Blog: Not down but out in London and Paris

Our Chief Executive Barbara Eifler gives a glimpse into the last six months of networking on behalf of Making Music members

It’s not as glamorous as it sounds, and often involves investing a lot of time before results become tangible… so what does it look like, and what can it do for you?

Here’s a selection of what we’ve been up to.

New connections

  • Attending and speaking at the regular Music Industries Association’s (MIA) Education Committee and their annual Education Summit raises the profile of hobby musicians with the suppliers and manufacturers that make up the MIA membership, leading to new special offers for members and fresh thinking on resources specifically for leisure-time music.
  • Co-chairing the Make Music Day UK steering group enables Making Music to influence the direction of this major grassroots festival and means members can benefit from the many connections made by us whilst developing Make Music Day, including internationally, for instance at the World Forum on Music in Paris last September.
  • Being part of Music Network UK enabled us last autumn to make a valuable new connection with the Local Government Association.
  • The recent meeting of Singing Network UK, chaired by Making Music, introduced us to the Association of Welsh Male Voice Choirs, and to choir leader James Sills, author of Do Sing, reviewed in the next edition of Highnotes.

Advocacy for leisure-time music

  • Our membership of the Music Education Council has led to the prospect of practical solutions to the issues created for groups by child licensing regulations. 
  • Much work was done to analyse and summarise your contributions on PRS’ proposals to reform the live classical tariff and we delivered our response to PRS in December.
  • Our Adult Music Learning Forum, with 30 invited figures from across the music industry, and its follow-up focus group will shortly result in a report and action plan which will enable us to advocate effectively for the needs and barriers for adult hobbyists to engage actively with music.
  • Continuing our work to re-imagine public music libraries in a world of austerity, I co-hosted consultation events on the development of the New Surrey Performing Arts Library and was invited to a seminar by Arts Council England on the future of music libraries.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

  • Our Making Music managers based in Scotland, Wales and now Northern Ireland ensure your voice is heard in the right places, through someone with local knowledge.
    • Alison Reeves, Scotland manager, hosted a Making Music table for representatives from music education networks and Scottish umbrella organisations at Voluntary Arts’ 2019 Epic Awards.
    • John Rostron, our new manager in Wales, has already been able to talk about the leisure-time sector at a Welsh Assembly Committee hearing and contribute to relevant research.
    • Stephen McNally, our first manager in Northern Ireland, has started building connections for a high profile Make Music Day to highlight members and leisure-time music.

And there’s more: we use every opportunity to shout from the rooftops what leisure-time music is all about, and what it needs to thrive and achieve even more impact.

All we are saying is give making music a chance (with apologies to Lennon).

Find out more about our campaign work