Recruiting toolkit (1 of 5): who do you want?

Recruiting new members is the biggest challenge leisure-time music groups face. Unfortunately, this is not an exact science and there are no quick fixes, but there are some improvements you can make. Work your way through this five-part toolkit to help you build a recruitment strategy, starting with thinking about who you want to recruit.

The joining journey

When someone joins, it is probably due to a combination of multiple circumstances and influences that could take place over days or even years.

Recruiting toolkit (2 of 5): how do people join your group?

There are many circumstances that might prompt someone to join a music group. Understanding how people find you and what might be getting in the way of joining is key information for helping you build a new recruitment strategy.

How do people join?

Before you start telling the world what you offer and asking them to join you, it's worth considering what will happen when they do.

Recruiting toolkit (3 of 5): understanding your members

It's important to understand how your group might appeal to potential members. Your current members are your recruitment success stories, so start by asking what makes them keep coming back and use this to inform your strategy.

Current members

Music groups give people joy – members join because they enjoy making music in a group. But enjoyment comes from different places for different people. For example, it might be:

Recruiting toolkit (4 of 5): who joins music groups and why?

Once you have a better understanding of your current members, it's time to look at how you can use this information to understand who your potential new members are.

Who might join your music group?

In Part 1 of this toolkit, we listed some example steps a person might take before joining a music group. We are going to re-visit these now.

Your new member may have:

Recruiting toolkit (5 of 5): finding new members

So far you have defined your recruitment aims (Part 1), reviewed your joining process (Part 2), understood what your current members like about your group (Part 3) and what will appeal to potential new members (Part 4).

Top tips for working with professional musicians

Working with professional musicians is a great way for your group to develop musically, with great benefits for the professional as well. Here are our top tips to help your professional engagements run smoothly.

Below we've compiled the best practice tips that will enable the professional musician you’ve booked to give the very best of themselves, and it comes at no extra cost to your music group.

Initial contact

The intial contact with your proposed professional musician should include:

MM Platform Service Hub

Welcome to the MM Platform service hub. This area is for members who are already using the service and provides the latest news updates as well as links to the Making Music help guides for setting up their platform

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

This resource is about using Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks in England and Wales as part of safeguarding when working with people and groups at risk, such as children or vulnerable adults. 

For broader information on the topic of safeguarding children, see our guidance covering the main principles and your responsibilities.

Access and Inclusion: Welcoming new people by building diversity and inclusion

Music making and experiencing music as an audience member are rich social experiences that connect participants. To build a group or audience that is more diverse and inclusive, thinking about how you invite, recruit and welcome people is crucial. 

Living with Covid – rehearsals and performances

All four nations of the UK have been living without Covid restrictions since early 2022. Although during much of 2020 and 2021 groups were required to take action to stop the spread of Covid, expectations have changed.

Likewise, many members and audiences' have changed. People are used to living with Covid, and without restrictions. Others might still have concerns and want to see some measures in place.