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The Empowered Musician

The Empowered Musician resource hub

Welcome to The Empowered Musician resource hub. Here, you will find interviews, panel discussions, advice and resources, featured in and inspired by The Empowered Musician 2020, the ISM's digital conference for music professionals.

Click on the images below to visit each subject area, and discover videos and further resources.

Opening words from Deborah Annetts, ISM Chief Executive

ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts introduces day one of The Empowered Musician 2020. At a time when the Government has seemingly turned its back on musicians, talking about the viability of music careers and the need to retrain, our two day conference sought to show musicians that they are valuable, viable and supported.


Keynote speeches

We were fortunate to have two inspiring keynote speakers at the conference. Dr Anita Collins talks about the benefits of music to our health and wellbeing and how the global pandemic has allowed us to reconnect with our creativity. Dr Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason talks about the importance of music education and the need for it to be open to all, and how music brought her famous family together during lockdown.

Dr Anita Collins

Dr Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason

Responses to COVID-19 lockdowns

COVID-19 has had an impact on the entire music industry, and continues to affect performers and venues alike. Discover how professionals from both of these worlds have been coping in the midst of national lockdowns.

The view from the performers

The view from the venues

Developing skills and staying resilient

Professional development is at the core of The Empowered Musician, providing you with the tools and strategies to help you build your knowledge and face challenges confidently.

The musician's toolkit


Staying resilient

Gender, race and disability

How can we widen access to creative careers and work together to create a more diverse and inclusive industry? And have inequalities been brought to light as a result of COVID-19?

Looking to the future

The pandemic will come to an end, however the skills music professionals have developed during lockdown may help to shape the future of music-making in the UK. We look at the possibilities and the potential issues for the post-COVID musician.

_..._Is there a future for the musician?

Tech - is it the answer?


Inspiring interviews

Interviewed by Deborah Annetts, David Lammy MP tells us about his experience growing up with music and his thoughts on the current situation for music education.

Internationally celebrated baritone Roderick Williams is interviewed by Ashutosh Khandekar, Editor-in-Chief for Opera Now and talks about his career, his approach to performance and character, and the UK's relationship with music.

David Lammy MP

Roderick Williams OBE


Performance and looping masterclass from SK Shlomo

World-champion beatboxer and live-looper SK Shlomo takes you through the principles and tech behind live-looping, whilst also telling his story about his rise to fame and the mental health hurdles he overcame.


Closing remarks from Deborah Annetts and Professor Chris Collins, ISM President

At the end of The Empowered Musician 2020, ISM Chief Executive Deborah Annetts and ISM President Professor Chris Collins looked back at the two days of talks, musical performances and interviews. Featuring nearly 50 expert speakers, The Empowered Musician 2020 informed, challenged, inspired and enabled musicians, paving a way for the music sector to bounce back and build for the future.

Watch highlights from The Empowered Musician 2018

The Empowered Musician How to... series

The How to… series builds on the practical industry advice on offer at The Empowered Musician 2018, highlighting the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in your music career.