Music Education UK

SCO Reconnect

Edinburgh, UK

SCO ReConnect is a programme of interactive, creative music workshops for people living with dementia.

This project provides a series of music sessions in which patients are invited and supported to sing, play instruments, improvise and listen. Sessions are delivered by a specialist workshop leader and two SCO musicians and involve dementia patients, visiting family members and NHS staff.

Girls Rock London

London, United Kingdom


Girls Rock London (GRL!) is a music project for girls and women in London.

We are part of a movement of rock camps that take place all over the world, united by a desire to achieve gender equality in the music industry and to ensure that all girls and women get the chance to make music. The aims of the project are to empower girls and women – regardless of previous musical experience – to write and perform music, and to build self-confidence.

The programme we run is a mixture of musical/technical tuition and workshops, which together help to build participants’ self-esteem and confidence, and provide a platform for girls and women to find and develop their voices. Rock Camp is all about trying new things, working together and making lots of NOISE…


Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Jennens Road, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Arco is an innovative alliance, established in 2015 between Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music (CMCM), an inspiring institution in Soweto, Johannesburg.

Arco provides regular distance-learning opportunities for talented children in South Africa, who for multiple reasons, do not have access to the same level of musical education as people in Europe.

Weekly individual instrumental lessons, mentoring and string quartet coaching are delivered by a group of sixteen current students and recent graduates from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire via video conferencing systems. Regular events occurring within Birmingham Conservatoires String Department, such as masterclasses, workshops and performances are streamed live to South Africa for the benefit of the CMCM students. Each summer, Arco teachers from the UK travel to South Africa for the annual festival – an immersive musical experience, building on and solidifying skills learnt throughout the year.

Arco Festival

The Arco Festival is an annual, immersive musical experience in South Africa, building on and solidifying skills learnt throughout the year. The festivals of 2016 and 2017 have been enormously successful and truly life-changing experiences for all involved. Plans for the 2018 festival are already underway.

Arco Exchange

2017 sees the launch of Arco Exchange, with selected Arco students being hosted in the UK for specic projects and festivals. So far, partnerships have been established with the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition and Festival, Chetham’s School of Music and Pro Corda – the National School for Young Chamber Musicians. Three students from Soweto will be traveling to England in November 2017 and we are currently in the process of funding further trips for 2018.

In 2017, Arco piloted a teacher training scheme, welcoming Jan Repko to Soweto to work with Arco teachers. Enormously successful, we will be continuing the scheme with both Jan and celebrated pedagogue Wiesje Miedama in 2018.

Tune Into Listening

Tune into Listening

Birmingham, United Kingdom

West Midlands

Tune into Listening are the proud winners of the Excellence in Primary/Early Years award received at the Music Teacher Award for Excellence 2017.

Tune into Listening was a year-long action research project involving two key partners – Hillfields Children’s Centre in Coventry and Allens Croft Children’s Centre in Birmingham. Evesham Nursery School and Vale of Evesham School and St Paul’s Nursery also participated in the project.

Early Childhood Music Specialist Nicola Burke worked in close partnership with Hillfields and Allens Croft to explore how to create rich music listening experiences for children. Martha Thompson also participated as a shadow musician in the project.

The overarching question was:

‘How can we use recorded music effectively?’

Throughout the project we played with, danced with and painted with the children, listened to and laughed with the children, observed children and debated many themes and ideas. We hope that this resource offers an insight into the project and our findings. We also hope it offers Early Years Educators ideas and inspiration to play a range of music to the young children attending Early Childhood education today – to encourage children to actively listen and ‘keep their ears open.’

A Choir in Every Care Home includes a set of free resources to inspire and support care homes to engage with music

Launched in May 2015, A Choir in Every Care Home explores how music and singing can feature regularly in care homes across the country.

The project hopes to improve the quality of life for people in care homes and help create happy environments for carers, family and care home staff. This is urgently needed as, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, 70% of the growing number of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.

A Choir in Every Care Home is led by three major organisations in the field: Live Music Now, which provides national leadership for musicians working in the care sector, Sound Sense, the UK professional association for community music, and the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health, providing cutting-edge research on the medical and social impacts of singing.

Over the course of the first year, senior representatives of these national organisations met regularly to share knowledge, understand what works, undertake research and consultation and actively create the conditions to make every care home a singing home.

