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Photograph from the back of a string section in an orchestra, looking forward across scores and players holding violins.

Health and Safety In Orchestras

For those of you returning to work in orchestras, you need to be sure your employer or engager is offering you a safe place to work. This may not be straightforward!

Published: 17 September 2021

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Photograph of a close up of a young flute player, practicing in a classroom setting. Behind them we can see other performers and a teacher figure.

MU Urges New Education Secretary and Schools Minister to Work Together to Protect Music Education

Following the sacking of Education Secretary Gavin Williamson and Schools Minister Nick Gibb – and their replacement by Nadhim Zahawi and Robin Walker respectively – the MU urges the new ministers to work together to address systemic problems affecting music education in England.

Published: 17 September 2021

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Headie One performs at the Brixton Academy in November 2019.

The Rise of UK Hip-Hop

From the margins to the mainstream, UK hip-hop has exploded in recent years and risen to evermore creative and commercial heights.

Published: 25 August 2021

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Tankus the Henge - Crédit - Sophie Hervet

Touring in Europe in a Post-Brexit Age

Tankus The Henge are one of the first UK bands to brave the post-Brexit and mid-Covid EU touring circuit. Henry Yates asked pianist and frontman Jaz Delorean about the challenges, pleasures and pitfall.

Published: 12 July 2021

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Yazz Ahmed playing flugehorn

Yazz Ahmed: Spanning Sonic Boundaries

Trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer Yazz Ahmed draws on her cultural heritage to create a strident sonic mix, one that blurs the boundaries between jazz and electronic soundscapes.

Published: 09 July 2021

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Photograph zooming in on a hand moving to turn the page on a score, blurred in the dark background are further scores in what appears to be an orchestral section.

An Update on the Work of the MU Orchestra Section

Following our Orchestra Section Annual General Meeting, we have now released the full AGM report to members, with the details summarised in this statement from National Organiser Orchestras Jo Laverty.

Published: 01 July 2021

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Photograph of a microphone stood against a fairly plain background, in black and white.

The Ivors Academy CEO Graham Davies on The Value of The Song

In this blog, Graham Davies discusses the Fix Streaming campaign, which has been running since the start of Covid-19, and asks the question – if streaming is a song economy, why is the songwriter the last and least to be paid?

Published: 22 June 2021

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Photograph of Andi Hopgood sat at the front of a lecture hall, talking into a microphone. Behind her, a large screen displays the MU logo.

Amateur Choirs: “It’s In Our Bones to Use Our Voices”

As the Government continues to restrict the meeting and rehearsing of amateur choirs in England, jazz vocalist, musician and teacher Andi Hopgood discusses why amateur choirs are so essential – from their benefits to wellbeing to the employment they provide.

Published: 10 June 2021

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Photograph of a person's hands on an electronic keyboard

#TheShowMustBePaused One Year On

In this blog, Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl reflects on #TheShowMustBePaused, one year on from this seminal moment in the music industry.

Published: 02 June 2021

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Photograph of a beautiful, swirling red and pattern skirt - part of a dress being worn at a traditional Roma dance.

GRT History Month: In the Blood

To mark Gypsy Roma Traveller (GRT) History Month, MU member Jani Lang takes us through the history of GRT music, and the key role that nurturing and showcasing this heritage plays in the flourishing of GRT communities.

Published: 01 June 2021

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An empty stage of the opera, lit by spotlights and smoke before the performance

Normalising Trans Bodies in Opera

In this blog, commissioned for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, Patricia Yates explores the work that needs to be done to make Opera more accommodating of gender-diverse performers.

Published: 17 May 2021

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Photograph of a collection of young adults in a classroom setting, the photo focuses on one young woman facing seriously forward, with other students blured in the background.

Higher Education Funding Cuts: How Much More Can We Take?

In this blog, MU Deputy General Secretary Naomi Pohl discusses the Government’s proposed HE funding cuts in England, that “MU members are at their most passionate when there is a risk to colleagues or the future workforce,” and how we must do everything to fight back.

Published: 11 May 2021

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Photograph of three young musicians sat on sofas. One has a laptop and microphone, one a guitar, and one is writing on a notepad.

HE Cuts: “The Cultural Sector is Absolutely Right to be Angry”

What the Government’s proposed higher education (HE) cuts could mean for students and course providers – from affecting the financial viability of courses to cutting access for less privileged students and disproportionately affecting disabled people.

Published: 07 May 2021

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Photograph of a row of violins, hanging up in a shop to be purchased.

Buying and Selling Musical Instruments

For professional musicians, buying and selling musical instruments can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Neil Crossley examines the options and assesses how to ensure you get the best outcome with the minimum hassle.

Published: 20 April 2021

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Photograph of an orchestra set out in a socially distanced way, we can see all the musicians sat out across the stage in distanced positions, whilst a conductor gestures from the front.

Life in Lockdown for UK Orchestras

In this longer-read feature, find out more about how UK orchestras have been faring through the pandemic – including taking on remote recording projects, working in creative new directions, and putting health and safety first in the move back to work.

Published: 06 April 2021

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Photograph of a young girl wearing ear protectors at a concert. The background is blurred but we can see multiple people and string lights.

5 Things to Help Include More Autistic People at Gigs

It’s World Autism Day on 2 April! To celebrate we asked Autism consultant and Heart N Soul creative associate Robyn Rocket to write a blog for us with a few pointers on how we can consider inclusion for Autistic musicians and listeners when the world opens again post-Covid.

Published: 01 April 2021

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Saxophone music instrument closeup on black

Saxophone Maintenance and Repair

Jazz saxophonist Derek Nash provides instrument repair advice and reveals the unlikely objects he never goes on tour without – from wine corks to humble rubber bands.

Published: 25 March 2021

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Concert view of a contrabass player

Touring with a Double Bass

Transporting a double bass can be a challenge. Here’s an innovative music gear idea from Americana and roots bassist Mark Lewis.

Published: 25 March 2021

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A photograph of Kelli-Leigh, she's sitting on a sofa in a bright, plant filled room, looking into the space behind the camera thoughtfully.

Women’s History Month: The Year I Used My Voice

In a specially commissioned blog for Women’s History Month – acclaimed singer, songwriter and MU member Kelli-Leigh discusses her own experiences and asks the music industry, “Can you open up doors to talent that may have been closed to them previously?”

Published: 08 March 2021

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Portrait photograph of Lord Holmes, he wears a blue suit against a plain grey background and a serious expression.

Work Arrangements for UK Musicians in the EU: The Show Must Go On

In this blog, originally posted on Lord Holmes of Richmond MBE’s website and reposted here with his kind permission, he discusses how music is an important part of all of us – and a massive cultural export for the UK which must be protected.

Published: 25 January 2021

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