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.
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
Employees or PAYE zero hour contract workers could be entitled to the Job Retention Scheme. Employees placed on temporary leave known as furlough could receive 80% of their wages, up to £2,500 per month. The scheme is now live.
Furlough scheme extended to end of October
Workers furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500
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, 8.00 to 16.00 Sat, closed Bank Holidays.
SELF EMPLOYMENT INCOME SUPPORT SCHEME
The UK Government’s income support scheme for self employed and freelance workers. From June, if you’re self employed you may be eligible for a taxable grant of 80% of your average trading profits, in a single instalment of up to £7,500.
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.
Find out about support available for individuals and organisations in the creative and culture sector in Wales
This Fund is now paused following a very large number of applications. The Welsh Government is currently considering what further support businesses, charities and social enterprises need. We will update the site with further details in due course.
8.30 to 17.30 Mon – Fri
Grant funding will be open for applications by the end of April, with recipients receiving funding in early May.
NI Executive offer one-off grants of £10,000 to businesses currently in receipt of Small Business Rate Relief
Advice is also available from:
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 Fund Phase Two
Help Musicians’ second wave of hardship support will help those ineligible for government emergency safety nets or unable to survive on what they receive.
This support initiative is targeted at self-employed musicians who do not qualify for Self-Employment Income Support Scheme and other unemployed musicians who are experiencing significant financial hardship.
For those who are eligible, to the extent that funds allow, the charity will offer grant payments for the period 1 June to 31 October, 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.
To enable us to assess eligibility in the most efficient manner, applicants will choose one of three application routes depending on their individual circumstances:
- Route 1: I am accepted or applying for Universal Credit
- Route 2: I am not eligible for Universal Credit but am experiencing significant financial hardship
- Route 3: I have complex needs that go beyond financial hardship and would like to speak with a caseworker
We do not have the capacity to offer all musicians all the financial support they require. We strongly urge you to apply for Universal Credit if this is a viable option for you – not only will it provide vital funds but it will speed up our assessment of your circumstances.
The application process for this new fund will begin on Friday 5 June 2020. Read more about this phase of support on our site here.
The initial £5m Help Musicians Coronavirus Hardship Fund received well in excess of 17,000 applications and is no longer accepting any new applications. This fund was launched quickly to provide immediate financial relief to musicians while Government support options were revealed. We recognise that musicians’ needs during the Coronavirus crisis continue to evolve and our hardship funding has been designed to support those most in need.
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
Advice in Response to Closure of West End and Regional Theatres
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.
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.
Musicians’ Union supports National Education Union’s five tests for Government before schools can reopen
Latest guidance from the MU for self-employed, employed and zero-hour teachers during the coronavirus outbreak.
Advice from the MU on teaching groups online
self employment income support scheme
UK Music advice to businesses on coronavirus
UK Music has collated advice for music businesses affected by the impact of coronavirus
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.
Click here for details
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
A 24 hour helpline for ISM members. Counselling (telephone and face to face) can also be arranged through the support line.
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.
BAPAM mental health resources
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, BAPAM has created a page of mental health resources for those in need of immediate help as well as ongoing support and advice.
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
To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, PRS Members’ Fund has created a 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’ Funding Wizard – a quick way to find funding opportunities relevant to you.
Arts Council England
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
A funding programme to support artists and performers during the COVID-19 crisis. The Artists Emergency Programme (AEP), worth £500,000, offers freelance artists, creative practitioners and performers the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £5,000 each.
Three new funding programmes launched to further support Scotland’s creative community during the outbreak
Arts Council of Wales
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
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.
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.
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
teaching music online
how to earn from 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.