Sound Sense Team

Åsa Malmsten
Åsa has been director of Sound Sense since August 2016. Passionate about community music, she feels truly honoured to be representing so many amazing professionals working in the field! Åsa worked as producer for Welsh National Opera for nearly 10 years. During this time she worked extensively in community music, commissioning brand new work for young audiences, working in schools as well as hard to reach communities, early years music settings, elder and dementia care and at risk youth groups. As a freelance project manager Åsa has delivered projects in SENd settings as well as formal and informal music education. A passionate believer in the power of community music, Åsa advocates for the impact of music, to break down barriers, connect divided and disparate groups, in health care, music education and vulnerable people in hard to reach communities. Åsa lives in Cardiff with her two cats. She is a keen gardener and lover of the great outdoors
Clare Adams
Members' Coordinator

Clare works part-time for Sound Sense looking after everything do with our membership scheme: if you've got a query on insurance, DBS checks, subscription payments, Find a Musician or any other aspect of membership then please get in touch.

When not at her Sound Sense desk Clare is a professional bassoonist and versatile music educator, working with people of all ages to develop their music-making skills and enjoyment. It's difficult to say what she does that doesn't involve music (it's everywhere isn't it?) but she loves the great outdoors, exploring on either two feet or two wheels.

Our Board of Directors

Our board of directors are all members of Sound Sense, elected on to the board by other members. Each member is elected for a three-year period, with one third of board stepping down each year, allowing us to keep a yearly board election.

We currently have 12 dedicated board members, actively involved in the many aspects of the organisation. Our board control the overall policy of the organisation, makes sure it is financially sound and steers the activities of its staff.

