Scottish violinist and BBC Proms sensation Nicola Benedetti made a pit stop in Sydney on her way to perform with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. But rather than sell out a concert hall here, she chose to visit pint-sized musicians at Concord West Public School and held a master class with the Sydney Youth Orchestra.

But if that seems like little more than a cute publicity stunt and a photo op, think again. Benedetti is passionately outspoken on matters of music education and active in supporting the El Sistema program in Scotland. She studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School as a teenager, securing a £2 million record deal at the age of 16. Now 25, and still just eligible to play in Sydney Youth Orchestra herself, she makes an ideal role model.

“It’s a momentary inspiration for children to have someone who is a young performer come and play with them,” she said. “That experience can stay with them for an awfully long time and can get them through many hours of practice. For me, it is always worth the time. And there istime to do it; you can fit in school visits and meeting...