Guidance

Starting a new group, Part 1: Outlining a vision

This guidance explores how to go about starting a new group. It is a collection of ideas and tips structured in a way that we hope will help you to move forwards with your plan from the beginnings of an idea to your first rehearsal and beyond. This is the first of four sections, and outlines the process for deciding upon a clear vision for your group.

Starting a new group: Overview

At Making Music we work with over 3,200 music groups around the country so we have a pretty good overview of what’s out there, how running a music group works, and some of the common challenges that groups face today. Even with so many groups already out there we hear from people interested in starting up new groups all the time.

Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR), part 3: keeping records, producing accounts and making a claim

We are currently working on creating a series of templates, guidance and services for creating records, accounts and claiming for OTR. These will be added to this page as they are finalised.

Keeping records

This guidance looks at how to keep accrual accounts for your concert production company for the purposes of claiming OTR, and includes examples to help you.

Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR), part 2: Getting set up

This introduction is the second of three documents on Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR). It gives you an overview of how to set up and run a production company to claim OTR. 

Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR), part 1: Is it for you?

This introduction is the first of three documents on Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR). It gives you an overview of what it is and how it works, and an overall idea if this is something your group would like to look into.

To help you decide we also have two additional documents –

Orchestra Tax relief overview: What it is, who can benefit and how we can help

Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR) is the latest in a line of state aid tax reliefs for the creative industries. OTR incentivises the production of orchestral concerts – and amateur orchestras are specifically referenced in the legislation.

We have extensively researched OTR and believe that it has the potential to be hugely beneficial to instrumental amateur music groups across the UK:

Recommended rates for engaging professional musicians

This agreement, reached between the Musicians' Union and Making Music in 2017, provides guideline minimum rates for groups when engaging freelance professional musicians. We hope that this will provide a simple and effective aid to ensure that members are able to budget for, and professionals able to receive, a fair rate of payment.

We are very pleased to have reached this new agreement with the Musicians' Union which is revolutionary in two ways:

Subsidies for engaging professional artists

In the current economic climate, where arts funding is scarcer than ever, it can be tough for amateur music groups to engage high-quality soloists for their concerts. To help to address this, Making Music runs the following schemes, helping member groups to engage artists at specially reduced or subsidised rates.

Increasing your income: Overview

We know one of the biggest worries our members have is the long-term financial health of their group. Even groups who make a surplus each year can have that nagging thought: 'what happens if something goes wrong next year?' More money would mean less worry and more stability, and perhaps more importantly it would mean more opportunities to try new things and ways of enjoying making music.

An introduction to: Brass Bands

Following on from our look at barbershop singing and wind bands, in this article we take a look at the ins and outs of brass banding in the UK. What is a brass band and where did they come from? What is it like to be part of a brass band today? And how can you get involved?