improves, as well as memory and listening skills. These programmes help students to set and work towards goals and allow them to have fun in a safe environment where they are always under the eye of trained tutors or professionals.

Established in 2017, the WCYO Jazz Band programme encourages students to socially interact with experienced musicians while performing at various events and learn valuable skills in the performance industry.

Jazz Band members enjoy their weekly rehearsals under the guidance of experienced musicians. They are freely taught, from a young age, to experiment with their instruments, improvise and perform from memory. Creativity plays a huge role in the Jazz Bands and contributes to the development of musicians who can perform with great ease and confidence on any stage.

WCYO Jazz Band

WCYO Performing at the Cape Town Jazzathon, V&A Waterfront.

Mentors like Camillo Robert Lombard and Craig Parks graciously shared their wisdom and expertise with our students and have become a vital part of the jazz learning process.

This programme teaches our musicians to maintain an open and respectful attitude towards other group members by working with them as equals, regardless of age, gender, proficiency level, nationality, religion and race. Performing in the various jazz bands expands and enriches the players’ self-esteem and confidence, helping them to become well rounded musicians.

The Senior Jazz Band has already performed at the opening of the annual Club Mykonos Festival, the 21st Cape Town Jazzathon and Jazz on the Rocks in Paternoster and various other events. More exciting events are planned for this very enthusiastic group.

Click here to book a jazz band or ensemble.

Our Outreach and Development Programme, consist of a range of music and theory lessons, that take place once a week, on-site at identified marginalised schools.

WCYO Outreach

WCYO Diazville Outreach Programme

All these students have full access to music education via WCYO, from beginner level, intermediate to advanced, up to after school training and career driven tuition, depending on their choices, donations and sponsorship. See our Bursary and Sponsorship Programme.

WCYO Diazville

Diazville Bucket-drumming group. This is preparation to percussion training and very effective to develop all rhythmic aspects. This is a very popular group activity and ideal for stimulating and engaging the more active children.

All Outreach and Development students have access to all other WCYO programmes and are also assisted by the Woolworths feeding scheme.

Click here for more information on how to support our Outreach and Development Programme.

Musiquelaine SA, in partnership with Yamaha, established an exciting new Recorder Project in Cape Town in the Western Cape. Following this development, WCYO also launched the programme in the West Coast, offering free training sessions for volunteers and school teachers, including free recorder and teaching materials.The idea of this project is to bring music, especially recorder tuition, back into schools

WCYO Recorder Programme

Training session for teachers.

The West Coast Yamaha Recorder Programme already gave two free training sessions to school teachers and volunteers at the end of 2019.

All Recorders are engraved manually before they go out to schools for tuition to keep track of donations.From January 2020, various schools will actively implement this 30 minute per week recorder class programme in their schools, by using these trained staff to teach the learners during school hours.

We greatly appreciate the first two donations of 500 Soprano Recorders each, from Musiquelaine France and Yamaha South Africa. This gave the West Coast Yamaha Recorder Programme a kick-start for 2020.

The West Coast Project is still in need of many more Soprano Recorders and will be raising funds for this purpose.

Click here if you would like to donate towards this project.

A large percentage of our students come from a single parent and/or low income household and are in need of financial assistance to stay part of our programmes.

The 2018 STATS SA General Household Survey states that 37.3% of the household income in the Western Cape is generated by social government grants, which indicates the high level of unemployment and poverty on the West Coast. With the total shut down of Saldanha Steel, one of the biggest employment companies on the West Coast, the above figure will increase dramatically, as many of the households generated income from Saldanha Steel.

The Scholarship and Bursary Programme allows these students the opportunity to take part in international practical and theoretical exams, attend rehearsals, receive lessons and music accessories without the added stress of financial worries.

The West Coast consist of various small towns, more or less between 35 to 75 kilometers apart and some of the students in these programmes comes from towns even further away. It is a huge challenge for parents and families to commit, on behalf of their children, to pay for transport to get them to lessons and rehearsals on a weekly basis.

Scholarships and bursaries are rewarded on a student merit and need basis and are treated confidentially. Funds vary from year to year and the WCYO always strives to help as many students in need as possible. Due to limited funds, not all students can be assisted. This is an unfortunate situation as we believe that all children have the RIGHT to do music, but without the necessary funds, it becomes an impossible task.

We rely heavily on the generosity of individuals and corporate companies for financial support to aid these students and every effort is made to increase the amount available to our students on an annual basis.

All financials are audited annually to ensure all donations and funds are used in an ethic and legal way and all donors may request more information, if needed.

Click here for more information on how to support our programmes.


In collaboration with the Westcoast Music Academy (Pty) Ltd, the University of Stellenbosch and Free State University, we offer various certificate courses, from Introductory to the Higher Certificate of Music Performance and the first year Diploma in Music to West Coast students at our local satellite campus.

The certificate courses of Stellenbosch University can be completed at introductory, intermediate and advanced levels and after completion the student receives a music certificate at the certificate ceremony at the University of Stellenbosch.

University of Free State subjects are taught as short-learning courses and can be done either as a single subject or in combination. This provides students without prior musical training or experience the wonderful opportunity to obtain a certificate and/or diploma in music that can provide university entry.


Without job opportunities, our youth are exposed to poverty and social exclusion and are likely to become dependent on family support, social grants and can even be marginalised from ordinary society. The 2019 Western Cape Government Provincial Treasury, Provincial Economic Review and Outlook Document states that youth unemployment remains a critical challenge, especially concentrated amongst younger cohorts and those with lower levels of education. Youth accounted for 63.4% of the unemployed in the Province in the first quarter of 2019. Of these, the majority were aged 25 to 34 years equals 39.7% of provincial unemployment. Therefore, it is imperative that companies created opportunities for youth to gain employment experience to make a positive impact on the high unemployment rate.

Our EPWP programme, in collaboration with the Department of Culture Affairs, has since 2016, given eight prior and three current unemployed youths the opportunity to receive basic Employability Skills Training, to become job ready and gain valuable skills through pre-employment training. The WCYO also assist the participants to obtain their drivers licences, enrol in various music short learning courses through the University of Stellenbosch Satellite campus and/or any accredited education institution. All EPWP participants receive in-house training for Basic Arts Management, Office Administration, Computer Literacy, Logistics Management, Inventory Control, Group Classes Tutoring, Music Development, Choral Development, Band & Ensemble Management, Social Media and Advertising & Marketing.

Our EPWP participants have been to several workshops with WCYO management, e.g. Arterial Network in Lange, BASA in Artscape and SA Culture in Bo-Kaap to name but a few. We strive to create as many opportunities for our participants to learn, train, educate and gain valuable employment and life skills.

Since we have programmes in various towns along the West Coast, we are in the fortunate position to offer employment opportunities to youths from different communities and positively impact more than one community.

The West Coast Youth Orchestra is proud to be part of the EPWP initiative, which have a positive effect on the high unemployment rate of the West Coast. We will recommend our participants, without hesitation to any employer, as persons with high values, morals and commitment being a true example of an all rounded and well-mannered employee.

Email Carina Brown at director@wcyo.org.za or info@wcyo.org.za for more info.


The WCYO’s youth development programmes include students at various ages, races, areas, schools and levels of development:

  • Orchestral and Ensemble Programmes, including all levels
  • Jazz Programmes
  • Outreach and Development Programmes
  • West Coast Yamaha Recorder Programme

The results and success of our programmes can be seen annually when our students take part in the International Stellenbosch Chamber Festival, South African National Orchestra, Cape Town Youth Orchestra and Franschhoek Music Festival.

Many students have chosen music as a career and have completed, or are still pursuing, their studies.