The project relaunched on 20 September 2017 with presentations at the Best Practice in the Care Home Sector conference in Birmingham and the Kindness Can: A Positive Future for Loneliness conference in London.

Header photo: A Choir in Every Care Home includes a set of free resources to inspire and support care homes to engage with music

Musicians in Museums

National Maritime Museum, London, United Kingdom



The Programme

The English Folk Dance and Song Society in partnership with the National Coal Mining Museum for England, the National Maritime Museum, and the Museum of English Rural Life, and funded by Help Musicians, are offering a creative opportunity for folk musicians to become artists-in-residence at one of the aforementioned museums over a 12 month period.

The programme is aimed at folk music artists working in the English folk idiom with a strong knowledge of traditional English music material (songs/tunes), proven creative excellence that draws upon English traditional material, and with proven teaching skills. 

The aim of the programme is to

  • offer a creative opportunity for a professional musician working in the English folk idiom (song/instrumental) to draw upon the collection(s) and themes of the museum to inspire a new piece of music;
  • for the artist to develop their communication skills through leading workshops with eg young people, schools, adult groups, which will illuminate their creative practice and process and providing a different way to present the museum’s collections.
  • bring together tangible and intangible heritage through the creation of a new musical work and associated education projects and develop new audiences for both.

One artist per museum will be appointed and offered a bursary of £5,000 to provide funding for:-

  • research and creative time over a year’s period including an agreed number of contact days with the host museum;
  • devise and deliver 10 days of learning programme;
  • devised and write learning materials to accompany the learning programme to be used be used by EFDSS and the host museum;
  • create 15-20 minutes of new music (song and/or instrumental)
  • 1 public performance  at the end of the residency at the host museum.  A further performance at Cecil Sharp House may also be arranged; an additional performance fee would be paid for this.

There is also a travel/accommodation allowance of £500

The museum may arrange with the artist, and pay for directly, additional teaching days within reason.

The Artist will work with the museum over a period of 12 months, spending sufficient time with the museum staff and collections to fully understand the materials and themes of the host museum.  The exact schedule for the year is flexible and aims to enable artists to continue to undertake a level of other work eg touring, recording etc, but a commitment to this project is crucial.  The Artist will be supported by the Artists Development Team at EFDSS and is also encouraged to use the Vaughan William Memorial Library (EFDSS’s Library) for research (in person/online).

The Residencies

National Coal Mining Museum for England, Wakefield, Yorkshire

The National Coal Mining Museum for England is based at the site of Caphouse Colliery in Overton, near WakefieldWest Yorkshire. It opened in 1988 as the Yorkshire Mining Museum and was granted national status in 1995. The museum offers guided underground tours where visitors can experience the conditions miners worked in and see the tools and machines they used as the industry and the mine developed through the years. Above ground there is a visitor centre which houses exhibitions on the social and industrial history of the mines. The extensive library and archive contains issues of “Coal News” and details of collieries throughout England. Other features include the pit head baths, steam winding house, boiler house and coal screening plant. It is possible to see former working pit ponies, ride the paddy train and follow the nature trail near to Hope Pit and water filtration tanks. | |


Late September/early October 2017 for 12 months


The Artist will work alongside the exhibition team to identify the ‘unseen’ collections of the museum, in particular the art/photography collection and the Library collection.


The Artist will work with some/all of the following:

  • Cultural Olympiad project – workshops to celebrate culture and creativity in the mining industry (families –  autumn half term. 2017)
  • young musicians (11+) who attend Wakefield Music Hub music centres
  • young musicians from local secondary schools 
  • museum volunteers
  • family audience – over summer holiday 2018

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich

The National Maritime Museum (NMM) in Greenwich, London, is the leading maritime museum of the United Kingdom and may be the largest museum of its kind in the world. The historic buildings form part of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site, and it also incorporates the Royal Observatory and 17th-century Queen’s House. In 2012, Her Majesty the Queen formally approved Royal Museums Greenwich as the new overall title for the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, and the Cutty Sark | |

