Let the music play! Resources for lockdown

We hope that you and your loved ones continue to be safe and well. It’s sadly been an abrupt end to the academic year due to the Coronavirus outbreak, but behind the scenes our team are working hard on how we can take some of our activity online. In the meantime we’ve compiled a few ideas that can help get you through quarantine, along with some practical help for our sector.

But above all at this time, we say, let the music play!

As always we love to hear from you and although we may take a little longer to get back to you please do get involved and let us know your thoughts, comments and feedback via:
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Virtual Academy

We’ve launched virtual music lessons in lockdown to ensure young people in Bristol can continue to learn an instrument, with free bursary places for key workers.

Virtual Academy online lessons are available on most instruments (subject to tutor availability) and for children and young people of all levels (excluding absolute beginners) and ages 7-18.

Sign up to Virtual Academy

Music Resources for parents and teachers

Music Mark

Music Mark have the most comprehensive list of resources and activities we’ve seen so far, that can support you to keep music flowing at home, including BBC Teach – Bring the Noise, a range of free and fun online music resources aimed to inspire and engage children aged up to seven.

The Beat Goes On are running online Body Beats body percussion sessions streaming live daily for children (and adults) of all ages.

Visit the Music Mark site

With Nicky

With Nicky is an online series of educational videos to inform and guide young musicians through their development, launched and hosted by violinist Nicola Benedetti.

Visit Nicola’s YouTube channel

The Quarantine Choir

The Quarantine Choir launched in early March by Bristol based music practitioner and conductor Ben England has grown to over 1000 subscribers with thousands of views around the world. Ben is uploading daily singing videos to YouTube with a mixture of singing technique, breathing exercises, performance tips, silly games and the occasional bout of lunacy!

Join the Quarantine Choir on YouTube

Daily piano recitals with Claire Alsop

If you’ve ever been to a youth concert in Bristol it’s more than likely you’ll have heard long standing BPM contributor and musical arranger Claire Alsop’s music. Whilst we’re in lock-down Claire is hosting daily piano recitals from her Facebook page so drop in and enjoy!

Visit Claire’s page


Nurture your children’s curiosity, spark and celebrate their ideas with TED-Ed. With hundreds of TED-Ed animations and TED talks designed to teach you fun and interesting things you probably didn’t already know. You’ll also find thousands of video-based lessons organised by age-level and subject.

Visit the TED Ed site

Minute of Listening

Venture into a world of sound with our friends Minute of Listening. They’ve made their resources free throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, for all parents and educators who suddenly find themselves home-educating children. The Bristol Collection was curated by Bristol Play Music and celebrates music and sounds from our wonderful city.

Visit the Minute of Listening site

Ten Pieces At Home

From after the Easter holidays the BBC will be launching weekly ‘Ten Pieces at Home’ activities for primary schools. Each will include a Ten Pieces film to watch and enjoy and a linked creative activity that can be completed by children at home without any special materials or preparation. A perfect, simple and easy way to keep listening, enjoying and creating music at this time.

Visit Ten Pieces at Home

BandLab for Schools

24 video tutorials, 38 PDFs and 15 quizzes from Inclusive Music covering how to learn the skills to start making music using technology.

Visit BandLab by Inclusive Music

Help for musicians and music practitioners

Help Musicians

Help Musicians UK understand that the impact of Coronavirus on musicians lives and careers is unprecedented, and our normal person-centred approach of Health & Welfare support needs to be boosted in this exceptional period to give as many musicians as possible immediate financial relief.

Visit the Help Musicians site

PRS Foundation

The PRS Foundation for Music has a new emergency relief fund open to all PRS members around the world who have been a member for at least two years and earned over £500 in the last two years. Grants will be awarded based on assessment of individual need and applicants will receive support up to a value of £1000.

Visit the PRS Foundation site

The Musicians Union

The Musicians Union have set up a £1M hardship fund for members with genuine and pressing hardship that they can apply to.

Visit the Musicians Union site

Incorporated Society of Musicians

The Incorporated Society of Musicians, the UK’s professional body for musicians and subject association for music is a great source for up to date advice.

Visit the ISM site

We’re changing

On Wednesday 23 September 2020 Colston Hall changed its name to Bristol Beacon, and this means we’re changing too.

Bristol Plays Music is run by Bristol Music Trust, the charity that also runs the venue formerly known as Colston Hall. These two organisations will soon unite under one name: Bristol Beacon.

Click below to find out more about how we’re changing, watch our name announcement, and discover how we want everyone to share in the joy of live music.

More info Enter site