Covid-19 Music Resources

The music industry has ground to a halt in the wake of the coronavirus crisis – concerts and live events as we know them are all suspended for the forseeable future at what should be a booming time for the live music sector. However, you’ll have probably noticed there is a huge amount happening online – lots of live streams of music shows, drop-in sessions for professional musicians, offers and funds to help music people in need.

To help you find a path through this Covid-19 digital music maze, we'll be pointing towards some of the best and most useful things we've spotted, and collate them all on this page. We will keep reviewing it and adding to it over the coming weeks and months, giving you our pick for the week and highlighting anything new to the list as well. You'll find links to funding and support during the coronavirus crisis, opportunities during lockdown, spaces for online creativity and chances to take part, connect with others and learn new skills and finally, if you’re just looking for some straight up entertainment during a time when so much of the world is in lockdown, we can recommend some of the quality online offers we’re making time for at the moment.


Pick of the week


NEW | Manchester Collective – Paradise Lost Broadcast

30 May, afterwards here

Streamed concert of the group's Paradise Lost programme, featuring a commission from Vessel and Rakhi Singh. Earlier this year, Vessel travelled to Russia as one of our Musicians in Residence for the UK-Russia Year of Music.


Navigate to Covid-19 funding, support, opportunities and more


Funding and support

Many of the pages below also provide lots of additional reading and links to further resources you may find useful, even if you are not eligible for one particular scheme. You can also follow the Twitter hashtag #MusicBusinessAdvice where music industry bodies have been sharing advice online.


Help Musicians UK

Head to Help Musicians UK’s support fund, worth £500 per musician, if you are a musician experiencing financial hardship. They also have a wealth of information on their dedicated coronamusicians page including links out to specific resources for musicians based in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.


Musicians Union

The Musician Union’s £1m hardship fund is open to support members who are struggling financially. The MU are also offering new members the chance to join the MU for just £1 for six months.


PRS Foundation

The PRS Foundation has a number of opportunities still open for organisations and individual music creators to apply for. Their colleagues at PRS (Performing Rights Society) have also announced an emergency relief fund for members.


Arts Council

The Arts Council will offer individuals and organisations working in the cultural sector new financial support during this crisis, totalling £160 million. These emergency funding streams will be open to applications very soon.



NEW | Cryptic Nights Programme

Deadline is 12(noon) BST 11 June 

Cryptic's annual open call - a fantastic opportunity for emerging Scottish artists to develop their music and digital work within a visual context with suport and mentoring from Cryptic.


NEW | Metal - Remote Residencies Open Call

Application deadlines in May, June and July

Arts Producers Metal announce a round of 3 artist grants of £1000 available to members of their local creative communities in Liverpool, Peterborough and Southend-on-Sea. Music Team partnered with Metal on 'Different Trains 1947' during the UK-India Season and more recently as a host partner for Musicians in Residence as part of the UK-Russia Year of Music.

– Tom Sweet (Music Programme Manager)


Selector Radio – Isolation Creation Call Out

Our own Selector Radio is calling for new music from any UK artists or DJs creating new sounds during lockdown. If you want the chance to reach our 4 million listeners worldwide, get in touch!

– Stephen Bloomfield (Music Marketing Manager)


FACT – Grant and Support for new Coronavirus Commissions

FACT have a good track record of working with artists, and on programmes that bring people together to explore art and tech. Their programme with CERNE was outstanding. We worked with them on a collaborative project with Indonesian composer-artists, and Liverpool Biennial, for an immersive project at Toxteth reservoir.

– Joel Mills (Senior Music Programme Manager)


Create / participate


Sarathy Korwar – Stayin' Alone

Sarathy Korwar is a fabulous drummer and composer and has collaborated with us at the British Council on several past projects including Sound Journeys through Canada and as our Musician in Residence, UAE with PRS Foundation. His new piece is a collaborative affair which he's inviting musicians far and wide to get involved with. Check out the initial video of 'Stayin' Alone' on YouTube and then get involved by creating your own interpretation.

– Stephen Bloomfield (Music Marketing Manager)


Self-Isolation Choir

The Self-Isolation Choir has been specially formed in response to the global impact of the coronavirus. Singers from around the world can join and take part in the events and activities organised by the choir in their own home, starting with Handel's Messiah. With over 1,700 members so far, this is serious and high quality stuff with an impressive level of training. There is a £15 charge to help with resources, including a donation to a hardship fund.

– Cathy Graham (Director, Music)


Sam Lee – Fire Choir

Friend of the British Council, Sam Lee has taken the Fire Choir online using Zoom. Check the site for details of the next sessions. This is brining people together from all over the world. There's a £5 suggested donation for taking part. Watch the 13 April session here to whet your appetite.


