Careers in Music Leading: 5 reasons to come along to Press Play


Thinking about the next steps after you complete your music studies? Starting out and looking for some guidance?

Here are 5 reasons why you need to come along to Press Play…

  1. Get your foot in the door

One of the best ways to get started is to put yourself out there, whether that be through volunteering or shadowing, a social media presence, making and nurturing connections with employers or meeting people who are already established music leaders. Everyone has to start off somewhere and those in the business coming along to Press Play have their own journeys and experiences to share with you.

Animate & The Band / LPO & Trinity Laban

  1. Find out what employers want

Do you really know what they’re looking for? Our visiting organisations and professionals are coming along to Press Play so that you can ask them your questions. Find out what they look for in potential employees and what they think makes a stand out candidate. They can also advise on further development routes such as postgraduate study, trainee schemes and one-off training days.

  1. Know all of your options

Having an open mind and the willingness to explore a variety of work routes will get you far. There are so many rewarding possibilities available to musicians in education, teaching, community settings or arts organisations and being open to trying something new can introduce you to amazing careers that you perhaps never knew about!


  1. Turn your ideas into reality

You don’t need to be a contestant on The Apprentice *sigh of relief* to get your project idea off the ground! It’s all about having the drive to make things happen. Press Play provides you with the opportunity to seek advice from experienced producers and find out about the practicalities and logistics of producing your own participatory music project.

  1. Nothing ventured, nothing gained

Being prepared to step out of your comfort zone is a hugely valuable way to learn. By coming along to Press Play, you can discover new and exciting career paths for you to follow and discover exactly what you need to do to get started. So whether you are in your first or last year of studies, recently graduated or just starting out, now is a great time to think about your future and get ahead on your career.


27 OCT 2017 10.00 – 17.00h

Laban Building, SE8 3DZ

Light lunch and refreshments provided

£15 for Trinity Laban students | £20 for other students | £45 for standard admission

Find out more and book your place here.

10 reasons to join The Teaching Musician programme

The Teaching Musician is a postgraduate programme, designed to increase your skills as a professional musician working in music education. It’s for musicians working in the UK and internationally in any educational setting: from instrumental and vocal teachers in schools to musicians working in community settings.

Discover 10 reasons why The Teaching Musician is the perfect programme for you:

1. Continue to work as you learn

The Teaching Musician is designed to be completed alongside a busy portfolio career.

2. Make connections

Build your professional network of fellow music educators from across the UK and beyond, and engage with Trinity Laban’s highly regarded Learning & Participation team, renowned for their outstanding work and support.

3. It’s value for money

7.TeachingMusicianWebImage2017Achieve the complete MA programme for less than £5,500 and spread the cost over 2-4 years depending on how intensely you would like to study.

4. Receive world class tutoring

Gain support and mentoring from expert staff actively working in the music education sector and drawn from a variety of Higher Education Institutions.

5. Learn at home and visit us in the holidays

KCC_external_lo_res_15_PS_1050Much of the programme can be completed online with four trips to the spectacular Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London for face-to-face training weekends during school holidays.

6. Research and reflect

Critically reflect on and develop your practice through engagement with current theory and research which can be built into your teaching straight away.

7. Get back to the books

Our student services and library teams are always on hand to support you in getting back into higher education and academia.

8. Boost your employability

2.TeachingMusicianWebImage2017The Teaching Musician alumni have gained recognition for their work as educators through getting work published, delivering training at their music hubs and presenting research findings on the programme at conferences across the UK.

9. Get out of your comfort zone

Work in an unfamiliar education context to diversify your practice and learn new skills with support from a placement supervisor.

10. Refresh your teaching practice

Learn new approaches and ideas and tap into current trends in the contemporary music education sector.

Applications close on FRIDAY 30th NOVEMBER 2018. For more information and details on how to apply please visit If you have any questions about the programme or application process after reading the information in the programme brochure and on our FAQs page, please contact us at


Today we are celebrating Make Music Day, an international celebration of music making, first launched in 1982. The festival will take place in over 750 cities worldwide, inviting anyone and everyone to come together to make music.


Image: Tas Kyprianou

At Trinity Laban, we believe that music should be accessible to all. From one-off taster workshops to weekly classes, courses, creative arts projects and music/dance collaborations, our public programmes attract participants of all ages, whatever their background or ability.

