When running your group, it’s easy to find yourself losing precious time using multiple systems that don’t talk to each other. Making Music Platform makes things easier by bringing everything you need into one, convenient and user-friendly place.

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Making Music Platform

Switching between Google Drive, Excel, Doodle polls, Mailchimp and Eventbrite can be a time-consuming headache. Making Music Platform (MM Platform) combines a public website, a members’ information area and an admin database into one, central cloud-based system. You can access everything you need for running your group successfully whether you’re at work, home or on the go.

  • Group management tool – an integrated database, admin system and communication tool full of user-friendly features to help save you time.
  • Member area – a central information hub for your members, allowing them to log in and take control of managing their membership needs.
  • Public-facing website – a simple and flexible system enabling you to build a customised website to tell the world about what you do. This feature is optional. 

And with its simple interface, organising your member details, event bookings, sheet music, teaching resources, mailing lists, merchandise sales, meeting minutes, newsletters, membership subscriptions, photos - and so much more - has never been easier or quicker!

 

Key Features

Making Music Platform is a completely integrated, all-in-one package which is totally modular, meaning you can switch off whichever features are not of current use to your group, as well as set permissions for members to view only information relevant to them.

  • Member database – store all the information you need about your members in a secure and fully searchable database. Segment the data however you want (all the altos, all the strings).
  • Member area – each member can have their own login to update their details, pay subs, answer polls, access documents and much more.
  • Member subscriptions – keep track of who has and hasn't yet paid, and automatically generate and email invoices as required.
  • Take card payments - whether it's for paying subs or selling event tickets you can take online card payments through your MM Platform. 
  • Send emails – from rehearsal reminders to members to branded newsletters for audiences, create email lists and send directly from the database.
  • Event calendar – whether its performances, rehearsals, meetings or socials, you can set up, manage and promote events so everyone knows what's happening when.

 

How much does it cost? 

The Making Music Platform package costs just £78 annually, with an initial set up fee of £130 (all prices include VAT).

So, your first year will cost £208, then £78/year after that.

There are four optional add-ons available to the basic package. Your Making Music Platform will work perfectly without them - but you might find them useful  (all prices include VAT).

Add-on  Cost Details
Extra nightly back-up £25/year

MM Platform backs up your entire site data every night and on the first day of each month as standard - so two copies of your site always exist on the server. 

Add this additional service if you would prefer to keep all copies of your MM Platform from every day it has existed. These copies are stored on a seperate server. 

Find out more in the FAQ tab. 

Unlimited storage £25/year Your MM Platform comes with 1000MB of storage, which for many groups is enough. If your site has a lot of video content, you may want extra.
Domain name managment £25/year

Whether you have an existing domain name or are setting up a brand new one, we can manage and renew it for you. If you prefer you can manage it yourself or continue with your current provider. 

Find out more in the FAQ tab. 

SSL security certificate £15 one-off fee If you will be taking card payments via your site we highly recommend this option.

SIGN UP FOR PLATFORM

Please note, as this is a new service we will be processing requests in batches. If the current batch is full we will let you know where you are on the list and when you can expect to be set up with your Making Music Platform. 

If you are not quite ready to take the plunge you can explore the demo site, register your interest, or contact us with any questions.

 

FAQs

What if we’ve already got a website?

No problem. If you have a website you like you can keep it and just use the member login area and admin tools parts of Making Music Platform. If you decide in a year or two that you want a new website you can ‘switch on’ the website part of your Making Music Platform site very easily.

If you have an existing website but would like a new one you can use Making Music Platform and still keep your old website address. 

Find out more

What if we don’t want a website?

That’s fine.  You can still use Making Music Platform – but just the member area and the group management part. You and your members would access the system online with an address such as 'groupname.makingmusicplatform.com', but there would be no public-facing website

If you decide further down the line that you do want a website you can ‘switch on’ the website part of your Making Music Platform site very easily.

Will you help us set the system up?

Yes - we will create your Making Music Platform for you and help get you started by adding your logo, some photos (taken from your existing site) and importing data if required.

Then it’s over to you - it is your site so the onus is on you to add content and set up the admin tools to work how you want. We will email you details of how to log in and what to do next, and will be here to help you with support and advice to get you up and running.

