Adopt a Music Creator: music creator applications

Adopt a Music Creator is an exciting opportunity for emerging music creators to gain industry experience by composing a new piece of music in collaboration with a leisure-time music group, with the support of an experienced mentor.

Deadline is 5pm, Monday 21 October

It can be challenging for up-and-coming music creators to find their footing and develop their skills in a competitive industry. This project gives creators the chance to collaborate with one leisure-time music group from our membership base of over 3,900 members, spanning a wide number of genres and styles, like classical, folk, jazz, samba, pop and more.

What do music creators gain from this project?

By participating in the Adopt a Music Creator project, you will get the chance to:

  • collaborate with the members of a leisure-time music group
  • write a new music piece tailored to the group’s specific needs, of which you retain all rights
  • work with a musical director
  • learn from an experienced mentor who will support you throughout the creative process 
  • access wider contacts and audiences
  • attend music creator skills days
  • build confidence in your skills and expertise
  • publish blog posts detailing your collaboration’s progress which will be promoted to Making Music’s networks
  • premiere your piece in a public performance
  • have your piece professionally recorded.

What is the placement process like?

Check out blogs from previous music creators who have participated and see what they have to say about their experience:

Hannah Fredsgaard-Jones was paired with an Exmoor-based choir and ended up creating Over the Moor, inspired by the history and folklore of the region – 'a place of both wilderness and gentleness'. Read her blog here

'After the concert, an audience member shared with me how he had felt compelled to close his eyes during the piece. He felt that the music had invited him on a journey around Exmoor, along the rivers that he knew so well, past the free roaming ponies, onto hidden forest tracks and along rugged coastline. As a music creator, I can think of nothing more exciting than seeing music grow from tiny seedlings of ideas into a finished piece of work. It was therefore deeply moving to see the singers’ investment and joy as they performed Over the Moor on the night of the premiere.'

Emily Peasgood found a way to play with the dynamics and expressiveness of brass instruments, and the piece Oxted Suite was born. Read her blog here

'I applied because I wanted to work with an amateur group of non-singers in a setting with performers who didn't previously know me or my work. I wanted this because in the past few years, I have started to accrue a steady group of singers who will sign up to sing every choral work I write - and that’s great! But it also provides less of a compositional challenge as I know who I am writing for, their strengths and weaknesses, and the best way to present a new work to them.'

Edgar Divver got the inspiration for his music piece from repainting his house and becoming fascinated by the unusual paint names. Thankfully, he was paired with a flute ensemble who were keen to try something new and quirky. They held the premiere of Brushstrokes in an art gallery. Read his blog here

'Looking back on the project now, post-premiere and after I've had some time to process everything, I honestly can’t believe how much the group and I achieved with this piece. The expectations I had at the beginning were entirely blown out of the water, and I could never have imagined what a fantastic collaboration it would turn into, or what a fantastic group I would be paired with.'

Who is this project for?

To be eligible, you must:

  • be over 18 years old
  • not be in full or part-time education
  • be based in the UK for the duration of the project
  • have less than five years of professional practice in creating new music (can be non-continuous i.e. including career breaks or time away from creating new music).

We are looking for music creators who:

  • can demonstrate an understanding of collaborative approaches to composition
  • can show they understand and perhaps have some practical experience of working with a leisure-time group or community project in any capacity
  • have original and ambitious ideas
  • can identify why they want to take part now and how they would benefit from the scheme.

Application process

To take part in the project, you will be able to apply via an online application form below. Deadline for applications: 21 October. Shortlisted applicants might be asked to send us an example of a score, and if you are shortlisted further, we will invite you to attend an interview via Zoom with a panel including a professional mentor, a musical director from a previous Adopt a Music Creator participating group and representatives from Making Music and the PRS Foundation. If you are selected, we will match you with a suitable group.

Each music creator-group pairing will then be assigned a mentor who will join you on your initial meetings/workshops. 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.

There is no cost for applying or taking part in this project. 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. 

If you have any questions, please email

Timeline (guide only)

  • October: shortlist of music creators
  • November (exact date TBC): applicant interviews via Zoom
  • Early January: launch event in London, where the pairings are announced and you get to meet your music group, mentor and the other participating music creators and groups (virtual attendance via Zoom is possible)
  • Mid-January: Music Creator Skills day 1 (in person)
  • January-March: group hosts a workshop introducing you to their members
  • February-May: you and your group work on developing the music piece
  • March-June: you and your group complete and rehearse the music piece
  • June: Music Creator Skills day 2 (via Zoom)
  • July-December: premiere concert, professional recording

Apply now

Deadline is 5pm, Monday 21 October

Any questions?

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

Is there an age limit for music creators applying?

Music creators must be over 18 years old, but there is no upper age limit for this project.

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. However, classical training is not a requirement.

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 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. If you are still unsure 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 October, if your application is shortlisted we may 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 November 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 August, please consider your application unsuccessful. 

I am not available for the interview date. Is there any alternative?

All interviews will take place in November (exact date TBA) via Zoom, we will not be able to offer you an interview at another time. However, the option to hold the interview via telephone will be offered if Zoom is not possible. 

I am unable to attend the launch in January 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.