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What are Section Committees?

The MU's Music Sections act as focus groups for musicians working in areas such as music teaching, recording, composing, orchestras, theatre and live performance. Section Committees oversee policy in the relevant industrial sections, representing the views of different parts of the music profession, and are vital to informing our work helping to shape our policy. 

Each Section Committee meets to discuss musicians’ issues and make recommendations to the MU Executive Committee (EC). Sometimes Sections may also choose to elect sub-committees to deal with individual types of employment covered by the overall remit of the Section.

Standing for a Section Committee

The nomination process for members wishing to stand for election to MU Section Committees takes place every two years. Successful candidates will sit on their chosen committee for a two-year term from April.

Joining an MU committee is an opportunity for you to get involved in shaping the Union’s policy on issues that matter to you. Being on an MU committee will:

  • Give you experience of the Union’s policy and decision-making processes
  • Develop you as an activist
  • Enable you to create meaningful change that helps you and others
  • Connect you with other members and Union staff
  • Provide opportunities to network with the wider music industry and decision-makers

How Section Committees are formed?

Each music industry Section Committee is formed by democratically elected MU members. Section Committees oversee policy in the following industrial areas:

There is a maximum of 20 seats on each Section Committee. If there are more applications than available seats, a ballot of relevant section members takes place to establish the 20 successful candidates. Successful candidates have a place on their chosen committee for the next two years.


To qualify for a Section Committee seat, you must be:

  • Working, paid or unpaid, in the relevant area of the industry. For example, if you would like to join the Music Writers section, then you need to have worked as a composer, lyricist, copyist, arranger or in another role in music writing
  • A member of the relevant MU Section yourself. For example, if you would like to join the Education Section Committee, you will need to be a member of the MU Education Section. Candidates can check and update section memberships through their My MU online account
  • Nominated by a fellow member of the relevant MU Section.

Members interested in applying should read the following information, and then complete the short application form linked below.

What happens after nominations?

 Once the nomination deadline has passed, the qualifying applications for each committee are counted.

  • If there are 20 or fewer qualifying applications for a committee, then all qualifying applicants are automatically elected to the committee and are notified accordingly.
  • If there are more than 20 qualifying applications for a committee, there is a ballot. This means an election will be held to select the 20 successful applicants.


Members of all Section Committees are elected for a two-year term.

Committee members are expected to attend three to four meetings each year, some of which will be held online and others in-person.

Members are not expected to devote excessive amounts of time to committees, but attendance at meetings and input on specific issues is much appreciated and useful.

The MU makes every effort to ensure that our committee meetings are accessible to all members. If you have any questions about access requirements please contact

Fees and expenses

When a member attends a committee meeting they can claim a committee meeting allowance.

If a member loses earnings as a consequence of attending a committee meeting and needs reimbursement they can claim ONE of the options below:

  • The committee meeting allowance.
  • A claim for loss of earnings (which needs to be evidenced).

A committee member can only claim loss of earnings OR a meeting allowance, but not both.

In addition, where a member is required to attend a meeting in-person, reasonable expenses (for example, travel expenses) will be covered.

Reserved Seats Policy

A reserved seats policy is in place for Section Committees. Reserved seats are common practice within the trade union movement to ensure fair representation and to make unions more effective when tackling issues. It is hoped that increased diversity on committees will ensure they are fully representative, shift the MU’s thinking and offer a range of new perspectives making the MU a more inclusive trade union.

In the case an election is required a reserved seats policy will be applied as follows:

  • 7 seats for Women members
  • 2 seats for members from the Global Majority
  • 2 seats for Disabled members
  • 1 seat for LGBTQ+ members
  • 8 general seats

When the results of a ballot are received, applicants for each committee are placed in reserved seats as appropriate. For example, the 7 highest polling women candidates receive the 7 seats reserved for women. Any other candidates that are women are placed in the pool for the 8 general seats, unless they also qualify for another of the reserved seat categories. Once the seats have been filled with the highest polling candidates in each reserved category, the 8 highest polling applicants remaining are placed in the 8 general seats.

If there are fewer applicants than reserved seats in a category, the remaining unfilled seats are added to the general seats total.

If you have any questions or would like any further information, please email