Musician Opportunity


Breakthrough opportunity for a musician wanting to learn about participatory arts and to develop skills in working with young people in challenging circumstances.

This is a career development opportunity for an emerging musician who wants to learn about and develop skills in the area of participatory arts – preparing to work in the community and educational sectors – with a particular emphasis on working with people of diverse origin and with young people in challenging circumstances.


The key partners in the Mentormix project are musinc and Tees Valley Arts.


musinc is an initiative funded by Youth Music, and hosted by Middlesbrough Council on behalf of Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton Councils, to develop and commission musical activities for young people living in challenging circumstances and to enable musicians to develop their professional skills in this field of work. musinc is part of the Tees Valley Music Education Hub.

Tees Valley Arts

TVA is a participatory arts organisation based in Middlesbrough, working across the whole Tees Valley and elsewhere; the organisation champions participation in high quality arts and stimulating creative activities as a tool for improving the quality of life and learning for individuals and communities, especially those facing life’s challenges. TVA has a core staff of 5, and our imaginatively designed creative activities are delivered by freelance artists and other workers, carefully managed by the TVA staff. All our projects are developed and delivered in partnership with other agencies which may be statutory, eg departments of the local authorities or colleges or health agencies, or may be voluntary, eg Barnardo’s or North of England Refugee Service.

TVA has developed particular expertise in working with challenging and vulnerable young people – we are currently working with young people in the care of all five Tees Valley Local Authorities, helping them gain skills and confidence, and, in partnership with Barnardo’s, we are working with young people at risk of sexual exploitation, helping them make better choices, gain in confidence and self-esteem, and learn more positive and less risky ways of enjoying themselves.

TVA is the Arts Award and Artsmark training and support agency for the Tees Valley.


musinc has commissioned TVA to develop a music-based project, aimed at working with diverse communities in Middlesbrough, and which will include a key element of mentoring and development for a musician who is seeking to establish this sort of a community practice. The music trainee is to be mentored by Maurice Dezou; Maurice is currently contracted by TVA as their specialist Refugee Arts Worker, and is also the lead musician on their Youth Music funded Musicmix project, which is working with young people of diverse and newly arrived backgrounds. Maurice was Programme Director for the WorldFest annual world music festivals in Middlesbrough and Stockton.

The selected music trainee will receive support and mentoring as itemised below, plus a sum of £2000 in total, and will be expected to willingly co-operate with and carry out all activities as outlined below, to ensure best possible mutual outcomes – for her/himself, for TVA and MD, for musinc, and for any project participants.

The selected music trainee will be expected to contribute to the development of music learning in the musinc Teesside area, by attending and contributing to relevant network events and by providing reflective evaluations of their progress at intervals to be agreed.

Trainee Package (July 13 – March 14)

  • The trainee will shadow MD as he delivers (additional) activity in both his TVA roles (see para above) and thus trainee will learn about approach/ issues/ practicalities of the job/s of community arts worker and community musician, within the context of working with diverse communities and young people.
  • The trainee will receive formalised mentoring from MD throughout, to support the ongoing learning. The mentoring and the shadowing will be ‘front-loaded’ within the 10 months, to give the trainee a good grounding, for the independent activities s/he then will undertake, ‘reporting back’ at regular intervals. The schedules and mentoring agreements will be supervised and supported by Rowena Sommerville, TVA Director. The mentoring content will be matched to the progress of the trainee – moving from context to general intro to practicalities to issues to resolution and so on
  • The trainee will receive CPD input from TVA personnel, about the general world of participatory arts, varied sectors, challenging groups, partnership working, project development, constructing a budget, seeking and securing funding, managing activity/ finance/ safeguarding/ health and safety/ difficult behaviours/ other cultures and languages etc
  • The trainee will work on her/his own to set up some sessions/ events with appropriate participant groups
  • The trainee will deliver those sessions (supported by MD in initial sessions)
  • The trainee will reflect on and evaluate the whole package and the learning gained, and prepare a report for TVA and Musinc.

Summary of Trainee Package

  • 20 hours shadowing MD @ £10ph = £200
  • 10 hours mentoring from MD
  • 5 hours mentoring from TVA
  • 40 hours working independently on project activities @ £20ph = £800
  • 20 hours sessional delivery @ £40ph = £800
  • Expenses pot (travel/ phone/ subsistence) £200
  • Free use of computer/ phone etc at TVA – details to be mutually agreed
  • musinc will pay for a DBS safeguarding check for the trainee musician (formerly CRB certification), but the trainee musician will need to provide public liability insurance
  • Total fee to trainee: £2000

There will additionally be a small pot of money (£950) held by TVA for project activity expenses including design and print promotional materials for activities; tech, logistics and venues; documentation; contingency. This money will be allocated in consultation with MD/ TVA.

How To Apply

Send to by 4.00pm on Friday 14th June 2013:

  • CV no longer than two sides A4
  • Application statement no longer than two sides A4; please outline your musical activities and interests, your experience of delivering community music (if any), your understanding of the issues that may face community musicians and participants, and what you hope to get out of the opportunity
  • How you will address any issues of travel

For any further discussion please call Rowena Sommerville on 01642 264655; I also suggest you look at the musinc and TVA websites for background info.

Selection for interview will take place on Tuesday 18th June and interviews will be held on the morning of Friday 21st June 2013.

Please note: feedback will only be given to those candidates selected for interview.