Adopt a Music Creator: music creators

Adopt a Music Creator matches music creators with leisure-time choirs, bands, orchestras and ensembles for a year to collaborate on creating a new work. Music Creators will have the opportunity to work with either one group, or two groups together.

The project offers an exciting opportunity for emerging music creators to create new music in a unique environment. You will have the chance to work with a musical director, learn from an experienced music creator-mentor, have access to wider contacts and audiences, attend music creator skills days hosted by Sound and Music, and have your work recorded (with the possibility of radio broadcast). The collaborative nature of the project means that you'll build a partnership with your leisure-time music group or groups, and not only will you get to create a great new piece of music with them, but you'll go away with greater experience and confidence to work with leisure-time music groups more often in the future.

Music creators are mentored by experienced music creators Colin Riley, Fraser Trainer, Jenni Pinnock and Emily Crossland with costs and expenses covered by the PRS Foundation, and will retain all the rights to the score that they produce.

"This opportunity was thoroughly worth applying for and I felt supported at every level from the staff at Making Music, Sound and Music, PRS, my mentor and the ensemble I worked with. It has been incredibly rewarding and humbling to have such considerate and caring musicians around me throughout the process and I will be whole-heartedly encouraging my own students to apply in future." - Music creator, Mark Boden, paired with Croydon Bach Choir

How does the project work?

You can apply via an online application form to take part in the project. Shortlisted applicants will be asked to send us an example of a score, and if shortlisted further, will be invited to attend an interview via Zoom with one mentor, and representatives from Making Music, Sound and Music and PRS Foundation. If you are selected, you will be matched with a suitable group or groups.

The process (guide only)

  • 10 August: applicant interviews via Zoom
  • 3 October: pairings announced at launch event (London) - meet your group or groups!
  • October: Music Creator Skills day 1 in London hosted by Sound and Music
  • October – December: group(s) hosts a workshop introducing you to their members
  • December – February: you and your group(s) workshop/rehearse the pieces in progress
  • February – April: further workshops and rehearsing of the draft piece
  • March: Music Creator Skills day 2 in London hosted by Sound and Music
  • May – December: premiere concert (recorded for possible broadcast on BBC Radio 3)

"It has been a real journey of discoveries where I have learnt new and fundamental things which will support me throughout my career." - Adriano Adewale, paired with Horsham Symphony Orchestra

Who else is involved?

Each pairing of music creator and group will be assigned a mentor who will be there at the initial meetings when the music creator and performing group are getting to know each other. They will act as a source of ongoing advice to both music creator and group throughout the development of the piece, in musical and practical terms and will be available by email and telephone as well as for meetings.

Financial info

Fees for the music creator and mentor, and all expenses related to the placement of the music creator will be paid for by the project. Travelling expenses for scheduled visits to London will be paid for via Making Music/Sound and Music – details will be provided on the launch day. 

Eligibility

We are looking for music creators with some experience of leisure-time music groups and collaborative music creation, who can commit to the project for a year (possibly up to December 2021). We also ask that you are not in full-time education, based in the UK and are an emerging music creator with less than five years (not necessarily continuous) of professional practice in the leisure-time music sector. The full eligibility criteria are outlined on the application form.

The deadline for applications is 5pm Wednesday 1 July 2020.

Apply now

Any questions?

If you are thinking about applying for Adopt a Music Creator but aren't sure yet whether to go ahead, have a look at these answers to some key questions that might help you decide.

Is there an age limit for music creators applying?

There are no age requirements for this project. Information about eligibility can be found on the application form.

I have composed using software including Logic X and FL Studio but I’m not classically trained, can I still apply?

You need to have had some experience of working with other musicians or groups using free composition. If you haven’t yet had experience of working with and composing for others, you’ll need to gain more experience before applying.

I don’t write classical music. Is it worth me applying?

We are not necessarily looking for classical music creators. Our groups cover all genres including jazz, folk, samba, pop and more. We’ve also previously had successful collaborations between classical groups and non-classical music creators.

In the application form, I have to list the groups I've worked with in the last two years. Can I include any soloists?

Yes you can list soloists. However as the Adopt a Music Creator project pairs the music creators with groups, it’s more relevant to your application to tell us which ensembles you have worked with.

An orchestra is interested in commissioning a piece from me, but as they are an amateur group, they do not have the funds. Would it be possible for the group and I to choose to be paired with each other on the project if we are both successful applicants?

Unfortunately not - the idea of the project is to create fresh pairings between groups and music creators who have not met before. Prospective music creators and groups apply separately and we pair them especially for the project.

I have just sent off my application and have realised that the link to a piece of my music is not working - what can I do?

Just email the project manager Sally Palmer at sally@makingmusic.org.uk  with the correct link and she will add it to your application.

I just applied to the Adopt a Music Creator project using the online form but have not received an email confirmation. How do I know you have received it?

When you submit the online form you get a confirmation message on screen so you know that it has been submitted. If you do not see the message, there are probably errors on the form which have prevented it from being submitted. Have a look at the form again and you should be able to see notes as to what these errors are and how to fix them. We also send an email confirmation a few days later; if you don’t receive this email please get in touch with us to check we have received your application.

When will I find out if my application has been successful?

In early July, if your application is shortlisted we will ask you to provide a score you feel best illustrates your ability to write for groups. We might contact you after this, to invite you to interview in August or to discuss your application further. Unfortunately, due to the high number of applicants we’re not able to contact everyone, so if you haven’t heard anything by the end of July, please consider your application unsuccessful.

I am not available for the interview date, is there any alternative?

All interviews will take place via Zoom on Monday 10 August, but we will not be able to offer you an interview at another time.

I am unable to attend the launch in October as I’m abroad. Is it still worth me applying?

Your unavailability to attend the launch won’t affect your application. If you’re chosen it would be a shame not to meet you group at the launch, but we can arrange a separate meeting.