See also:

  • What support do you provide?
  • What expertise do we need to set-it up?
What support do you provide?

Providing members with advice and good service is central to everything we do at Making Music – and the same goes for Making Music Platform.

The team will be able to handle most queries, by email or phone, on any aspect of the system. As your MM Platform is managed by you, our approach, where appropriate, will be to explain things to you rather than doing things for you. This will give you better understanding of the system so you can manage it without help from us and as efficiently and effectively as possible.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask as many questions as you want, whenever you need to, nor does it mean that we won’t get more involved where necessary.

There may be some questions we can’t help with (MM Platform is an IT product and we are not IT specialists) and in those instances we will refer queries to software owner HarmonySite for help.

See also:

  • Who owns Making Music Platform?
  • Will Making Music have access to my data?
Is there a cost for support?

No - support is free, including when we have to refer queries to software owner HarmonySite.

However, we do reserve the right to charge for some support queries that require a lot of staff time and/or are of a particularly complicated nature. We will always try to avoid this and provide support for free. If we do think we need to charge we will always discuss it with you and explore the options before any work is done. Any fee we charge will be to cover costs and not to make profit.

See also:

  • What support do you provide?
How much time do we need to set Making Music Platform up?

This will vary from group to group, depending on how many of the features you are using and how many people you have working on it.

As a rough rule of thumb, we think a few people each working for a few hours per week could have a full Making Music Platform up and running in a couple of months.

Find out more

What expertise do we need to set it up?

MM Platform is built to be used by people who are not IT experts. You don’t need to know html or php – and if you don’t know what those things are, that doesn’t matter either!

You do however need to be computer literate. If you can use Microsoft word and Excel and use the internet to manage your day to day activities (shopping, banking, travel etc) then you should be fine.

That said MM Platform is a powerful tool so some parts are a bit complicated. For these areas patience and methodical thinking are the key skill rather than technical know-how.

Throughout your set-up Making Music team will be available to support you, and there are lots of detailed ‘how to’ guides to help as well.

Will my data be safe online?

Yes. Whilst the security of online data can never be 100% guaranteed your MM Platform comes with security features to help protect the data:

  • All access to the site is password protected - so you control who has access to the data
  • All Making Music Platforms will be housed on a dedicated physical server based in the UK and managed by a professional server company called UK hosting. They have relevant best practice safeguards and security policies in place to protect your data. 

See also:

  • What is SSL and do I need one?
  • Is the data backed up?
Where is the data stored?

All data is stored in the UK:

  • Making Music Platforms and the data held in them are housed on physical servers located in the UK.
  • If you are using the nightly back-up optional extra the backed-up data is housed on a PC server located in the Making Music offices (UK).
  • If you are using the unlimited storage optional extra some data will be stored in an Amazon cloud facility within the UK.

Where support queries are referred to HarmonySite (‘What support do you provide?’) it will mean some data is transferred to Australia (where HarmonySite is based). We have an agreement in place to sure this is done in line with UK law.

Find out more in the Making Music Platform data agreement

Is the data backed-up – and what does the additional data back-up provide?

As standard your Making Music Platform is backed up once every 24 hours, and once every month.  Whenever a new back-up is taken the old one is deleted – so there are always two backups available - one from last night and one from the first day of the current month.

The back-up is stored on the same server as your ‘live’ Making Music Platform. So, if that server is damaged then, in theory, your live site and back up may be lost. In practice this is very unlikely – we use a professional server company who have lots of safeguards in place.

If a back-up needs to be retrieved due to a technical malfunction it is free. If you require a back-up retrieval due to you accidentally deleting something there may be a charge if it is a complicated query.

We also offer an additional Extra Backup option, for a small annual fee. Your website is backed up every night and all historical copies of your data are kept. So, you have a version of your site from every day it has existed. These back-ups are stored on a different server to your ‘live’ site so if something happened to the live site server the back-up would still exist. Data restorations are also free if you are paying for this service.

Will Making Music have access to our data?

Yes we will. For us to effectively provide the service and support we will need to sometimes access the data in your Making Music Platform. Summary anonymized data (eg number of members in each group) may be gathered by us to help improve the service and our understanding of the leisure-time sector. We will only access specific, personal data when asked to do so by you (e.g. responding to a support request) and will not use this data for any purpose other than to provide support. You can read more in our Making Music Data agreement.

