Music Education For All

We believe everyone has the right to enjoy music regardless of background or ability. From hosting the British Paraorchestra last July, to being nominated for a South West Tourism award for accessibility; making sure that everyone can enjoy Colston Hall is at the heart of our values.

A lifelong relationship with music is everyone’s right, that’s why we are committed to ensuring that our music education services are available and accessible to all. For young people in particular, identity is defined through music… But for most children with SEND, experiencing music making, let alone performing, is simply not a reality. And this is simply unjust.

Bristol Plays Music, the Music Education Hub based at Colston Hall, is tackling this injustice head on by transforming music education through A New Ambition for Inclusive Excellence.  But, while the unique relationship between the Hub and Colston Hall is, without doubt, advantageous, the existing facilities simply don’t stand up to 21st century standards. As it stands, education spaces can only be accessed via a spiralling stone staircase. For young people with mobility difficulties, the recording studios and mac suites might as well be on the moon.

Significant change is needed if Colston Hall’s architecture is to match its ambition to put disabled music making centre stage Our mission to make Bristol the UK Capital of Young People’s Music can only be achieved if all young people can access opportunities to learn about, listen to and perform the music they love.

Despite the challenges of being located in a 150 year-old building, our New Ambition  has brought together the best organisations and practitioners in the country to work together to begin the transformation needed to fully meet the needs of the regions disabled young people. With a fully accessible concert hall and state of the art, accessible education facilities, our facilities would finally meet our ambition.

The transformation of Colston Hall will provide the highest possible standards, for working with children with special education needs and disabilities. A fully accessible auditorium and education spaces would enable over 1,800 disabled children and their families to gain access the musical opportunities to which they are entitled, setting a national benchmark and laying down the gauntlet for the rest of the UK and beyond. 

Together we can transform the lives of young disabled musicians and by supporting our transformation campaign, 45k for 45m, you can help make it happen. It’s only a click away: