Bonas MacFarlane Music

Premier Music Mentoring and Tuition for Aspiring Young Musicians

Bonas MacFarlane Music provides high level mentoring and tuition to aspiring young musicians. Our world-class teachers and performers help students secure school and university places, win scholarships, and excel in competitions and auditions across the classical music, pop, and musical theatre repertoire.

We offer tailored support at every stage of a student’s development. We are non-selective and support students of all ages and abilities.

Our support is holistic and our team offers advice and consultancy on the entire arc of a student’s development, thinking long term about how best to develop their talents and realise their full creative potential.

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Our Services

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Premier Mentoring and Tuition:

Inspiration, motivation and expert advice from our outstanding professional mentors and teachers can be transformative for a young musician. Our mentors are some of the most exciting musicians and teachers working today and provide one on one coaching, tuition, advice and support, acting as a catalyst to their development alongside their existing instrumental and vocal teachers. 

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Breaking the 'Grade 5 Ceiling':

Many children spend years learning an instrument at school but never get further than Grade 5. The requirement of Grade 5 Theory can be an obstacle to many, but so too can the jump in technical and expressive ability required by subsequent grades. We work with students to bridge this gap, providing engaging music theory, repertoire and history tuition and the additional support needed to reach the higher grades and gain the full satisfaction that mastering an instrument can bring.

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Scholarships to Music Schools, Choir Schools and Leading Independent Schools

In partnership with our Schools Teams, BM Music supports students preparing for music scholarship auditions at leading British Independent Schools such as Eton College, Charterhouse and Winchester College and in applications to specialist music schools such as Well’s Cathedral School, Cheetham’s School of Music and the Yehudi Menuhin School.

We also support families applying for choristerships at Britain’s leading choral foundations such King’s College Cambridge, St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London.

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Scholarships to UK and US Conservatoires and Universities

In partnership with our Higher Education Team, we support aspiring musicians in applying to leading conservatoires in Britain and conservatories in the United States, such as the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute. 

We bring a deep understanding of the differences in focus between UK and US applications and the approaches needed to excel in each. 

We also support students preparing Supplementary Submissions in music to accompany Ivy League and other US College applications that can be key extracurricular differentiators. 

We provide expert academic tuition to those applying for undergraduate Music courses at Oxford, Cambridge and other leading UK Universities. We offer advice, guidance and support for those applying for choral and organ scholarships to college choirs in Oxford and Cambridge.

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Preparation for Exams, Auditions, Competitions and Performances

Major exams, auditions, competitions and performances can involve months of careful preparation. Our consultants are professional musicians for whom this is a regular feature of their working lives and who can mentor and guide students throughout this process, offering unparalleled advice and support as they prepare for their big day. 

We advise on technique and interpretation, on developing effective practice routines, creating opportunities for dry-run performances, managing workflow and on approaches to building mental resilience, creative unblocking and tackling ‘stage fright’.

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Audio and Video Recording

Producing an outstanding video demo and/or audio recording is essential for most school, college and conservatory applications. It can also provide a fantastic motivator and learning opportunity for a student as well as a means of sharing their talents with family, friends and on social media. 

We partner with specialist sound engineers and music production companies who can provide state of the art recording and editing services in bespoke venues in London. 

We also provide advice on home recording and editing, helping students maximise the effectiveness of equipment as simple as a smartphone to achieve their best results.

Meet the team

Ed Ballard
Ed BallardDirector
Ed is Head of Bonas MacFarlane Music, managing and overseeing all of its students and mentors. He brings extensive first-hand knowledge of pathways into opera, classical singing, choral scholarships, music scholarships and choristerships. Ed worked for over ten years as a freelance opera singer, performing in opera houses across Britain, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Switzerland, including the Glyndebourne Festival, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Royal Opera House. He was a chorister at the Temple Church, a Music Scholar at City of London School and a Choral Scholar in Clare College and King’s College Choir in Cambridge. Ed studied at Cambridge University, the Royal Academy of Music and with the Royal Academy Opera, graduating with Distinction.
Eleonora Bekhova
Eleonora BekhovaSenior Consultant
Eleonora is an outstanding teacher of classical piano and has helped numerous students win scholarships to leading schools and conservatoires across the world. She first came to prominence as the pianist in the acclaimed Bekova Piano Trio and is a household name across Russia and Kazakhstan. Her extensive catalogue of recordings encompasses the main body of piano trio repertoire and as a soloist she has appeared with many of the world's leading orchestras and in its most prestigious concert venues. She was a resident piano teacher at Eton College for many years and has given piano Masterclasses at schools and conservatoires across the world.
Jamie Bo
Jamie BoSenior Consultant
Jamie is a rising star of the West End and mentors students working in music and the stage. He is a highly experienced US college advisor with a particular focus on students wishing to major in music and the dramatic arts. His West End appearances include the lead role in the UK premiere of the musical Moulin Rouge! at the Piccadilly Theatre and as Alex in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love at the Lyric. Jamie trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London and at Yale University, where he majored in playwriting.
Gregory Drott
Gregory DrottSenior Consultant
Greg is an academic specialist in Music and Musicology who has taught students for over ten years at Cambridge University. He is also a concert pianist and organist having studied at both the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music. He is Director of Music at a central London church and a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, with extensive experience of mentoring organists for Oxbridge, conservatoire and cathedral organ scholarship applications. Greg studied at Cambridge University at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and will complete his PhD in 2024.
James Henshaw
James HenshawSenior Consultant
James is a specialist in classical voice, opera and classical conducting with thousands of hours of teaching experience. He is an Olivier nominated Opera, Choral and Orchestral Conductor and has worked at many of the world’s top opera houses, including Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Bayerische Staatsoper, and English National Opera, professional choirs including the BBC Singers and orchestras including the London Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2013 he founded his own orchestra, The Outcry Ensemble, with whom he has been a champion of young composers, and with whom he recently conducted the complete symphonic works of Beethoven and Brahms. James studied at Cambridge University and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating with Distinction.
Cameron Richardson-Eames
Cameron Richardson-EamesSenior Consultant
Cameron is a highly sought after vocal teacher and coach who has supported vocal students from across the world win leading roles on both stage and screen. He is known for his work with clients on Broadway, major Hollywood movies, US and U.K. TV, and mainstream pop artists. With vast industry experience, Cameron’s students have appeared as principals in Broadway and West End shows and National Tours, major Hollywood movies, and TV shows (including sung voiceover). He holds degrees from The Juilliard School, Cambridge University, and the Royal Academy of Music, and was the recipient of the highly prestigious Fulbright Scholarship.
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