Here are just 10 ways you can join us in music making:

1) The Certificate: The Practice of Music Making

The Certificate: The Practice of Music Making, is a one-year programme developed by Trinity Laban in partnership with the Open University. It offers adults with a passion for music the opportunity to develop their practical music making and performance skills through online distance learning with a residential learning week at our home in Greenwich.

2) Inspired not Tired – Over 60s Music and Dance

Our Learning and Participation teams are working with Lewisham-based partners as part of Older People’s Arts Network (OPAN) to make Lewisham a great place to grow old! Supported by Lewisham Council, Inspired Not Tired offers a weekly programme of music and dance to older participants aged 60+. See all groups on our website.


Image: Tas Kyprianou

3) Professional Development

Our professional development programme enables music and dance artists, teachers, tutors and community practitioners to receive high quality training both regionally and nationally. Our music programme offers unique opportunities from extended study for an accredited qualification to shorter day and weekend courses. Take a look at training opportunities over on our website.

4) Junior Trinity

Junior Trinity is a Saturday Music Department for 3-19 year olds. Our Junior Department was the first of a UK Conservatoire to open its doors to schoolchildren on Saturdays in 1906. Since then, thousands of young people have benefited from the opportunities that Junior Trinity brings! From Trinity Teenies aged 3-5 right through to university and conservatoire entrance, Junior Trinity aims to encourage a lifelong interest in music and to give students the opportunities to develop to their maximum potential.

5) Take Part for Children and Young People

We offer a wide range of music and dance opportunities for children and young people. These include collaborative performance platform Lewisham Live, Animate Orchestra for school years 5-10, Schools’ Concerts, Youth Forum and more.


Image: JK Photography

6) Jazz for Girls and Young Women

We want to get more girls in jazz! Our Girls and Young Women in Jazz day brings young female jazz musicians together to develop their skills through fun and informal workshops and masterclasses. Participants work alongside jazz musicians and students from Trinity Laban, perform as part of an ensemble, share new musical ideas, give peer-to-peer feedback and receive helpful support and advice on their playing from industry professionals.

7) Viola Day

On Saturday 1 July we’re welcoming viola players to join us for workshops, performance opportunities, and masterclasses with world-class violists from our Faculty of Music teaching staff. Visitors can chat with our current students about what it’s like to study viola at a conservatoire, and get some tips about the audition process.

8) Percussion Day

For all those with a passion for percussion, we’re hosting a day for percussion enthusiasts which will include fun and interactive workshops, performances, a trade show of percussion suppliers and demonstrations. Trinity Laban percussionists then take to the Greenwich Music Time main stage to perform a free concert featuring everything from Afro-Cuban fusion to swing!

9) Summer Schools

Music making doesn’t have to stop over the summer! Trinity Laban offers a choice of summer schools in music, musical theatre and dance every year. Participants can go Beyond the Dots in our music summer school for young people aged 11-19, or Take the Lead in a week-long intensive musical theatre training experience, for participants aged 16 and above.

10) Take Part for Teachers & Schools

We provide a number of opportunities for schools and teachers, from in-school workshops with our experienced team of workshop leaders to taster days at Trinity Laban for students considering a Higher Education course in Music or Dance. We also create bespoke programmes for school groups and offer Professional Development courses for teaching staff.

To find out more about Make Music Day, visit

Feeling inspired to Take Part with us at Trinity Laban? Find your programme here.


Beyond The Walls

sl blog lead

Image: Age Exchange July 2016 

Beyond The Walls was a multi-sensory interactive arts performance from Age UK and Trinity Laban, utilizing cutting-edge research to improve the wellbeing of people living with dementia. The project was led by Lucy Evans and Stella Howard, two Trinity Laban alumni currently working in our Learning and Participation (Dance) department. Lucy reflects here on their experiences…

The ‘Beyond The Walls’ project followed from on charity Age Exchange’s three year’s research entitled ‘Radiql’, which investigated improvements in the wellbeing of people living with dementia when they engaged with visual and movement arts.

In spring 2016, Stella Howard and I were commissioned by Age Exchange and Trinity Laban’s Learning and Participation Team to undertake further research, the outcome of which would not be an academic paper but an actual dance performance.