Jess Abrams
Jess is a musician and music practitioner. Her work is largely with young people who are hard to reach, young offenders and young people in care and/or supported by social work. As well as facilitating workshops, Jess is the director of the Edinburgh Youth Music Forum, working with music practitioners to explore, develop and share practice, She also lectures in Community Music and Music Education at Edinburgh College. She has an MSc in Music in the Community from the University of Edinburgh but was a practitioner long before she held the degree! Jess is from New York but has lived in lovely Edinburgh for 20 years. She is a vocalist playing gigs whenever she can (never enough gigs!) to feed her heart and soul (rarely does it feed her wallet!)
Adele Drake
Long ago and far away I was a teacher in mainstream...also a cab driver in the holidays. Both of which were useful in preparing me to kick-start a new work, although I had no idea where the route would lead. After taking a post-grad course at the Institute of Education, I embarked upon Drake Research which became Drake Music - the charity was named in memory of two of my daughter who died as young women. By the time I retired, we were running regular workshops in 10 cities in the UK and Ireland and I am proud to have been part of the continuing work, despite all the challenges and instabilities involved in the voluntary sector. I now have the good fortune to be co-founder and Trustee of Liquid Vibrations, www.liquidvibrations.org.uk
Graham Dowdall
Graham is a musician who combines an active performing career with one as a community musician/trainer/tutor. Her currently performs and composes solo electronica as Gagarin and is a member of acclaimed Iranian/electronic band Roshi Feat, Pars Radio and legendary avant rockers Pere Ubu. Since studying Music Workshop Skills at Goldsmiths, he has been continually active delivering community music projects across a huge range of client groups - early years, KS2/3, SEN, disabled people, young people with ASC, "at risk" young people, teens and elders. He works extensively in special schools, children's homes, PRU's, secure units and other contexts. His work is driven by the belief that being actively involved in creative music making enables people to change their lives and contribute to better communities, and that everyone, regardless of life circumstances deserves the opportunity to be involved in creative music making. A particular specialism is working in the field of disabilities using technology to facilitate creativity. Graham has an extensive community music training and consultancy portfolio, delivering training for, amongst others, Music Leader, Drake Music, Universities of Limerick, Antrim, Hull, London, Rhythmix, Drake Music, Live Music Now, Sound Connections, and numerous music hubs. Graham teaches at Goldsmiths leading their teaching in community music
Sam Dunkley
Sam Dunkley is founder director of Performing Arts etc Ltd - a company that delivers impactful, participatory arts projects with adults and young people. They put on musicals in a week for theatres, music hubs and schools, write new shows with young people about the district where they live - Bradford the Musical - and deliver songwriting workshops in schools across the country. Sam is a Yorkshire based music education consultant and community musician and since graduating from the University of Huddersfield, he has developed a broad portfolio career. He has sung for Opera North, conducted at Royal Albert Hall, presented at Syphony Hall,Birmingham, composed songs for the BBC, trained teachers in schools and music hubs, written songs in prisons and conducted singing and signing choirs. He is currently midway through an MBA at the University of Bradford, knitting a stuffed rabbit and recording an album of folk songs.
Bela Emerson
Isabel Emerson is a Brighton-based cellist who has been a Sound Sense trustee since 2013. Working primarily as a participatory music practitioner in a wide range of community and healthcare settings, she is also co-director of community music organisation Open Strings Music, as well as a facilitator, trainer and mentor with Rhytmix's Wishing Well. As a performer, composer and improviser, she has toured worldwide, made music for acrobats and been commissioned as a solo artist by BBC Radio 3.
Rebecca Gross
Xenia Horne
Xenia Horne FRSA is an experienced animateur and project director. She has worked with community groups and individuals across all ages and settings all her professional life! Originally Xenia trained as a harpist, singer and pianist before studying theatre at Dartington, so enjoys combining art forms and collaborating with other practitioners. She also composes and arranges music, including work for stage, radio and film. In 2004 Xenia founded AndAction Projects to provide an umbrella vehicle for different areas of work from site specific performances to workshops in community settings, care homes, early years and more, chiefly focusing on outreach and community projects. In October 2016, Xenia was appointed to the role of Community Music Coordinator with Norfolk Music Hub. She has also been working with the Royal Opera House education team and Bedfordshire Council on the Culture Plus project and is on the regional committee for the Eastern Region of the Musicians Union. Xenia is a longstanding Sound Sense member and has been a member of the board since 2010.
Bex Mather
Rosanna Mead
Rosanna Mead is a keen advocate for community music, especially music and health. She is director of Musica Music and Wellbeing, which is a social enterprise that aims to use music to benefit older adults and children, and has a special focus on working with care settings to embed music into their care provision. Rosanna is a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter; working under the umbrella of sociology, she is currently researching acute hospital ward environments for patients living with dementia, and the role music can play within this. Rosanna lives in rural Dorset with her husband, two daughters and two crazy cocker spaniels. In her spare time, Rosanna enjoys playing clarinet with the HMS Heron Royal Navy Volunteer Band at Yeovilton.
Siggy Patchitt
Vice chair
Siggy spent his early career as a community musician in the South West, working in schools and youth settings using Music-Based Mentoring and Social Pedagogy to help young people from diverse backgrounds develop a lifelong love of music. He took a desk job in 2010 as a member of the Colston Hall Education team, which was later to merge with the local Music Service to form Bristol Plays Music, the Hub Lead organisation for Bristol. Since 2015, he has been leading on 'A New Ambition for Inclusive Excellence' a three year, Youth Music funded mission to make musically inclusive practice something that is built-in to the way hubs work, not bolted on. Siggy currently spends most of his time preparing the groundwork for the opening of the National Centre for Inclusive Excellence in September 2018. He has a Cockapoo called Gandhi, loves olives and Rush, almost joined the army once, was a ski instructor in another life and has just got into sewing!
Rachael Perrin
I am an artist entrepreneur and collaborator. My happiest moments are those spent in the company of others, sharing stories and ideas. Music has an unparalleled power to connect us and each musical adventure is a unique journey. I am director of Soundcastle: a company that connects families and communities to increase well-being. This is a space where I feel challenged, inspired and ever encouraged to take new steps. It's wonderful to be part of a company with complex and robust vision and artistic methodology, yet at the same time no idea what might happen from one moment to the next! I also teach at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and am part of a team devising a new BA in Performance and Creative enterprise. It is a joy to play and explore ideas with such an amazingly diverse circle of people. When I am not musicking I very much enjoy being next to, in or under water. Be it swimming, sea kayaking or strolling on a beach, this is my happy place.
Paul Weston
Paul is an experienced musician, community musician and project manager and is director of Laboratory Media Education. Paul specialises in reflecting on his practice to provoke creative disruptions in order to explore the things he does not know. He has been involved in the development of the Music Education Code of Practice and the National Round Table for Music Progression. Past roles include director of Musicleader East of England and teaching in a wide variety of settings and institutions. His current role involves simplifying music technology for it's creative use in education, health and social inclusion.
Come and join us
Membership of Sound Sense offers some brilliant benefits, which are all about supporting you in your work.