Pathways Programme

The Pathways Pilot Programme was created to support musicians with disabilities and additional support needs who face barriers to entering the music profession and accessing paid performance opportunities. Two musicians – Magnus Turpie and Ethan Loch – who had already been brought to our attention were invited to join the programme and both accepted with enthusiasm and support from their families.  Funding was secured to enable each artist to have the freedom of selecting support artists from the LMNS list of current musicians, giving them the agency and empowerment to choose artists that work best to support the development of their musical identity. The artists were offered six fairly paid performances each in care home and ASN settings along with their selected support ensemble and a member of LMNS staff.

The pilot was successful, gaining positive feedback from the musicians and their families alike. Magnus most enjoyed playing music for people and giving his gift of music to the audience. His mum Linda, who would love to see more representation of Downs Syndrome in traditional music, has seen a difference in Magnus’ confidence and self-esteem since joining Pathways and felt that it gave Magnus the opportunity to play with other professionals at a high level in public, in a professional capacity where he can be spotlighted and that there is nowhere else to get that quality of experience.

Magnus Turpie

The Pathways Programme for disabled artists is now embedded into our work and we are additionally supporting fiddle player David Nicholson, who is autistic and came to find out more about LMNS at our first Open Day in October 2023, as well as a number of formally auditioned musicians who have a range of disabilities and health conditions.

David Nicholson

LMNS Director Carol Main MBE FRC said: “We’re extremely excited about our Pathways programme and how it is enabling disabled musicians to perform, including with the support of more experienced peers, and to gain access to professional work as early career artists. Making personal contacts with other musicians at a similar stage of their career is helping to build stronger networks for the future and, of course, meeting with others brings new collaborations and friendships for everyone.”

“The concert was enjoyed by everyone and it was a chance for the residents to see musical skills from their peer group and have a good dance altogether. It brought the community together with a shared memory. The repertoire was well planned and had a very good flow which resulted in an engaging performance. People really enjoyed meeting the musicians afterwards and some more introverted residents enjoyed dancing and interacting more than usual. ‘When can we have more?!’ was the feedback from the audience.” – staff at Tiphereth, Camphill Community, Edinburgh for adults with learning disabilities and autism – a place where fun, work and care go hand-in-hand.

A very recent and exciting piece of news is that Live Music Now Scotland has been invited to give a presentation about the Pathways program at the 2024 European Music Council Forum on Music in Sofia, Bulgaria.  The theme of the conference is Equity in Music. Carol Main and David Nicholson will be speaking about Pathways in this context as part of the ‘World Café on diversity and inclusion’.

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