What is domain name management service?

Your domain name is your website address (for example, our domain name is makingmusic.org.uk) which you purchase, register and renew each year. This is something that we can do for you.

If you already have a domain name, then you will most likely be paying a company to manage and renew it. You can carry on with this - or transfer it to us and we will manage the renewal for you, tying it in with your Making Music Platform renewal.

If you don’t have an existing website you probably don’t have a domain, but you might want to think about registering one – especially if you plan for Making Music Platform to be your public-facing

website. You can contact a company directly to do this for you – or we can look after the purchase and renewal for you, tying it in with your Making Music Platform renewal.

What is an SSL certificate, and do I need one?

SSL certificates are a way of making your website more secure. If you have one it will show a padlock and ‘s’ after the ‘http’.

They help protect your site from hackers ‘eavesdropping’. For example, if someone is accessing your site on a Wi-Fi network that has been compromised by hackers the hackers might be able to view the user’s activity on the site. There are two main areas of concern here:

  • Viewing card details being entered for payments
  • viewing passwords – which would give full access your Making Music Platform and the personal data held in it.

So, do you need one?  

You are not required by law to have an SSL certificate, but to ensure you are compliant with the Data Protection Act 2018 it is strongly advised. They improve the security of your site and the data held in it – and give confidence to users.

As such we strongly recommend you do use this add-on service.

There are lots of different providers – most charge an annual fee. The solution we offer is a one-off fee of £15 – a worthwhile investment for added security and user confidence.

Who owns Making Music Platform?

Making Music Platform is based on a website and related software called HarmonySite, which is owned by an Australian company called Virtual Creations P/L. Virtual Creations have created Making Music Platform for Making Music and license it to Making Music for use by our members.

Once you have your own Making Music Platform set up it is yours - you own any content or data you add to it. HarmonySite owns the software that Making Music Platforms are built on.

Admin Features

  • Attendance register – keep track of who is planning to attend rehearsals and quickly and easily update the register after the event. This tool can also help you manage performances so you know when you need more of certain parts.
  • Committee and teams – create sub-committees and teams with their own private documents.
  • Reporting – MM Platform comes with reporting templates and the ability to create your own reports for most features. Find out who has paid what, who has attended what, when sheet music is due back and much more. 
  • Gift Aid calculator – if you claim Gift Aid on subs, MM Platform can help calculate and report on what you can claim.
  • Libraries and registers – if you own a sheet music library or regularly hire, borrow and lend sheet music, you can keep track of what the group has, and which individuals have what copies (and who’s overdue). This feature could also be used for keeping track of other items, such as instruments or uniforms.
  • Music library – list the music you perform and record all relevant information about each piece to share with members. From musical info (style, key) to copyright, permissions and when it’s being performed. You can also attach further items e.g. sheet music, recordings and learning tracks.
  • Polls – want to know where your members want to go on tour or which carols they want to sing at the Christmas show? Create your own polls and send them out to members. 
  • Send SMS – text members with updates and schedule changes.

Website Features

  • Easy to use Content Management System - all the content on your MM Platform can be easily edited by anyone with basic computer skills. If you can use Microsoft Word or fill in an online form, you can create and manage content.
  • Variety of themes - choose from several fresh, modern looks, compatible with all modern browsers, on all devices, desktop and mobile.
  • Flexible layouts – choose your menu and sub menu headings.
  • Media - post videos and sound recordings; create and share photo albums.
  • Event Booking - promote your events and sell tickets (including taking card payments) 
  • Integrated social media – pull in content directly from your social media channels. 
  • Take donations - take card payment donations, including Gift Aid options
  • Sell merchandise - an online shops for CDs, t-shirts or whatever else you want to sell. 

Additional Features

  • Assessment – track how members are performing and progressing 
  • Bulletin board – for members to share content and information with each other 
  • Suggestion box – so members can give feedback and ideas 
  • Who’s who – help members get to know the group and who does what 
  • Riser placement plan 
  • Comments – members can post comments (visible only to other members, not to the public) on a range of content types such as events, documents and polls.
  • Member birthday calendar
  • Clothing sizes register