Transforming Communities

Musicians from across the UK attend the 2018 Musicians’ Practice Forum

Live Music Now is the only organisation in the UK that provides evidence-based training, mentoring and support to young professional musicians, enabling them to work in a wide variety of community, special education and healthcare settings. We have over 300 musicians on the scheme, who stay with us for no more than 5 years, so that we can continue to grow the UK’s participatory music workforce.

On 26 February 2018, young professional musicians from across the UK gathered at London’s Kings Place for LMN’s annual Musicians’ Practice Forum: a day of training, networking and professional development for musicians currently performing and leading participatory music sessions. This photo-essay shows what took place:


The day began with an inspiring key-note presentation from legendary community and participatory music manager, researcher and policy-maker, Kathryn Deane on the importance of music in everyone’s lives, and the role of professional musicians in facilitating music-making opportunities in the community.

During the day, workshops included:
– “SwapShop” – musicians share musical games, activities and songs
– “A Musicians Guide to Finance” with The Musicians Union
– “Sounds of Intent – musical progression for children with additional needs
“Dementia Friend” training: understanding the challenges of living with dementia with the Alzheimer’s Society
“A Choir In Every Care Home” residencies in care homes with LMN Strategic Director Douglas Noble
– “Inspire SEND” LMN residencies in special schools with LMN Strategic Director Karen Irwin

At many of the places we visit, we meet children and adults whose physical limitations make traditional musical instruments very difficult to use. We are always interested in exploring new technologies that might help them overcome these barriers. With this in mind, professional musician and singer songwriter Kris Halpin demonstrated his incredible Mi.Mu Gloves – wireless, sensor-enabled gloves for creating and performing music through movement and gesture.



LMN alumnus, saxophonist and communications consultant Joel Garthwaite led a “Fixers Friend” session focusing on how to get repeat work as a professional musician.



Music therapist, vocal coach and community choir leader Pheone Cave‘s topic was “Singing for Non-singers” – leading participatory singing when the voice isn’t your main instrument.



Throughout the day, hands-on practical sessions were complimented by one-to-one advice sessions with industry professionals and performances by LMN musicians:



The day concluded with a mass particulatory performance, led by LMN world music group ‘Yennega Sound’.




Funding for the 2018 LMN Musicians’ Practice Forum was provided by Arts Council England, the Utley Foundation and Green & Fortune’s Rotunda.


Photography by Richard Eaton.