The first stage of the process was a great privilege; we were invited to participate in 24 workshops with a group of older people in a Wandsworth care home.  The workshops were co-led by visual artist Mathew and movement therapist Christina.

As the weeks progressed – and as we observed the approaches and also the relationships facilitated by Matthew and Christina – we were able to interact more meaningfully with both the methodology itself, and also with the new people we were getting to know. In the later weeks, when I approached the residents, I experienced them taking my hand and warmly moving it to their cheek. We jived, sang and painted together, and shared memories (at one point a lovely lady turning to me and started to recite a verse about sowing seeds and growth – a precious moment indeed).

Of course we also met with some more emotionally challenging moments. We saw feelings of isolation and anxiety, a side to living with dementia not often evident in participatory activities. And we were occasionally told in no uncertain terms ‘I’ve grown out of this a long time ago!”.

Following the research phase, we moved to the studio to begin developing our observations and at first fragmented conclusions into movement and dance.

Initially, we worked a lot with improvisation to embody the shifting relationships and levels of engagement we had experienced and witnessed. We set up scores which enabled us to explore a variety of ways in which one could feel engaged or disengaged. We explored issues of whom or what we might choose to engage with (or not), and questioned the idea of agency: when and how did the participants exercise choice around engaging in relationships in the arts practice? There was something special for us about investigating this at Laurie Grove studio, away from our roles as practitioners at Trinity Laban, with a view of Goldsmiths and the sunlight painting patterns on the studio floor.

A further exciting element of this stage of the work was the commissioning of several artists: composer Eliot Lloyd-Short, who created an original live and recorded score; prop-maker Andy Pilbeam-Brown, who made nine cardboard suitcases which displayed artwork made by the workshop participants; and filmmaker Roswitha Chesher, who documented the workshops, the devising process and the final performance.

Throughout the process we were determined that our decisions should truthfully reflect the context, practice and its outcomes; that we should face not only the joyous but also the difficult moments. We referred to and quoted movement we had observed, whilst being completely clear we did not want to mimic or re-enact the people we had met.

We set up the stage space in the round and used multi-sensory ideas (tastes, smells and textures) to further bring the audience into the world of the workshops. Musically, Eliot used sound samples from nature (suggesting the imagined themes of the workshops), radio extracts (reflecting the more realistic sounds of the care home), and also played live guitar and viola. The majority of the composition happened in the studio, resulting in a music and dance relationship that was invested and complex. The structure of the work gave both art forms space to react to one another and improvise whilst also charting the shifts in engagement and relationships we witnessed over the 24 workshops.

Mid-process we shared our work with the most truthful and well-informed people we know: the Trinity Laban Boundless over 60’s dance group. It was nerve-wracking to test our interactive ideas on a live audience! But finding out they were both appropriate and effective in evoking an emotional response in our audience was a relief, and spurred us on to push this element of our work further.

The work was presented at Battersea Arts Centre on 2 February, following a panel discussion by leading academics in the field of dementia and wellbeing. It was fantastic to be part of a platform where music and dance, as a means of explanation and communication, held a level pegging with statistical documents.

If you are interested in seeing the work it will be shared again at Trinity Laban on the 14 June, and we’ll let you in on a secret, there’s chocolate involved!

Getting Actors Moving


JK Photography

Trinity Laban’s Dance Summer School is the perfect induction into movement and physical theatre for aspiring actors. Struan Leslie, former Head of Movement at the Royal Shakespeare Company, tells us why.

‘A dance summer school is an opportunity to immerse yourself in a number of areas of physical knowledge and expression,’ Struan explains. ‘In particular, I think the sheer diversity of the classes offered is what makes Trinity Laban’s Summer School so unique.’

Struan (pictured inset), who has taught on the Trinity Laban Dance Summer School for around a decade, has a wealth of teaching experience across some of the country’s best-loved theatre institutions. He has lectured at RADA, Rose Bruford, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and internationally across the US and in Singapore.

‘On the Summer School, I lead workshops in physical theatre,’ Struan explains. ‘We explore the communicating body with rigour and specificity of intention.

‘Learning on this kind of programme allows participants to gain physical performance skills and techniques, enhancing rehearsal and creative contexts, from ensemble and devising to physical theatre,’ he adds.

