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 - ICCM and Sound Sense community music student symposium
19 December 2022
Rory Wells shares his round up of the 7th International Centre for Community Music (ICCM) Student Symposium, Boundaries of Practices
Sound Sense Blog - Music for Dementia and UK Music release the Power of Music Report
26 July 2022
In April 2022 the Power of Music report was launched rigorously evidencing the value of music to all in society across social and health care. Sound Sense member Thea Jacob breaks down the report, clearly outlining a call to action to our community musician workforce, who are already well-established and skilled in using music to improve health and wellbeing.
Sound Sense Blog - the new national plan for music education in England
18 July 2022
The Power of Music to Change Lives, the refreshed National Plan for Music Education in England was published in June 2022. Sound Sense board member Mark Bick explores "is the plan good, bad or irrelevant for community musicians"?
Sound Sense Blog - TTCM 2022 Bristol Beacon
11 March 2022
Reflecting on our third Training the Community Musician symposium, Amy Hill provides an event recap and shares her key takeaways
Sound Sense Blog - Rachael Perrin, Co-director of Sound Sense member Soundcastle
09 November 2021
Rachael Perrin of Soundcastle encourages her fellow community musicians to explore how we can support ourselves and one another to be the best version of ourselves, in order to best serve our communities, peers and families
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

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