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The MU has forged partnerships with four organisations able to help individuals address problems long before they spiral out of control, and provide expert advice or financial support at times of crisis. The quartet comprises the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM), Help Musicians UKMusic Support and the Royal Society of Musicians (RSM).

At the MU we want as many people as possible to know what these organisations have to offer. We work to help musicians find the most appropriate support. BAPAM offers free clinics to professionals in the performing arts, while the RSM can provide financial help in tough times. Getting a combination of funding and support from these organisations can make a massive difference.

British Association for Performing Arts Medicine

In partnership with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM), the MU provides members with access to health care expressly designed for performing artists. The nationwide services available through BAPAM include access to free confidential clinics, providing in-depth medical assessments by specialist practitioners, and a dedicated helpline that supplies advice and information on medical issues for performing artists. 

BAPAM has clinics in Birmingham, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle and Portsmouth.

BAPAM also has help resources on its website to advise musicians on how to keep in peak condition even when the demands of the job make this difficult. For example, the charity suggests ways of looking after yourself on tour and how to maintain a work-life balance. BAPAM has also started producing guidance for organisations and practitioners on a number of issues that affect musicians, such as hearing conservation, vocal rehabilitation, and mental health and wellbeing services, which are very helpful in ensuring members are signposted to the correct services for treatment.

For more information, a list of complementary and mainstream practitioners, and guidance on staying fit and healthy, please visit bapam.org.uk.

Help Musicians

Help Musicians has listened to and helped thousands of musicians since its foundation almost a century. Help Musicians collaborates across the industry to support musicians and those who work with them.Their partnership with BAPAM provides a range of health services, including a healthy touring package for wellbeing on tour developed through the Do It Differently fund for independent musicians. ago. 

Learn more about what Help Musicins UK does for health and welfare of musicians.

Musicians Hearing Health Scheme

Noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. Protect your hearing with Help Musicians and Musicians Hearing Services, and access musician-specialist audiologists and bespoke hearing protection at an affordable price.

What's included?

  • Free audiological assessment and ear check up from a specialist in musicians' hearing (worth up to £145)
  • One set of free custom-made, specialist musicians' ear plugs (worth £170)
  • Expert advice on referral routes and next steps to manage any problems, including contact with your GP
  • Option of wax removal if necessary, at a subsidised rate of £40

Clinics take place in London and Manchester throughout the year, and there is a rolling programme of regional clinics. To find out more about these, keep an eye on upcoming MU events or contact your Regional Office.

Applicants must be 18 or over and evidence that they have either earned the majority of their income from one or more of a list of eligible musical professions, or have done so for more than 5 years throughout their career. Read the full eligibility criteria list.

How much does it cost?

The assessment is heavily subsidised by Help Musicians so you will only have to make a one-off payment of £40. The MU provides further a subsidy to bring the cost down to £30 for members.

You will receive an assessment and hearing protection worth almost over £300, as well as an optional follow-up assessment every two years for £20 (saving you £268).

“Noise induced hearing loss is 100% irreversible but is 100% preventable” - Paul Checkley, Musicians Hearing Services

This only includes the costs of one set of hearing protection – it does not provide replacements for lost, stolen or broken hearing protection. We recommend that you include your bespoke hearing protection on your home contents insurance. Musicians’ Hearing Services will provide you with a proof of purchase for the full value of your hearing protection on request.

Sign up to protect your hearing

More information and to register for your hearing assesment, please vist Hear For Musicians.

Please note that you will need to provide contact details and evidence to show that you are a professional musician. Help Musicians will then make an assessment and be in touch within five working days to let you know if you are eligible. They will also pass on your details to Musicians Hearing Services who will be in touch to register you on the scheme and make you an appointment at a hearing clinic of your choice.

Music Minds Matter

Music Minds Matter provides emotional support, advice and information, signposts to other specialist services, debt and legal advice. You can also access Help Musicians UK grants. The programme grew from a 2016 study commissioned by Help Musicians from the University of Westminster and MusicTank. The study has found that over 71% of the 2,211 self-selected respondents to the Music Minds Matter survey reported an experience of panic attacks or high levels of anxiety. Over two thirds, meanwhile, reported experiencing depression.

When you are struggling to cope, or know someone who is, you can talk to Music Minds Matter. It doesn’t have to be a crisis, or about music. The Music Minds Matter Counsellors are here to listen, support and help at any time. 

Visit Music Minds Matter

Music Support

Music Support is a registered charity founded in April 2016 by people from inside the UK music industry.

Music Support provides help and support for those in or employed by the UK music industry affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction. The charity also facilitates education and learning via workshops and training to musicians and organisations in the music industry so they may be better equipped in the areas of awareness, early intervention and prevention.

Royal Society of Musicians

The Royal Society of Musicians provides vital financial assistance, advice and guidance to those professionally active in the world of music but who are unable to work due to accident, illness or old age.

The charity recognises the precarious nature of freelance life and responds to requests from those in need. It makes grants to professional musicians, whether active or retired, others professionally involved in the world of music, or their families and dependents. The Society’s investment capital and income from annual membership fees, bequests and fundraising generates sufficient cash to cover, among other things, healthcare costs, unexpected costs in old age and funeral expenses, and helps ameliorate hardship arising from being unable to work. Its assistance, delivered in confidence, also runs to counselling, financial advice, rehabilitation or making referrals to specialist practitioners.

The vocational nature of being a musician, where an individual’s identity is so fundamentally defined by their calling, can be both blessing and curse.

People are absolutely dedicated to their art. It can be devastating to find that they can no longer sing or play. We’re able to provide long-term financial assistance to those whose health conditions mean they will never work again.
The RSM’s chief executive Charlotte Penton-Smith

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