Connect / learn


NEW | Roundhouse - #RoundYourHouse

During lockdown, Roundhouse continues its support for emerging talent. To help young people grow creatively, the organisation put together a variety of digital opportunities, including virtual workshops, online Roundtable series for 18-25s, podcasts and weekly social media take-overs. Also, Roundhouse’s studios team has been on hand to help young people with their Home Studio set ups, so they don’t stop creating at home.


NEW | Royal Northern Sinfonia – Inside Story

This is full of information about the orchestra, its musicians and the music it performs presented attractively.  Including a really fun interactive score where you can play Beethoven's 5th Piano concerto, the Emperor, on your computer.

– Cathy Graham (Director, Music)



10 May, 24 May & 7 June

Three free online music production sessions by Bristol's Saffron Music, each led by a guest DK/producer host. 10 May - Emmavie, 24 May - Yazzus, 7 June - Object Blue. All skill-levels welcome, but some experience of music production is advised. Saffron says, "if you just want to join in to elevate your active listening skills and meet other womxn producers then that’s ok, you don’t have to share your own music in the sessions." And more good news! Ableton are currently offering a 3-month free trial of their software.

– Leah Zakss (Music Programme Manager)


Music Hackspace

Music Hackspace’s programme moves online to include virtual talks, workshops and live streams which embrace topics centred around music and technology. Covering a wide range of fascinating themes including AV, music production and experimental technology.  


CMU Lockdown Webinars

Insightful webinars about different aspects of the music industry. Upcoming topics include music sync licensing, streaming and music marketing amongst many others. CMU are offering these webinars for half the price of their usual rates to make them as accessible as possible.


ISM's guides for teaching music online

ISM – The Incorporated Society of Musicians – have pulled together a number of quick reads here with lots of information to consider if you're an instrumental teacher making the move to online teaching. From the well trodden debates about which platforms are best, and why, there's also some useful ideas about lesson length when teaching online and considerations to make when teaching youngsters.

– Stephen Bloomfield (Music Marketing Manager)


Michael Price – Composers drop-in sessions

Mondays, 15.00 BST.

Michael has worked extensively with us at the British Council in the past, sharing his wonderful experience and wisdom of composing for film and TV with emerging composers in Vietnam, Ukraine and more recently, Russia. As co-composer of UK hits like Sherlock and Dracula, the chance to ask someone of his pedigree some questions about his craft is one not to be missed if you’re also finding your way as a composer. We know many from Russia are joining him on these calls following the connections he’s made there as part of our recent UK-Russia Year of Music.

– Stephen Bloomfield (Music Marketing Manager) – Community Streaming Sessions

Various times – check online are hosting live streaming sessions with music industry experts several times a week from their Instagram account. Presenting on a range of music related topics from digital arts marketing, radio to new music technologies, this is a great opportunity to gain useful knowledge in niche areas of music, for artists or industry professionals.

– Grace Pitkin (Music Programme Coordinator)


Sound and Music


Here’s an online offer of training via Zoom for composers.


Nicola Benedetti's Tutorials

Lovely general advice on studying a piece of music; she talks about Elgar and teaches Salut d'Amor. There are also great general tutorials – for example around practising. This is her new endeavour to educate and it's well done; she is relaxed and natural and a great advocate for music. Good for children and young people too.

– Cathy Graham (Director, Music)



With schools in the UK remaining closed, many arts organisations are offering digital alternatives to classroom learning. In music, we’ve seen a number of classical ensembles and organisations share activities and resources, including:


BBC National Orchestra of Wales

Every Wednesday and Friday

BBC NOW are posting a variety of education content. For example, how about creating a musical instrument from items around your home?


Beatbox Adventures with SK Shlomo

Every Thursday, 14.00 BST

Beatbox star and mental health campaigner SK Shlomo invites children and their parents to join him each Thursday at 14:00 BST. Guests include Basement Jaxx, Bill Bailey and KT Tunstall. Promises to be a lot of fun!


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Have a wealth of resources for contemporary music including making your own graphic scores.


Manchester Camerata’s Mini Music Makers

Every week day, 10.30

Video episodes with games, music-making, craft and singalong – aimed at 5-7 year old and their families. A new video is posted every week day morning at 10.30am on Manchester Camerata’s Facebook and YouTube channels . 


Royal Opera House’s Learning Platform

Brings opera and ballet into the virtual classroom.  


RSNO Challenge

Every Wednesday, 10.30

Every week #RSNOchallenge brings a fun, family-friendly challenge to help keep you entertained during isolation. Join their musical community every Wednesday at 10.30am on Facebook or on YouTube.


Music Mark

For even more family content, Music Mark have pulled together activities and resources for all ages.