Period – January 2018 for 12 months

Full details will be advertised in September

Museum of English Rural Life, Reading

The Museum of English Rural Life is owned and managed by the University of Reading.  It was established by academics in the Department of Agriculture in 1951 to capture and record the rapidly changing countryside following World War II.  In 2005 the Museum moved to its current premises in St Andrew’s Hall, a building designed by Sir Alfred Waterhouse in 1880 for local businessman Alfred Palmer of the Huntley & Palmer biscuit company.  The Museum was awarded £1.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) in 2014 for the redevelopment of the galleries, reopening in October 2016. The new Museum uses its diverse and surprising collection to explore how the skills and experiences of farmers and craftspeople, past and present, can help shape our lives now and into the future. The Museum has worked alongside rural people, local communities and specialist researchers to create displays and activities that engage with important debates about the future of food and the ongoing relevance of the countryside to all our lives. ||

Period – January/February 2018 for 12 months

Full details will be advertised in September

English Folk Dance and Song Society

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) was established in 1932 by the merger of the Folk-Song Society, founded in 1898, and the English Folk Dance Society, founded by Cecil Sharp in 1911. As the national development organisation for the folk arts, EFDSS aims to place the traditional arts of England at the heart of our cultural life – preserving, protecting, disseminating and promoting English traditional folk arts. Since its beginnings EFDSS has been supporting artists and practitioners, engaging people in folk arts activities, and raising the profile of this art form.  This is currently achieved through programmes of performance, participation and education at EFDSS’ London venue, Cecil Sharp House, and with partners in the UK and overseas. EFDSS is increasingly developing projects to support the creative development of artists and expanding their opportunities for performance. | |

Connect: Resound

North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Yorkshire and Humberside

Connect: Resound explores how digital technologies can be used in rurally isolated areas to provide instrumental tuition, access to live music performances and teacher training.

Developed by NYMAZ in partnership with UCan Play, the action research project explores how digital technologies can be used to deliver music education and enrichment activities to children living in rurally isolated areas.

The project also provides schools with virtual access to unique, inspiring and high-profile music experiences as well as offering online continuing professional development opportunities to teachers and music leaders.

Sistema Scotland

The Raploch Community Campus, Drip Road, Stirling, United Kingdom

Sistema Scotland is a charity on a mission to create permanent social change in some of the most deprived communities in Scotland.  We use participation in our Big Noise orchestra programmes to change lives by fostering confidence, discipline, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children and young people taking part.  This enables the children and young people to reach their full potential, leading successful and fulfilled lives.  This philosophy has a knock on effect for their families and the wider community in general.

Our teams provide an intensive orchestral programme for school-age children and young people.  We use a variety of immersive music teaching methods delivered during school time, after school and during the school holidays.  We also provide opportunities for growth such as trips and residentials.  Regular performances help to keep the wider community as involved as possible.  There is no charge for the tuition, instruments, healthy snacks, trips, and t-shirts.

Altogether there are around 2,000 children and young people engaging regularly with the three established Sistema Scotland centres.  In addition to the Big Noise orchestras attended by children up to 11 hours each week, we run Baby Noise and Adult Noise programmes which enable the Sistema Scotland family to reach as many as possible in the communities where we are based.

Sistema England

United Kingdom

Sistema England aims to transform the lives of children, young people and their communities through the power of music-making as part of the international Sistema movement.

Our vision

In five years, we aim for Sistema England to be a recognised leader in the global ‘music for change’ field through enabling both high ‘Musical Return on Investment’ and high Social Return on Investment (SROI) for children and young people.

Our aims

  • Empower children and young people to become agents of their futures and global citizens
  • Enable children and young people to make great music and art together
  • Increase the workforce of engaging and effective teaching artists
  • Strengthen the community of ‘music change makers’ to spread best practices

Our objectives

  • To build a Youth Company that provides high-quality musical progression and life-skills development for the most committed young musicians on Sistema programmes
  • To deliver high-quality teacher training, investing in future leaders of ‘music for change’ work
  • To run innovation labs and action research for music professionals
  • To provide instruments for young musicians in England where otherwise unaffordable


Clements Hall, Nunthorpe Road, York YO23 1BW, United Kingdom

About us

NYMAZ is a youth music development charity which champions the transformative potential of music for children and young people. We know that music has the power to change lives – it can raise aspirations, enable personal and social development, and enhance career prospects. Working with our trusted partners, we deliver high quality music-making activities across North Yorkshire to those in challenging circumstances, including rural isolation. We are also committed to strengthening the sector through workforce development, building strategic partnerships and advocating for the benefits of participatory music.

