Engaging professional artists

Engaging and working with the musical leader for your group (online event)

98% of Making Music members have a music professional leading their group – but how to find and engage the right individual, and what are the different models of how music directors and committees work together? 

Making Music will talk about some of the practical help we have to help you find the right musical leader for your group: our Musical Vacancies tool, template contract, the fee results from the Big Survey 2022, and our ‘Searching for a Music Director’ resource. 


United Kingdom

Bands for Hire

Music agency providing live bands for every occasion. 

Recommended rates for engaging professional musicians

This agreement, reached between the Musicians' Union and Making Music in 2017, and updated in 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023, 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 renewed our agreement with the Musicians’ Union which is now in its sixth year.  

Map a Muso

Map a Muso is a directory that matches professional performers based in your local area with your event.

Whether you're looking for soloists, conductors or extra musicians and singers for your concert, Map a Muso can help you find the performers you need.

Since launching in Spring 2023, our directory has grown fast to nearly 400 performers, from freelancers working for West End shows, to top orchestras and BBC choirs. Our mission is to make the music industry greener by connecting performers with gigs and concerts nearby.

Subsidies for engaging professional artists: Overview

Booking professional musicians can be financially challenging for many leisure-time groups. Making Music offers members specially reduced or subsidised rates to make booking and engaging artists more affordable.

Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artists subsidies

The Philip and Dorothy Green Young Artists (PDGYA) scheme enables young musicians at the start of their careers to gain vital performance experience across the UK, while Making Music members can engage some of the very best young musical talent at a reduced cost. 

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:

Webinar recording: Commissioning the future

In this recording of our webinar, guest speakers discussed how the programming of living music creators can influence and diversify the repertoire of the future.

This event had a double focus: helping you understand more about the benefits and challenges of commissioning a music creator, and also exploring who you should commission and how to broaden your search and find the right music creator for your group.

We welcomed guest speakers:

Composers Edition

Founded by Dan Goren and launched in 2013, Composers Edition is a unique publishing enterprise, which works to bring composers and performers together, and facilitates and celebrates music making involving contemporary repertoire. 

The Composers Edition team is especially focussed on opening up new music to musicians and programmers who might feel uncertain about what and how to programme or commission new work.

Template contract for working with professional musicians

We have created a template contract for engaging freelance performers in a one-off performance or series of performances.

We have created it with lawyers, and it is intended to be a starting point only. It should not be considered a finalised legal document or as constituting legal advice. Neither Making Music nor its legal advisors shall be liable for any decisions made or action taken in reliance on this document, or for any damage arising from its use. The contract is suitable for use in all countries of the United Kingdom. 

Tackling barriers to access and inclusion (online event)

Creating an event or activity that is accessible, welcoming and inclusive of everyone starts with one big question: what are the barriers that would exclude someone from taking part? People who experience barriers to making and enjoying music are more likely to be disabled, from an ethnic minority, have a mental or physical health condition or be in challenging socio-economic circumstances. How can you identify the barriers that exclude people from taking part in your group's events and activities, or stop people being included when they experience a change of circumstance?


United Kingdom