Corona advice for musicians

This page has been created to be a central source of support and advice for all musicians during the coronavirus period. We will update regularly as the situation develops.

Government advice

Coronavirus guidance and support

Read the very latest Government updates, guidance and advice here.

health
advice

If you are feeling unwell

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

mental health and wellbeing

Public Health England guidance on looking after your mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak.

Business
support

Bounce Back Loans scheme

Small businesses can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 as part of a 100% government backed loan scheme. The first 12 months of the loan are interest free.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – also known as the Furlough scheme – will now remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

DWP Covid 19 Universal Credit Support campaign

A new website from Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) with information, advice and FAQs on employment, self employment and benefit support through COVID-19.

HMRC Tax Helpline

HMRC’s tax helpline offers advice for businesses and self employed people concerned about their tax payments due to coronavirus. If you’re unable to pay, HMRC can discuss payment plans, suspending debt collection and cancelling penalties and interest when administrative issues arise.

8.00 to 20.00 Mon – Fri, closed Bank Holidays.

SELF EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME

The UK Government’s income support scheme for self employed and freelance workers. The scheme has been extended from 1 November. The extension will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021 with grants paid in two lump sum installments each covering a three-month period.

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary measures to support businesses across the UK through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19, including SMEs.

across
the UK

Wales

Read the latest updates and information about coronavirus from the Arts Council of Wales.

Business Wales has put together a Covid-19 business support finder with resources which could be available to you.

scotland

8.30 to 17.30 Mon – Fri

northern ireland

Find out how to access the support that has been made available to NI businesses and employees during the coronavirus period – who is eligible and how to apply.

Advice is also available from:

Money worries

Financial
hardship

We strongly recommend that you follow current government advice and apply for Universal Credit or Employment and Support Allowance.

Help Musicians has put together some tips and helpful resources for musicians on accessing Universal Credit. Watch the video here.

Help musicians

The Health and Welfare team offers structured support to professional musicians in times of personal crisis. Our approach is person-centred; building tailored support around an individual’s specific needs. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons, Help Musicians is unable to replace lost earnings. But we are able to provide financial support in cases of significant financial hardship as well as signposting for debt or welfare related issues.

Help Musicians Coronavirus Hardship Funding Phase 3 opens

Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Funding Phase 3 – providing financial support to professional musicians who fall through the gaps of government support or are unable to make ends meet

Phase 3 of our Financial Hardship Funding is targeted at self-employed musicians who do not qualify for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and unemployed professional musicians who are experiencing hardship.

For those who are eligible, and to the extent that funds allow, the charity will offer grant payments from the time their application is successful to March 2021 to top-up Universal Credit payments where relevant. Where an applicant does not qualify for Universal Credit but is still experiencing significant financial hardship, an assessment will be made based on individual circumstances.

For information, guide notes and to apply for the fund click here

HOW TO GET EMERGENCY FUNDING IF YOU WORK IN MUSIC

UK Music’s round up of emergency funding advice for the music industry

ISM

Musicians’ Union

Various membership organisations operate their own benevolent funds:

Other sources of useful
financial assistance & advice

Debt
advice

Debt advice and support

Advice about business related debts

Contractual Issues and Income Loss

GLA PAY IT FORWARD LONDON

GLA is offering 100% free fundraising to help small businesses stay afloat by pre-selling vouchers, goods and services to clients and customers.

INSURANCE

ISM LEGAL SUPPORT

If you are an ISM member, you can contact the in-house legal team via legal@ism.org. Please include your membership number and supporting documents (contracts, correspondence etc) for review.

ISM offer specific legal advice for members working in the following areas

MU FUTURE LIVE PERFORMANCE AGREEMENTS

Three vital points to look out for in rescheduled gig contracts

music education resources

The ISM has collated a selection of online learning resources for primary, secondary and instrumental learning. Many are free or discounted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Latest guidance from the MU for self-employed, employed and zero-hour teachers during the coronavirus outbreak.

Comprehensive covid-19 health and safety advice for music teachers released

Advice from the MU on teaching groups online

self employment income support scheme

Working in theatre

Health issues

Help Musicians

The Health and Welfare team offers structured support to professional musicians in times of personal crisis. Our approach is person-centred; building tailored support around an individual’s specific needs. We provide financial assistance for health interventions and access to music specialist health assessments for performance related health issues.

BAPAM

BAPAM is a specialist healthcare charity giving medical advice to performing arts professionals and students. Their expert clinicians understand the demands of a performing arts career and can help with problems including work-related injuries and pain, tension, voice problems, hypermobility, performance or career-related anxiety and other psychological issues. BAPAM clinicians are from a range of backgrounds including general practice, physiotherapy, psychology, osteopathy, rheumatology, and orthopaedics.

BAPAM is offering a series of free online training sessions for musicians covering a range of performance health issues.

