Changing Lives


Plymouth Music Zone's youngest ever participant was 9 days old - the oldest is 94 and counting. So many stories to tell. Stories of change. Stories of courage. Stories that inspire...

When a person first comes through the door at Plymouth Music Zone it means the world to us that they finally leave having had an experience that has had a truly positive impact. Whether it's feeling more confident, listened to, more self-expressed, less isolated and lonely, having made new friends, having a sense of achievement from creating something or performing in front of a crowd, feeling more valued and accepted for who they are, excited about their new found talent, or having a new found firm belief in themselves as a musician - some kind of difference that's meant the world to them...

Here are just a few of the PMZ stories where your support really does help music to make a difference...


Mike is in his early 20s. He has cerebral palsy and dyslexia and doesn't read or write. But nothing stops him when it comes to music. He loves music. He loves helping people.  Mike has been described more than once as a true ambassador for Plymouth Music Zone and the team here can’t quite believe how much his confidence has grown since he first engaged with the project many years ago. As a volunteer at the disability charity SCOPE, Mike has now taken the skills he’s honed during sessions at PMZ and put them into practice by running his very own music workshops for young people with disabilities. He’s shown real commitment to that path by enrolling on and successfully completing our inhouse accredited training programme, ‘Soundskills – the Music Leader’.  As well as sharing his own unique style of music technology driven compositions with fellow students, he also built up the skills and confidence to share his knowledge and expertise of disabled music making with his fellow music educators. 

Through leading by example, Mike has developed into a self-styled advocate for the power of music making.  You name it, he’s done it. He’s been on radio, TV and in numerous videos demonstrating a flair for the media that would outshine Max Clifford. 

This advocacy has now recently progressed to paving the way for other people with disabilities to access funds through the so called Direct Payments system run by the local authority.  Mike personally recorded and edited an interview for direct payments that is now being used to inform other potential users about the service.

Following further 1-2-1 support from PMZ, Mike has been able to set up a fully accessible music studio at SCOPE and is able to make audio recordings that help the charity to evaluate its services. He is a now the volunteer studio manager there and is learning to live increasingly more independently. Mike’s positive attitude, humour and sheer determination are infectious and the impact his music and story has on others is nothing short of remarkable.   Mike loves PMZ and says “if I could be here every day of the week I would be”.  SCOPE and PMZ both feel the same way about Mike.  You can only imagine the impact he would have if he really could be in ten places at once...


As a disabled musician PMZ has given me so many opportunities: in the past as a participant, as a Soundskills trainee, currently a job as a volunteer and always a place to call my own.
Mike Canning



See if you can spot Mike taking part in this fundraising video to raise money for music sessions for disabled adults... 


The power of music is in your hands thank you.  



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