Struan’s training began in the early 1980s at London Contemporary Dance School among pupils of world-renowned choreographers Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and Doris Humphrey. A prime example of the fundamentality of dance as a platform for any arts career, he now works as a movement director and choreographer in the creation of productions in all areas of theatre and opera.leslie-struan

‘My dance background has meant I can apply the principles of choreography and technique to collaborative, movement-based work with urban designers, architects, visual artists, designers, writers and composers,’ he comments.

Trinity Laban’s Dance Summer School offers a unique opportunity for people of all dance levels aged 16+ to experience training of the highest quality in state of the art facilities, while making new friends from all over the world. Participants can create their own timetable, selecting from a broad range of sessions from contemporary technique to contact improvisation.

‘I think the biggest learning curve for performers on the Summer School, is to learn the day to day experience of what it is to be a performer full time – the energy and focus that requires,’ Struan says. ‘It helps participants discover whether they have the drive to pursue performance work professionally.’

Charlotte Constable

Graduate Intern – Press & PR

To find out more about the Dance Summer School, visit the Trinity Laban website.

‘Retired not Tired’- Spring Activity Roundup

It’s been a busy Spring term for Retired not Tired, Trinity Laban’s programme of music and dance activities for the over 60s. The Arts Befriending Group based in Sydenham and Young at Heart in Bellingham have been stretching their vocal chords in two intergenerational encounters. Young at Heart took part in a two way exchange of song and samba with year 11 pupils from Brent Knoll Special School in Lewisham, while the Arts Befriending Group sang side by side with some of our own Trinity Laban vocal students.

Spring Forth!’ – Lunchtime Concert, Tue 8 March

After a very successful initial visit in May 2015, The Arts Befriending Group returned to King Charles Court to spend the day singing and socialising with 10 Trinity Laban vocal students. The two groups, led by experienced singer, composer and Trinity Laban alumna Natasha Lohan were preparing to perform to an audience of staff, students and external partners in a lunchtime concert. The programme included a selection of 20th Century classics chosen by the Arts Befriending group- from Mary Poppins, to Hal David and Burt Bacharach’s hits, there was something to put a spring in everyone’s step!

Avril & student

Photo: Tess Robinson

The Arts Befriending Group, one of the four music and dance groups that make up Trinity Laban’s Retired not Tired programme for the over 60s, is a weekly singing and social group run in partnership with Ageing Well Lewisham. Natasha meets with the group weekly to work with them on learning songs of their choice and creating their own new material.

This term, the group has also been joined by Matthew Crisp, a first year violinist who has been supporting Natasha in preparation for and during the performance. Matthew has been a welcome addition to the group, performing to them regularly and arranging parts for the final performance, and has benefited from the experience of getting out into the community to work alongside a professional music leader. Pianist Panaretos Kyriatzidis and myself on violin also joined the group on the day.

It was a tough ask to put together a performance with just an hour and a half’s rehearsal time but the newly formed super group stepped up to the challenge, creating a fantastic uplifting performance to celebrate the arrival of Spring. The group were keen to give the audience a flavour of what they get up to every Tuesday, so the concert began with a breathing and vocal warm up for everyone present involving a Tibetan bowl to create a drone.

Natasha & bowl

Photo: Tess Robinson

To open the performance, resident thespian Norman Flynn recited two verses from Shelley’s poem Cloud, accompanied beautifully by Matthew’s rendition of Ladies in Lavender on violin.


Photo: Tess Robinson

A highlight of the concert had to be a rendition of the Mary Poppins classic- Let’s go fly a kite, complete with handmade kites designed, made and waved by the group!


Photo: Matthew Crisp

The concert continued with a medley of 20th Century ditties and the audience were encouraged to join with the classic Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head. The concert ended with Burt Bacharach’s Close to You which had the whole room singing along. Being up on stage, it was amazing to see the joy that the performance and singing along brought to people’s faces. If you weren’t smiling at the beginning, you certainly were by the end!

The value of this side by side exchange was clear from feedback given by all those involved:

The pleasure, pride and joy that the members share in the group is so obvious every single week and that is a very special thing to witness.’– Matthew Crisp, student violinist

All the students were so welcoming and it was good being able to chat to some of them and hear their hopes for the future’ – Arts Befriending Participant

‘I felt very lucky to sing with them, it felt really special, especially as you could feel how much they loved singing the numbers!’ – Trinity Laban Vocal student

The Spring Forth legacy now lives on with one of the kite props now flying proudly on the Learning and Participation board in the King Charles Court admin offices!