Discover / entertainment

There's so much music available at the moment, as artists find ingenious ways to carry on being creative despite widespread lockdowns. We've handpicked a few things we think you should take a look at. You can also hear the tracks that have kept us entertained recently on our Lockdown Listening LP.


Playlist: Music for Mental Health Awareness Week

Making sense of our human experience; whether loneliness, anxiety, grief, incarceration or when even the bright sunshine seems cruel. Wonderful playlist and wise words from Southbank Centre's Director of Music Gillian Moore. 

Leah Zakss - Music Programme Manager


Aurora Play

Regular streams of some of the best concerts from Aurora’s archive, including their trade-mark performances of Symphonies without music. They are also providing ways of joining in – to dance, sing, draw and share your own orchestral adventures online.  Definitely worth a visit to content from this adventurous young orchestra.

– Cathy Graham (Director, Music)


London Sinfonietta – Lockdown Live

London Sinfonietta launched their Channel – a digital home for new music – late last year, and have bolstered this with a whole host of content in their Lockdown Live series, including Sinfonietta Shorts with performances and conversations with composers and introductions to the contemporary music world of orchestral instruments.

– Michael Duffy (Music Programme Manager)


#SingTheScore with I Fagiolini - Robert Hollingworth

Includes a fun analysis of Monteverdi's Monteverdi - Si ch'io vorrei morire - orgasm in music.  Very instructive, but also very whacky presentation with Robert Hollingworth's distinctive humour.  Well presented and easy to understand.

– Cathy Graham (Director, Music)


Sound and Music Podcast

Introduced by Sound and Music CEO Susanna Eastburn and composer Des Oliver, this three-part podcast explores ‘conversations and music related to Time, Inspiration, and Taste’. Guests include composers Jem FinerElaine MitchenerChaya Czernowin, Richard RijnvosCassandra MillerSupriya Nagarajan, Gerald BarryMatthew Shlomowitz, and Joanna Ward.

– Michael Duffy (Music Programme Manager)


Supersonic Festival Podcast

Supersonic Festival celebrate and champion all the incredible unclassifiable artists that featured on “the greatest line-up that couldn’t be” in their two-part podcast. Including a special feature on Rocket Recordings and an interview with Sex Swing.


Serious Live Stream Sessions

A new series of jazz music sessions from Serious.


Sea Change Festival

25-26 April, available online afterwards

Sea Change is an intimate festival of music and arts in Totnes, Devon. It’s curated by Drift Record Shop and has hosted shows in ancient buildings on the local high street and in amazing locations on Dartington Hall Estate. Great that in 2020, Seachange will be presented online for all to enjoy. We can expect good things from labels Heavenly Recordings, Rough Trade Books, Fire Records, Bella Union, Erased Tapes, 4AD and Mute, artists Yann Tiersen and Shirley Collins, and writers including David Keenan and Joe Muggs. There will also be a special edition of Tim Burgess' #TimsTwitterListeningParty.

 – Leah Zakss (Music Programme Manager)


The Royal Philharmonic Society

Our friends at The Royal Philharmonic Society have got stacks for you to enjoy, particularly if you're a classical music fan. Their Music Will See Us Through webpage, built in response to the coronavirus crisis, has talks, their picks of the best of online classical offers, examples of digital creativity from the classical world, plus inspiring stories from past and present to give us all some hope for a brighter future. In particular, it's well worth a trip to the RPS Talks, usually only available to RPS members but currently on offer to all for a limited time including an interview with the 'original Kanneh-Masons' Kadiatu and Stuart: 'for many parents striving to get their children to practise, their words are golden.'

– Stephen Bloomfield (Music Marketing Manager)


Manchester Collective

It’s always a pleasure to be at a Manchester Collective concert. They’re one of the UK’s most exciting and newest ensembles and what they bring to the stage is meticulously thought out and brilliantly crafted. In response to the current restrictions, they’ve offered up the next best thing to a live show, and have made their latest project Cries & Whispers (captured on 14 March in Salford) freely available online. It’s a rich programme of music for string quartet by Britten and Shostakovich, plus an arrangement of a madrigal by Gesualdo. Look out for further content from them over the coming weeks.

– Michael Duffy (Music Programme Manager)


Tim Burgess’ Listening Party

Tim Burgess, lead singer from UK band The Charlatans, has arranged album listening parties online – simply listen to the album each evening on the website and then join the congregation on twitter to share your comments and thoughts. Proving very popular!

– Joel Mills (Senior Music Programme Manager)


Academy of Ancient Music

Concert recordings are available each week on the Academy of Ancient Music’s YouTube channel.


  • You'll find lots more Covid-19 resources for artists, and entertainment for arts fans, over at the British Council Arts website
  • If you want to let us know about a resource please get in touch with us on Twitter
  • Follow more in this series with the hashtag #CultureConnectsUs