The Number 1 reason why so many young musicians choose BISYOC year after year is the amazing social environment. Everybody who comes to BISYOC is looking to make new friends, and looking for people who think the same way they do. BISYOC is a youth exchange, which means it is purpose-designed to offer young people the maximum chance to interact socially and culturally. At the same time, since the focus is on music-making, the people you will meet there have something very significant in common with you – the passion for playing music. BISYOC’s unique friendly atmosphere means that you can enjoy playing music together without the pressure and competitiveness that you might experience in a music conservatoire or academy.
With some music summer schools and masterclasses costing more than EUR 600 for just 7 days, we know that cost is a very important consideration for many young musicians. As BISYOC is a Youth Exchange involving participants from 10 or more countries, we receive assistance from the European Union’s Erasmus+ funding programme, which means we can keep the cost to you below EUR 600 for 12 days…which means you can spend more time together with everybody without digging deeper into your pocket! The cost includes all your meals, bed, cultural activities and music-making for 12 days.
BISYOC is relaxed and informal, but the music-making is what we are really here for, so there is no compromise on top-quality musical standards. Applicants to BISYOC are carefully selected on the basis of their previous experience, to be suitable for the level of the challenging repertoire that we work on. This is a chance to gain experience learning and performing in a large symphony orchestra and stretch yourself playing music you may not get the opportunity to play at home. You also learn daily from our highly experienced international team of tutors – all professional musicians and music educators. It is definitely a place where you can develop your musicianship skills…and your life skills on top.
There is plenty to do at BISYOC and you will be actively encouraged to put away your phone, step out of your comfort zone, and get yourself involved in all kinds of activities throughout the day. The cultural exchange aspect is the main thing which makes BISYOC unique from other orchestras, so as well as orchestral rehearsals we have dancing, cooking, singing, yoga, games and sports as part of the daily programme. The music programme offers the chance to play chamber music, and for those who wish to stretch their creative skills, there is a daily workshop based on improvising and composing – leading to a short performance at the end.
BISYOC is in a beautiful location. Imagine a place on a lakeshore, surrounded by mountains on every side, far from any big cities, surrounded by trees, grass, sky…Take a walk and sample Struga's bustling street markets. Take a boat ride on the lake. Enjoy a shady, quiet place to read a book with a view. We also take you to local places of interest – the area around Struga is full of ancient churches and other historic buildings and we include at least one day trip in our programme. Our orchestral concerts take place in Struga – and the attractive mountain resort of Bitola.