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Tech – is it the answer?

'I've actually gained a lot of students world-wide through online teaching and I'm finding that I'm working a lot more. Being on the screen constantly is tiring, it takes an awful lot out of you.'

- Pippa Reid-Foster

In 2020, digital connections became more important than ever. What opportunities can be unlocked by tech, and what are its drawbacks? How can musicians monetise online performance, and how do they connect virtually with their audience? What does successful digital teaching look like? We explore all these questions and more.

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Making music online in real time

Bassist John J. Williamson offers an intro to online real-time music (ORM) software. Updated with practical guide for experienced tech users.


Julia Haferkorn (Chair)
Senior Lecturer, Middlesex University

Julia Haferkorn is a Senior Lecturer in Music Business and Arts Management at Middlesex University. Previously, Julia worked in the music sector for over 20 years, first in publishing and then as artist manager (Haferkorn Associates Ltd) and producer (Third Ear Music Ltd). Other posts include Artistic Director of the British Composer Awards (2014-16) and Stage Director of the Chinese New Year celebrations on Trafalgar Square (2015-19). Having received a COVID-19 rapid response grant from ESRC, she is currently researching the monetisation of livestreamed performances.

SK Shlomo
Beatboxer, producer and live-looper

Simon Shlomo Kahn is a genre-defying, award-winning, recording-breaking beatboxer, producer and live-looper. He has collaborated and performed with world-famous artists including Björk, Damon Albarn, Lily Allen, Jarvis Cocker and Rudimental, played the main stages at Glastonbury multiple times, and won rave reviews for his autobiographical one-man shows. His debut album Surrender was released in March 2019 to critical acclaim.

Luke Hebblethwaite

Luke is the Insight & Innovation Manager at UK games trade association Ukie, where he leads a data-driven approach to industry research, economic reporting and tech-focused projects, such as A huge games music fan, he also recently launched a directory of UK games musicians at and runs Ukie’s Game Changers live games music events. Previously to his role at Ukie, Luke spent 8 years as a business analyst in the music industry.

Pippa Reid-Foster
Performer, composer and teacher

Pippa is known for her innovative contemporary clàrsach music, showcasing the varied tonal palettes of the Scottish clàrsach. Since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, her focus has moved towards a minimal compositional style incorporating electronic looping and effects, whilst still retaining strong references to her Scottish roots. Pippa is not only an accomplished performer and composer but is also passionate about passing on her skills to a new generation of musicians and composers.

Sandra Schembri
CEO, Nordoff Robbins

Sandra is CEO at Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy, a charity working to create a world where people are connected with themselves and the world around them through the power of music who struggle to access this on their own, eg a child with learning difficulties or a person with living dementia. Named Charity Bank Change Maker of the year, top WISE 100 (Women in Social Ent), Nesta New Radical, Deloitte Social Pioneer, Grant Thornton ‘Face of the Vibrant Economy’.

John J. Williamson
Bass player and researcher

John is a bass player with a background in scientific research. During the COVID-19 lockdown he investigated online real-time music (ORM) software, interviewing a series of experts while compiling an article for the ISM. He is currently a postgraduate on the jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music.