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Starting a new group: Overview

At Making Music we work with over 3,500 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 overview: What it is, who can benefit and how we can help

Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR) is a government initiative that means instrumental groups could receive a payment from HMRC equal to a percentage of their production costs.

Despite being called 'Orchestra Tax Relief':

  • the initiative can apply to many types of instrumental group – so don’t be put off if your group is not a traditional orchestra 
  • you don’t have to be paying tax to claim it.   

Groups who put on eligible performances can submit a claim to HMRC each year for the payment. 

An introduction to... music genres

There’s a wonderful variety of musical genres being played and sung in towns, cities and neighbourhoods across the UK, so we decided to create introductory guides to some of them. Pick a genre and dive in to find out more and how you can get involved. Or if you would like to submit an introduction to your favourite kind of music, please email us

An introduction to: Indian classical music

What is Indian classical music and how is it different to Bollywood or Indian folk music? What are all the different instruments used and where can you go to try listening to it or playing it yourself? Seetal Kaur of member group, the Sitar Music Society, gives us an overview.

An introduction to: Pipe and tabor

In the latest in our 'An introduction to...' series that explores different types of music making we take at the long history of a unique instrumental tradition - Pipe and Tabor.

An introduction to: Signing choirs

In the latest in our 'An introduction to...' series that explores different types of music making we take a look at signing choirs, how they work and how they can bring people together.

What is a signing choir?

In the UK, choirs that use British Sign Language (BSL) to perform musical repertoire are known as signing choirs. Signing choirs were first developed in the church, in partnership with the Deaf members of the congregation, to encourage equality between the experience of Deaf and hearing members in services.

Performing in Care Homes

Care homes are not often seen as places for performing music, and you’d be forgiven if you hadn’t considered doing so before.

However, according to a 2015 Treasurers survey, a number of Making Music member groups already have a relationship with their local care home.

Why perform in a care home?

It can be hugely beneficial for everyone involved: the care home, its residents and your group:

An introduction to: Handbell ringing

After looking at Barbershop, Wind Bands, Samba and Brass Bands, we are now focusing on Handbell ringing. How are they played? Why do they create such close-knit groups?

Case study: How creative thinking led a new group to success

Members of Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra (APO) explain how a group created to cater for people unable to commit to weekly rehearsals has grown into a flourishing hub of innovation.

Background

The Aldworth Philharmonic is a project-based orchestra in Reading, Berkshire. By that, we mean that we only rehearse shortly before each event we put on, rather than holding regular weekly rehearsals. A typical rehearsal schedule for us is made up of 4 of 5 rehearsal days mainly over the weekends immediately leading before a performance.