Creative Leadership

Trainee Music Leader Scheme


The 2023 Trainee Music Leadership Scheme has now come to an end. Please check back soon for information about applying for our 2024 cohort.

We are currently looking for organisations to partner with to deliver our 2024 Trainee Music Leader Scheme. If you’re interested in becoming a partner organisation, please click here for more information.

The Spitalfields Music Trainee Music Leader Scheme is a paid, practical training programme for musicians of all genres who are passionate about creative music making in community settings. The Trainee Music Leader Scheme is one of the most prestigious and well-respected schemes of its kind. Since its inception in 2003, many of the UK’s foremost workshop leaders have trained on the scheme and credit it with giving them the broad base of experience, skills and contacts to develop their successful careers in the music education sector.

Trainees will have a chance to develop their music leadership skills through hands-on experience and training, and learn from experienced music leaders in a supportive professional environment.

What do music leaders do? 

Music leaders run creative workshops in the community. They work with people of all ages and from all walks of life in a range of settings, including schools, care homes and other community spaces. They use music to encourage and support creative expression, instilling wellbeing and confidence in the groups they work with. Recent Trainee Music Leaders have worked on a range of projects including Music & Mindfulness sessions and creative songwriting workshops in local schools. 

Read Charlie Law’s reflections on his Trainee Music Leader experience here.

Who is the Trainee Music Leader scheme for? 

We are looking for a diverse group of skilled instrumentalists, vocalists and emerging music leaders from all musical genres who are passionate about creating high-quality musical experiences for the communities around them. 

We particularly welcome underrepresented talent. We would like to hear from musicians from minoritised* communities, and/ or D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent, and musicians from lower socio-economic backgrounds.  

*We use the term ‘minoritised communities’ rather than ‘ethnic minorities’, as people who are black or brown are not in a minority in East London, or some of the other areas covered by the scheme, and are often minoritised.  We take an intersectional approach to equality, diversity & inclusion, recognising that peoples’ experiences of oppression and discrimination can be layered and complex. 

How does the scheme work? 

The scheme is heavily subsidized by Spitalfields Music and partner organisations so that participants are able to receive as many opportunities to develop their practice as possible. You will receive:

  • Training and mentoring by industry-leading workshop leaders
  • Project observation opportunities (with your host organisation and/or Spitalfields Music) 
  • Career support and advice from the Spitalfields Music staff team, and networking opportunities with fellow Trainee Music Leaders 
  • Hands-on experience through project delivery opportunities, paid via a bursary of £1800 per trainee. 
  • 3 trainee group meetings
  • Opportunities to plan and deliver your own creative projects in schools and community settings

How can I apply for the scheme? 

More information on how to apply for the Trainee Music Leader Scheme will be available soon. Check back here later in the year for details of submitting an application for the 2024 cohort.