Music is an essential aspect of all human civilisations. It has the power to influence and shape the social fabric as well as have significant impact on the lives of individuals. The evidence base for music's meaning in the world continues to build, showing us its emotional, cultural, physiological, social and developmental impacts. Musicians are increasingly working in a whole range of contexts from performance platforms to prisons, hospitals, schools and other community settings, ensuring that everyone can connect to this extraordinary resource. Musicians matter – and we want to ensure that all musicians can thrive.

A group of people sitting at a table discussing.

Numerous guidelines, programmes, leading initiatives and campaigns on wellbeing and workplace dignity for musicians have begun to emerge in recent years. In 2019 Britten Pears Arts held a ThinkTank on Musician Resilience, in the context of a growing focus on wellbeing and resilience for artists across sectors following the 2017 publication of the Creative Health report and the establishment of the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance. In August 2023 we held a further ThinkTank bringing together key organisations and leading thinkers to ask how we can embed and enact wellbeing and workplace support for musicians and build greater empowerment across the board; to identify what is needed in terms of advocacy in order to gain ground, and how we can work together to make this happen.

In attendance:

  • Facilitator Katherine Zeserson
  • Nina Swann (Executive Director Live Music Now)
  • Dr Anna Detari (Royal College of Music, Centre for Performance Science)
  • Jo Laverty (National Organiser Orchestras, Musicians Union)
  • Claire Cordeaux (CEO British Association for Performing Arts Medicine)
  • Janine Irons (Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Tomorrow’s Warriors)
  • Laurie Oliva (Director of Musicians’ Services, Help Musicians)
  • Debbie Geraghty (CEO Plymouth Music Zone)
  • Carol Leeming MBE (Black Lives in Music)
  • Dena Oxley (Psychotherapeutic Counsellor)
  • Cassie October Raine (Co-CEO and Executive Director, Parents and Carers in Performing Arts
  • Angie Lee-Foster (Producer for Creative Health, Britten Pears Arts)

Click on a profile below to watch a video with the participant.


Musicians’ wellbeing is intrinsically bound up with questions of equity and social justice. Despite pockets of inspiring progress, we see a distressing lack of common cause on these vital topics across music in the UK. We need to come together across the multiple sectors that make up this industry – music education, publishing, the commercial sector, the subsidised sector, community music, creative health and more – to commit to musician wellbeing, to identify and replicate good practice in wellbeing equity, invest in musicians’ wellbeing. We see potential to build an alliance-based campaign based on a commitment model through which institutions and individuals would pledge to ensure the wellbeing equity (welfare and wellbeing) of musicians they work with, employ or commission. From attitude change we aim to inspire behaviour change – by coming together as an industry, we believe we can help all musicians to flourish.

A group of people sitting at a table smiling.