Young at Heart & Brent Knoll Special School- Exchange

In the early part of the Spring term 2016, our Young at Heart group led by Zoe Gilmour embarked on a new collaboration with year 11 pupils at Brent Knoll special school in Lewisham. The core aims of the project placed emphasis on challenging perceptions across generations and exploring artistic means of communication between two local community groups that may not otherwise have met. In sharing skills and interests and deciding collectively on music to share to the other group, a better understanding of each other’s circumstances, lives and histories was sought.

Young at Heart are a social group that meet weekly in Bellingham green, and are supported in music and craft activities by Zoe Gilmour. Second year trumpet player Sarah Owens has also played a vital role in supporting Zoe and the group with the exchange of material (check out Sarah’s blog HERE).

‘It’s incredibly rewarding to see the smiles on their faces when they hear and see a real instrument being played in front of them.’ – Sarah Owens

The group decided that they wanted to share one of their favourite music hall songs- My Old Man with the Brent Knoll students. Zoe created visual drawings of the lyrics to the song which were used as an effective form of communication between the group, as they wrote and drew thoughts and ideas throughout.

My Old Man Poster

In the first session at Brent Knoll, after some active introductions so that everyone was well acquainted, the group listened to Young at Heart singing My Old Man. They picked up the lyrics and tune very quickly and were soon being recorded so that the results could be played back at Young at Heart. The children were keen to use their individual talents to put their own spin on the song- one young girl whistled parts of the tune while another student was keen to do a freestyle rap taking some of the lyrics as inspiration. Although initially very shy, he eventually plucked up the courage to record his rap after the session when everyone had left. When the recordings were shared with Young at Heart, the group were so impressed with the creative ideas that the children had come up with!

The focus in the music curriculum for the Spring term was samba, so the year 11s taught us a rhythm that they had been learning. This gave us the idea to send Trinity Laban’s samba kit to the next Young at Heart session so that they could have a go at learning the rhythm. As it happened, it was one of the ladies’ 90th birthday, and although hard of hearing she loved joining in on the bass drum!

The project culminated in a sharing session where 5 Young at Heart participants visited Brent Knoll to finally meet the children they had been communicating with face to face. The feedback from this session highlighted the importance of making links and encouraging understanding across generations:

‘I realise now after this that deep down we’re all the same.’ –  Young at Heart participant

‘I learnt to get to know old people a bit better!’ – Brent Knoll year 11 student

‘The lad with the knitting was amazing!’ – Young at Heart participant

View the full range of material and resources that came out of the project HERE.

For more information on how to get involved in Trinity Laban’s over sixties activities click here, or email

By Lizzy Green- Retired not Tired Project Co-ordinator, Learning and Participation (Music)

The Dance: A Poem by Noah Lennon, 11

boys only classes

What’s it like to be a part of Trinity Laban’s Youth Dance Programme? Noah Lennon, aged 11, attends Accelerate, a series of fun and dynamic classes for young male dancers exploring contemporary dance. He has written this fantastic poem summarising his experience of performing.

The Dance
by Noah Lennon

My heart, racing like a drum
The teacher signals us to come
My body feeling numb…
I hear the crowd murmur and cough
I take a deep breath in
For the show is about to begin…

The smell of anticipation fills the air
As we all gather & begin to stare
Into the dark, the pitch-black stage
We walk on, then arrange

Slowly, the lights fade up
I begin to see the faces of the crowd
eagerly waiting for us to start…

A second passes, I hear the beat
Then BAM! we’re up, we’re on our feet!
The music breaks I know my cue,
In fact, we all know what to do

Here it goes, my body away,
My hands, my legs are led astray
Another twist, another turn,
All these moves I’ve come to learn

The world of dance – a funny place
The music pounding like it’s a race
Tired and weak I carry on,
After all who am I hiding from

The show begins to end
Our last lean, our last bend
Just one last push and we’re done
But I really can’t describe this fun

Gradually the music comes to a close
The crowd clap all the rows
I’m collapsing to the floor
Oh how I wish we could’ve done more
But I’ll never forget the flow
Of our fun, amazing show.