Our story

Since 1935, Making Music has championed leisure-time music groups across the UK with practical services, artistic development opportunities and by providing a collective voice for its members. We now represent over 3,900 groups representing around 200,000 musicians of all types, genres and abilities. We help them run their group so they can get on with making music!

Our priorities include helping our membership flourish, lobbying on behalf of the amateur music making community, and encouraging participation in music as a means to enhance personal and community well-being. We offer a range of services to support hobby music makers. They include:

  • Lobbying and advocacy: helping to guarantee that you have the opportunity to take part in music-making, carrying your voice to the decision-makers in government and elsewhere.
  • Practical resources: these range from our 60+ guidance sheets, and specialist tools to discounts, one-to-one advice, and much more.
  • Networking and development: including training, networking events, national conferences, and support near you through a team of managers in the England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Artistic support: an annual selection of professional artists, young and established, at specially negotiated prices, with some subsidies available; Music Bank offering repertoire searching, a member sheet music exchange and free programme notes; and national and local projects for members to take part in to develop themselves, their members and their audiences.

We're here to help everyone flourish in their music making, and this website provides a space for all leisure-time musicians to come together in a community to share experiences, ideas and expertise.

View our history

Our funding providers 

Aspects of Making Music’s work are supported by public funding, by trusts or foundations and by generous legacies from members.

Arts Council England (ACE)

ACE is funding our ‘Transforming member engagement and services’ project in 2015. Until 31 March 2015, Making Music was funded by ACE as a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).



Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland funded Making Music for delivering services to members and amateur music groups in Scotland until 31 March 2015.


PRS Foundation

The PRS Foundation has been funding our long-running Adopt a Composer project annually since 2000. Having now grown, the project since 2015 has been co-funded by the Philip and Dorothy Green Trust.


Philip and Dorothy Green Trust

The Philip and Dorothy Green Trust was established by prolific film and television composer and conductor Philip Green (1911-1982), along with his wife, Dorothy, to help young musicians and composers.

Since 2002, the Trust has supported Making Music’s Awards for Young Concert Artists (AYCA), which has been running since 1961, thus securing its long-term future. Since 2015, the Trust has also co-funded Making Music’s Adopt a Music Creator (previously Adopt a Composer) project.

Alan and Ethel Kirby

The Making Music Kirby Collection has been created thanks to a generous legacy donation of £135,000 from Making Music’s first Chairman Alan Kirby, who was a leading figure in choral singing in Surrey in the mid-20th century. He and his wife Ethel were keen to ensure the continued success of choral singing in Surrey.

In 2009, the Making Music Board decide to use their legacy to purchase a collection of printed music which is housed by the Surrey Performing Arts Library and can be hired by any group in the UK.

Pauline Thompson Legacy

Our latest legacy donation is from Pauline Thompson who was a passionate choral singer all her life and used to sing with a number of Making Music member groups. The Pauline Thompson Legacy is to be used to encourage young people aged 15 to 35 in particular into choral singing and to integrate with adult choirs, as well as extending repertoire that will attract young people to sing in a range of different types of choirs of mixed ages.

A Youth Engagement Manager has now been appointed to start in August 2015. Her remit will include examining issues and barriers around young people joining adult instrumental as well as vocal groups.

Make a donation or leave a legacy to Making Music

Making Music relies on donations as well as funding and legacies to carry out its work, and in particular to realise its objective of encouraging more and new people to become involved in music so that more individuals and communities can experience and enjoy the benefits. Could you make a one-off donation, set up a regular standing order or include a legacy to Making Music in your will?

Contact us about leaving a legacy to Making Music.