Arts Administration Internships

Orchestras are complicated and have so many components that need to work in order for them to run. One of these is good arts administrators, and not only arts administrators, but arts administrators that know about orchestras. The National Youth Orchestra Foundation identified this as a problem for our industry and we have actively worked to help introduce the next generation of arts administrators to the field. The Foundation runs internship programmes during the year for young individuals who are interested in learning about Arts Administration. The programme is usually 3 to 6 months long where the intern is forced out of their comfort zone, learning not only how the Nationals office is run and managed, but also how Nationals courses are planned, prepared and followed through – acquiring skills related to the orchestra and its many facets: teamwork, interpersonal and external communication, arts marketing, operations, orchestra management, financial management etc.

Joy MeyerJoy Meyer, 22, currently busy with her Masters degree in Musicology at the North West University in Potchefstroom joined the Nationals Team in April 2015. Here is what she had to say about her experience in the Nationals office:

“On Fridays we take the Gautrain to Johannesburg, cramming into a four-cart train. Making friends with fellow commuters, “It’s Sello. Like cello, but Sello.” We also spend the train ride talking to people about what we do in the office. This internship has taught me a lot about arts administration, that would come in handy someday if I want to start my own community-music programmes. Writing funding proposals and annual reports is a skill that I am glad I have learnt through this internship.

I like spending my Fridays with my fellow Nationals team members while we organise the next music opportunities for young South African musicians. It’s an amazing opportunity to learn what goes on behind the scenes.”


Elaine NkoanaElaine Nkoana, 22, currently busy with the Teacher’s Training Programme at the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra in Johannesburg joined the Nationals Team at the end of April 2015. This is what she said about her internship:

“My experience with the National Youth Orchestra over the past few months has been quite an interesting journey right from the get go. At first I was a bit scared because obviously I did not know what to expect, though I took it as it all came and survived, especially during course. Working in the office is crazy at times but course is just a totally different world where anything can hit you from any direction and you just have to be ready for it. Having been warned and overly prepared for what may come, I always had my guard up and stepped into my role. I have managed groups before but never a music group, so it was my overall first time in this setting, and added on to that the string section with me being a woodwind player. I have learnt quite a lot though, the short/mini courses held during main course were quite interesting and it was a great privilege to attend where I could. Working with the office team was great from the get go, they make one feel free and happy, even when it’s all tense, you’re still happy. Then course team, I barely saw anyone when the running around started, but it was still chilled.

They are awesome people to work with though, and I also learnt a lot from each of them. I am still yet to come across a normal musician. But I figure this is our normal so anything out of this is weird, which is alright with me.

I truly had a wonderful time with everyone and appreciate every moment spent with the team.”

If you would like to be considered for the internship programme, please send your CV to