Operational since 2001, NYMAZ’s vision is that all young people in North Yorkshire will have the opportunity to actively engage in music, regardless of their circumstances. We are a strategic partner of Youth Music, one of only 13 in the country, working to create a musically-inclusive England. NYMAZ is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee.

Our Vision

Our vision is for a future where everybody benefits from the value of music.

We provide universal and targeted learner-led opportunities to create music. We supply training and tools to primary and secondary schools to help them transform mandatory music teaching, and we work in partnership to use the power of creating music to affect individual and social change.


  1. To refresh and embed our innovative learning models in the secondary sector through professional development, new approaches, resources and supporting and growing our network
  2. To develop and rollout a Musical Futures approach for primary school music
  3. To establish an annual professional development event delivered in partnership with others

Out of school settings

  1. To develop new partnerships to deliver professional development programmes for those working with disadvantaged young people
  2. To deliver an income-generating professional development Musical Futures programme for workplace learning


  1. To grow a sustainable income
  2. To strengthen networks nationally and internationally
  3. To build the Musical Futures brand in the UK and overseas
  4. To better understand our impact and outcomes

We are keen to work with partner organisations who share our vision. Please contact Abigail D’Amore if you would like to discuss working with us.


About the project

Ten Pieces aims to open up the world of classical music to 7-14 year-olds across the UK and inspire them to develop their own creative responses to the music.

  • Explore our ‘Ten Pieces’ films; these consist of ten performances of classical music – there are twenty pieces in total for you to use
  • You can watch the whole set of each Ten Pieces collection by ordering a free DVD box set or by viewing each performance separately. The performances are between two and ten minutes in duration
  • The pieces are supported by free downloadable teaching resources including lesson plans, composer information, cross-curricular resources and simplified orchestral arrangements
  • Catch up on what’s been happening in the last two jam-packed years in this clip and in our photo gallery
  • You can also look ahead and see the list of pieces selected for the 2017/18 academic year. New resources for this list will be launched for the next autumn term

Ten Pieces Champions are Music Education Hubs, Music Services, orchestras, film, dance and other arts organisations from across the UK working in collaboration with the BBC to introduce classical music to the next generation. They have signed up to Champion the project and work together on delivering music and arts education to every young person throughout the nations and regions.

Visit the Champions page and browse by region to find a Champion nearby.

If you’re an arts organisation that’s interested in becoming a champion you can email for an information pack and sign-up form.

'Lullaby' concert in CLS's Growth through Music programme © Paul Coghlin

Meet the Music

Piano House, Brighton Terrace, London SW9, United Kingdom

City of London Sinfonia‘s Meet the Music programme spends over 170 days a year in the community making music with 14,000+ people.

Current Meet the Music projects include:

  • Wellbeing through Music. This takes place in healthcare settings, where City of London Sinfonia (CLS) musicians deliver performances, often at patients’ bedsides, as well as end-of-term projects for young children in major London teaching hospitals such as Great Ormond Street. They also undertake regular visits to care homes in North London, making music with Holocaust survivors or people suffering from dementia. Plans for the next three years include creating a body of research around the effectiveness of these projects, going beyond the anecdotal and providing clinical evidence as to their effectiveness.
  • Growth through Music. This sees CLS musicians working with very young children (aged 3-7) in communities that are geographically or economically isolated, including rural Suffolk and Tower Hamlets. Working closely with schools and music education hubs, CLS addresses a significant gap in provision for children at a crucial time in their academic and social development, performing for children and families through its Crash Bang Wallop! and Lullaby concert series and creating interactive first-time orchestral experiences for teenagers and young people through its First Time Live projects in collaboration with Orchestras Live.

Header photo: Lullaby concert in CLS’s Growth through Music programme © Paul Coghlin



Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R, United Kingdom

Sound and Music‘s Portfolio scheme provides a key development opportunity for composers to create new work with and for some of the UK’s leading ensembles and presenters of new music.

Portfolio enables them to develop their portfolio of compositions and gain vital artistic and practical insight and experience in working with professional ensembles and presenting organisations and delivering new work to public audiences.

Selected composers are invited to develop a small-scale, short new work for a collaborative partner. These are developed through a series of workshops during which the composer works in close collaboration with the performers supported by an experienced composer mentor. The process culminates in a public performance of the new work within the ensemble’s performance schedule.