Every Tuesday, BAPAM hosts facilitated sessions to support you in developing and sustaining healthy practices as a performing artist.

staying healthy

Sport and Exercise Nutritionist James Collins writes for ISM on looking after your health during lockdown.

How to set up a home work station to avoid back pain.

Mental health

Immediate
help

music minds matter

A free, confidential, around the clock helpline run by Help Musicians for the entire music industry. Whatever you do in music and whatever you’re going through right now, contact Music Minds Matter for a listening ear.

music support

A support service and helpline for anyone in the music industry suffering from alcoholism, addiction, emotional or mental health issues.

Information and guidance for musicians including details of Music Support services and links to further health and wellbeing resources

ISM

A 24 hour helpline for ISM members. Counselling (telephone and face to face) can also be arranged through the support line.

Mind

For urgent help and support. Plus advice on how to support others. 

emergency numbers

Resources

ArtsMinds

ArtsMinds brings together resources for performers and creative practitioners facing mental health issues. The ArtsMinds website is a collaboration between BAPAM, Equity, Spotlight and The Stage.

Coping with Change

Read Psychotherapist Helen Brice’s blog post for Help Musicians on the link between change and anxiety, and how mindfulness can help.

CORONAVIRUS AND YOUR WELLBEING

Helpful information from mental health charity Mind on looking after your wellbeing during the outbreak.

MENTAL WELL-BEING IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC

MUSIC INDUSTRY THERAPISTS & COACHES

Available as a free download from the MITC website.

PRS Members’ Fund – looking after your mental health

Check out PRS Members’ Fund’s downloadable guide to self care and good mental health

THRIVE MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING PHONE APP

The NHS approved Thrive app offers 24/7 mental health and wellbeing support as well as help with early detection, prevention and management of common mental health disorders. Thrive’s partnership with Music Support offers 1,000 free download codes for the app available through Music Support’s website here.

Help Musicians’ partnership with Music Support also offers free access to the Thrive app for 4,500 musicians. Click here for more information.

Creative development

ORGANISATIONS

Help Musicians

Every year, Help Musicians give grants, provide opportunities and offer advice to talented musicians.

Help Musicians funding opportunities now open

Help Musicians has opened three funds to support music creators in furthering their musical output, developing business skills and to help maintain wellbeing.

The Transmission Fund, Do It Differently and the Mobo Help Musicians Fund are now available for musicians apply for until 23 November 2020.

For more information on these funds and to find out how to apply, click here.

Help Musicians Funding Wizard

Help Musicians’ Funding Wizard – a quick way to find funding opportunities relevant to you.

Arts Council England

ARTS COUNCIL OF WALES

Creative Scotland

Three new funding programmes launched to further support Scotland’s creative community during the outbreak

PRS Foundation

RESOURCES

Free tools and resources for musicians

ism advice pack: How to connect with a digital audience

CMU’s Chris Cooke tackles the world of streaming, music rights and finding an audience once your music is online. ISM members can access this online resource here

Making music online in real time

Check out bassist John J Williamson’s guide to performing and recording remotely in real time.

Practice videos with the Stringcredibles

Bitesize videos for all players to help you stay connected to your practice and performance at home.

Working online

Copyright: Where you stand as an online musician

Practical advice which considers some of the copyright implications involved in moving to an online teaching or performing environment.

DIGITAL CULTURE NETWORK

Arts Council England’s Digital Culture Network helps artists and organisations develop digital skills and find new ways to reach and engage audiences.
Read about the resources, events and support available here.

How to put on online concerts & gigs

Advice on setting up, promoting and monetising online performances.

How to work remotely as a musician

Advice blog from Audrey Riley, cellist, composer and ICMP music tutor on how to adapt your practice as a musician for remote working during the lockdown period.

livestreaming

RECORDING FROM HOME

Trumpet player and contractor Paul Spong of Music Creation talks about working remotely as a session musician and getting the right set up to record at home.

Musician Charlie Glover-Wright explains what you’ll need to start recording music at home.

Setting up for online performance

social media tips for musicians in lockdown

TEACHING MUSIC ONLINE

Other helpful information

8 TIPS TO BOOST YOUR CAREER THROUGH RADIO DURING LOCKDOWN

advice for parents on working from home

AMA FREE WEBINARS FOR CREATIVES

Creative Industries Federation (regular updates)

GUIDANCE FOR MUSICIANS ON HOUSING

HOW TO REACH FANS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PERIOD

ISM (Regular Updates)

ivors academy

MU survey identifies key gaps in government support for self employed workers

MPG guidelines on reopening recording studios and production rooms safely

MPG petition for more support for self employed members

Next steps: picturing possibilities for the return to work.

RECORDING SESSION SAFETY DURING THE OUTBREAK

Safety advice from the MU on attending recording sessions as a freelancer

uk music