Despite their resilience and generous deeds accounted elsewhere on these pages, this remains a testing time for musicians suddenly faced with a stark loss of income.
At the RPS, we are working hard to ensure we honour our commitment to all the musicians we have already pledged to support this year: the composers we have pledged to commission, the performers we have pledged prizes and awards, our workshop leaders, and the young musicians we have pledged instrument purchase grants. We are meanwhile addressing with colleagues across the profession what else can collectively be done to provide greater support for musicians at large.
We recommend all musicians make use of the following links:
- coronamusicians.info is a web portal newly-established by a collective of organisations to signpost useful sources of support during this crisis. It is a really useful first stop for information on financial concerns, physical and mental health issues, and legal and contractual advice.
- Self Employment Income Support Scheme is the government’s major new measure to support those who are self-employed.
- Help Musicians UK – one of the leading charities whose object is to help musicians in hardship – has launched a new £5 million fund with a simple application process for freelance musicians.
- Arts Council England has also established an emergency hardship fund of £2 million for individual artists, creative practitioners and freelancers.
- Musicians' Union has established a £1 million hardship fund for its Membership of professional musicians.
- PRS Foundation has also instigated a hardship fund to help composers and music creators who are its Members.
- Royal Society of Musicians is the other leading charity that exists to relieve hardship among musicians. It is supporting Help Musicians UK’s fund (detailed above) and on its website you can find out how to join the RSM and seek further support through that.
- Incorporated Society of Musicians has a section of their website devoted to COVID-19 advice for musicians, from earning income from livestreaming to guides on remote teaching.