Deaf and Disabled Music Leader Programme

Ruth Montgomery, Assistant Music Leader in Lullaby Concerts 2017 (c) Paul Coghlin

Since 2016, Orchestras Live has led a significant initiative to develop Deaf and Disabled music leaders, with the aim of providing a long-term training and mentoring pathway for emerging artists in the orchestral sector and beyond.

In partnership with Essex Music Hub, Essex County Cultural Development and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) we commissioned Drake Music to research existing musicians who identify themselves as Deaf and Disabled living in or around Essex. 

Musicians attended a series of taster music workshops where they met and made music with a team from Drake Music and the RPO. A mentoring programme was then tailored to the needs of specific individuals, developed with support from orchestra professionals.

Participants from this programme have already this year been employed by RPO Resound and the Royal Society for Blind Children, and with City of London Sinfonia, contributing to a creative workforce more reflective of this country’s broad, diverse society. 

“Orchestras Live leads the way nationally in inclusive and accessible approaches to Orchestral music”
Essex Music Hub


“After the morning’s Stowmarket workshop, a teacher of the Deaf came up to me expressing how fantastic it is to see a Deaf person working with the orchestra … I felt honoured and proud to be involved, with Orchestras Live I felt I was out in the public, promoting a positive message on diversity.”
Ruth Montgomery, Assistant Music Leader for Lullaby 2017

We are delighted that Ruth Montgomery has recently been awarded one of 24 Clore Fellowships in 2018/19 by The Clore Leadership Programme and will be taking part in this tailored leadership development programme. You can read more here.