PMZ CEO Debbie Geraghty smiling and looking to one side wearing grey jacket and top in front of a grand building
Plymouth Music Zone’s CEO, Debbie Geraghty

Plymouth Music Zone has been invited to join some of the UK’s leading music organisations and cultural experts at a special “Think Tank” that aims to identify key actions to protect and advocate for the health and wellbeing of musicians working in different settings across the country. PMZ’s CEO, Debbie Geraghty, will be attending the 2 day event being held at the Snape Maltings heritage site on the Suffolk coast run by the pioneering arts and heritage charity, Britten Pears Arts.

The “Musicians Matter” Think Tank will convene organisations such as Live Music Now, Help Musicians UK, The Musicians’ Union, The Centre for Performance Science (a collaboration between the Royal College of Music and Imperial College), the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine, Parents and Carers in Performing arts and talent agency Tomorrow’s Warriers, as well as academics and health professionals. Organisers say:  

“The evidence base for music’s meaning in the world continues to build, showing us its emotional, cultural, physiological, social and developmental impacts. Musicians are increasingly working in a whole range of contexts from performance platforms to prisons, hospitals, schools and other community settings, ensuring that everyone can connect to this extraordinary resource. Musicians matter – and we want to ensure that all musicians can thrive… 

In this Think Tank we want to bring together key organisations and leading thinkers to ask how we can embed and enact wellbeing and workplace support for musicians and build greater empowerment across the board; to identify what is needed in terms of advocacy in order to gain ground, and how we can work together to make this happen.”

Plymouth Music Zone has operated a “Music Leader Support Hub” for over a decade and remains a passionate advocate for care driven practice, especially now when the sector has been so negatively impacted by the pandemic and the ongoing impact of the cost of living crisis.  In 2020, Plymouth Music Zone won the inaugural UK Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance “Practising Well” award recognising that enhanced focus on practitioner wellbeing with award judges describing PMZ as a “leader in the sector”. 

PMZ’s CEO Debbie Geraghty reflects: 

“At Plymouth Music Zone we’ve always considered wellbeing, care, compassion and kindness as welcome imperatives that can turn our love of music into something that can make a difference in the immediate world around us. We know that without looking after ourselves, and each other, then real community and belonging will no longer exist. Protecting the long term health and wellbeing of musicians is core to everything we do so must always be our greatest investment. Only then can we hope to reap the powerful social dividends that can follow when those musicians work across so many different communities to create change.

I’m excited to be part of this “Musicians Matter” Think Tank that brings together such inspiring cultural organisations and experts who clearly recognise the need for action to overcome the immense challenges musicians face. We do indeed need to ensure musicians matter – we’d be lost without them.” 

PMZ will also be convening its own regional “Inspire and Nurture” Think Tanks to tackle barriers and support music and creative practitioners across the South West thanks to funding from Youth Music.  The learning from this national Think Tank on 1 and 2 August will feed into this too.  The idea of setting up PMZ’s new regional Think Tank series came about following Plymouth Music Zone’s attendance at a previous Think Tank at Snape Maltings that focused on musician resilience. PMZ’s Creativity and Learning Director, Anna Batson, who participated back then, was inspired to keep the important sharing and learning going – both within Plymouth Music Zone and beyond. 

Below is the video from that previous event at Snape Maltings in 2019.