Making music with people

Community music involves musicians working with people to enable them to actively enjoy and participate in music. This can happen anywhere and with anyone, because a ‘community’ doesn’t have to be a geographical one. It can be a group of people who share common interests, experiences, and backgrounds.

Anyone can make music, but often people feel that they don’t have the skills or they need to be talented. Sometimes they’ve simply never had the opportunity or the means to make music. Community music is about co-creating a great experience, where everyone’s input is valued and everyone is included.

Community musicians deeply feel the impact of music

Music can communicate, inspire, excite, motivate, and express a wide range of feelings and experiences, and community music practitioners know this at their core. They are skilled musicians who have had their lives deeply touched and often changed by their own encounters with music-making. These experiences make them passionate, empathic, and highly effective facilitators of music-making in their chosen community.

Community music has proven health benefits. Singing aids breathing in patients with respiratory disease and music can bring back memory function in people suffering from dementia. Music can aid speech development in stroke sufferers and it relaxes people and lifts moods.

Creativity in the hands of everyone

As an organisation with over 800 community musician members, we have the privilege of seeing the rich and diverse music-making projects happening in communities throughout the UK and abroad. Sound Sense members come from all walks of life and work with people in diverse communities such as care homes, hospices, hospitals, schools, early years and special educational settings, prisons, homelessness, in mixed cultural communities, refugee settings, and much much more.

Community musicians thrive on helping people, and whole communities, find their unique voice and express it through music. They are champions of nurturing creativity and understand that it comes in many wild and wonderful forms and will be different for everyone.

Community music in action

To see the inspiring and creative work being carried out by our members both here in the UK and abroad, head over to our Instagram and Facebook pages, where each week we shine the spotlight on and celebrate a different member as part of our Member Monday series.


The journal of community music, for and by Sound Sense members. A rich resource of shared community music practice, research and interviews from across the community music sector in the UK and abroad.
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Sound Sense Blog - Mark Foster, The Child Protection Company
12 August 2021
Mark Foster of The Child Protection Company highlights specific safeguarding measures to watch out for upon your return to post-COVID in-person music delivery
Sound Sense Blog - Bryony Harris, Director of organisation member Arts Active
03 August 2021
Bryony Harris, Director of Sound Sense member organisation Arts Active, spoke with Amy Hill about the value of multi-arts programmes and how the Cardiff-based music charity quickly adapted during the pandemic to continue to serve its participants
Sound Sense Blog - message from our new Chair
28 October 2020

Hello Sound Sensers!

I’m Jess Abrams – Edinburgh-based Music Practitioner, Educator, Musician and now Chair of Sound Sense. I’m so delighted and honoured to step into the role.

Sound Sense Blog - Zoe Konez, community musician and Sound Sense board member
10 September 2019
Find out why you should consider standing for election for the Sound Sense Board of Directors
Sound Sense Blog - Siggy Patchitt, Head of the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence at Bristol Music Trust
07 November 2018
Sound Sense chair Siggy Patchitt looks out over the music education landscape
Sound Sense Blog - Tim Palmer, Head of Music Education at Trinity Laban
17 September 2018
Sound Sense board member Tim Palmer explores the common ground between diverse musical contexts
Sound Sense Blog - Jess Abrams
06 September 2018
Vocalist and community music practitioner Jess Abrams on why she became a member, and then a Board member, of Sound Sense
Sound Sense Blog - Simon Glenister, Noise Solution Ltd
04 June 2018
Sound Sense Board member, Simon Glenister, on why measuring shouldn't be an afterthought
Sound Sense Blog - Paul Weston, Laboratory Media Education
09 May 2018
Sound Sense Board member Paul Weston describes his work as a Community Musician in this Sound Sense Blog post

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