Open Academy works closely with artistic and community partners, offering opportunities for students and project participants to explore music making together

All of our projects are led by skilled professional artists, ensuring a high quality of experience for everyone involved and giving our students the chance to develop their musicianship, skills, and confidence in a wide variety of contexts.

Here are some examples of the opportunities we offer.

Schools and Young People

Working closely with Music Education Hubs and local schools, we co-design and deliver music projects that support creative learning. Our projects in this area include:

More information about recent Open Academy schools’ projects can be found here.

Academy postrgraduate students lead a workshop at the front of a Primary School class at Rhyl Community Primary School
Academy postgraduate students visit Rhyl Community Primary School

Disability and Inclusion

Making music together can be a powerful way to create equality and explore the ways in which a shared creative process can be empowering for everyone, unlocking the musical potential of the whole group. Our projects include:

  • Collaborating with the City Lit Percussion Orchestra since 2016, and the City Lit Inclusive Choir since 2022
  • Working with children at Woodlands Centre for Autism at Netley Primary School since 2018
  • Student placements with The Choir with No Name since 2022
City Lit Percussion Orchestra performing at the Academy in the David Josefowitz Recital Hall
City Lit Percussion Orchestra performing at the Academy in the David Josefowitz Recital Hall. © Simon J Price

Health and Wellbeing

The positive impact of the arts on health and wellbeing is now firmly established, with the profile of work in this area continuing to grow. Our projects in this area include:

  • Creative workshops with children and young people receiving treatment at the Royal London Hospital
  • Collaborative projects with Wigmore Hall as part of their internationally-renowned Music for Life programme, which brings together musicians, people living with dementia and their families and carers
  • Student performances at Age UK Westminster’s memory cafés
  • Placements for Open Academy Fellows on City of London Sinfonia’s Sound Young Minds programme for young people under the care of psychiatric hospitals
  • Regular cross-arts co-creative sessions with people living with dementia at a local care home, led by Julian West, Head of Open Academy
  • Creative workshops led by Jackie Walduck with people living with the effects of homelessness at The Connection with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields chamber orchestra.
A Music for Life session. Workshop leader and Academy alumna Saki Kato (pictured right), next to a participant (pictured middle) and an Academy student (pictured left)
A Music for Life session. Workshop leader and Academy alumna Saki Kato (pictured right), next to a participant (pictured middle) and an Academy student (pictured left). © James Berry.

Online Projects

Out of the Ordinary is a weekly online project developed by Open Academy, Wigmore Hall, UCL’s Rare Dementia Support, and musician Caroline Welsh. This creative project brings together Academy students, professional musicians and people living with rare forms of dementia across the UK.

The project aims to nurture the wellbeing of everyone involved through music and the expressive arts.

A demonstration of an ‘Out of the Ordinary’ workshop at the ‘Music for Life’ 30th birthday celebration in February 2023 at Wigmore Hall. © James Berry.

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