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.
Coronavirus guidance and support
Read the very latest Government updates, guidance and advice here.
Coronavirus restrictions in your area
Check the guidance here for information on coronavirus restrictions in your local area and use the postcode finder for specific information about the rules where you are.
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.
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 remain open until the end of April 2021, 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: SEISS. The online service to claim the fourth grant will be available from late April 2021. If you’re eligible based on your tax returns, HMRC will contact you in mid-April to give you a date that you can make your claim from. It will be given to you either by email, letter or within the online service. You’ll need to confirm you meet other eligibility criteria when you make your claim. You must make your claim on or before 1 June 2021.
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.
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.
8.30 to 17.30 Mon – Fri
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:
Help Musicians has put together some tips and helpful resources for musicians on accessing Universal Credit. Watch the video here.
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 4
Help Musicians’ Coronavirus Financial Hardship Funding Phase 4 – providing financial support to professional musicians who fall through the gaps of government support or are unable to make ends meet
Phase 4 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 September 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
Various membership organisations operate their own benevolent funds:
Other sources of useful
financial assistance & advice
Debt advice and support
Advice about business related debts
Legal / business advice
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.
ISM LEGAL SUPPORT
If you are an ISM member, you can contact the in-house legal team via firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your membership number and supporting documents (contracts, correspondence etc) for review.
The ISM offer free guidance for musicians working across the UK during COVID-19:
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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
For urgent help and support. Plus advice on how to support others.
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.
Every year, Help Musicians give grants, provide opportunities and offer advice to talented musicians.
Help Musicians Transmission fund COVID-19 round now open
The Transmission Fund offers up to £1,500 for musicians of all genres and disciplines looking to progress development opportunities through online courses, masterclasses or mentoring. Applications are open until 25 January 2021.
You can apply for the fund 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
Three new funding programmes launched to further support Scotland’s creative community during the outbreak
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.
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.
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
New Three tier system – what does it mean for musicians?
Read the MU’s FAQ on what the three tier system means for musicians when the new rules come into effect on 2 December
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)
ISM: writing a risk assessment
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