Formed in 2017, MusicAbility Community Interest Company was created in response to changes in the local landscape of music therapy and music education in Cornwall – the company continues to deliver work that was previously part of Cornwall Council’s services in education and health. MusicAbility is naturally evolving as an organisation, working in close partnership with a broad ecosystem of health and education organisations serving West Cornwall, Cornwall and the whole of the UK.
MusicAbility was in essence created for and is made possible by the community the company serves. It is a company for people in Cornwall – a county that is rich in character, history and beauty, but also one with significant challenges. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of the individual in their community, whatever that means to them and at the centre of everything we offer is a core belief in the potentially life-enhancing power of music.
A community interest company (CIC) is a ‘not-for-profit’ company, introduced in 2005, for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good, to benefit the community rather than private shareholders. While the assets of CICs are locked into the charity and CIC sector, directors of CICs benefit from greater organisational freedom than trustees of charities.
More information at www.gov.uk
Dame Evelyn Glennie CH
As a virtuoso solo percussionist Evelyn travels the globe, playing and recording with the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles. She is notably recognized as the first musician to maintain a full-time career as a solo percussionist. Evelyn is also deaf and has, with the aid of her first percussion teacher, honed her awareness of sound to such a degree that she describes her body as ‘a resonating chamber.’ More recently, Evelyn has collaborated with a spectrum of diverse artists on projects that foreground artistic vision and innovation. When not engaged with music, Evelyn embraces her role as a public speaker, consultant, presenter and advocate for humanitarian causes. Evelyn shares her mission to ‘Teach the World to Listen’ across the mediums of live performance, radio and TV. www.evelyn.co.uk
Steven Isserlis CBE
“MusicAbility is a wonderful enterprise, offering so much that is valuable in so many ways. There is no doubt that music can – and frequently does – transform the life of a child, or of a family. MusicAbility has the potential to spread happiness and wellbeing throughout the community; I do hope that it will flourish for many, many years to come”
Acclaimed worldwide for his profound musicianship and technical mastery, British cellist Steven Isserlis enjoys a unique and distinguished career as a soloist, chamber musician, educator, author and broadcaster.
As a concerto soloist he appears regularly with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors and as a chamber musician he has curated series for many of the world’s most famous festivals. He also takes a strong interest in authentic performance and has frequently performed and recorded using instruments from the same period as the music being played. He is also a keen exponent of contemporary music and has commissioned and premiered many new works.
Writing and playing for children is another major enthusiasm and as an educator Steven gives frequent masterclasses all around the world. He is Artistic Director of IMS Prussia Cove. stevenisserlis.com
Chi-Chi Nwanoku OBE
An ex-sprinter and half the size of her double bass, Chi-chi Nwanoku has gained a reputation as one of the finest exponents of her instrument today. Chi-chi is the Founder, Artistic and Executive Director of the Chineke! Foundation, which supports, inspires and encourages Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) classical musicians working in the UK and Europe, celebrating diversity in the classical music industry through its two orchestras, as well as its educational and Community engagement work.
Chi-chi was a founder member of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and held the position of Principal double bass there for 30 years. She is Professor of Double Bass Historical Studies at the Royal Academy of Music. Her musical interests have resulted in a broad career spanning authentic baroque through to 21st century, with many of Europe’s leading chamber orchestras and ensembles.
Ruth Boulton LTCL, LRAM, PGDipMTh (GSMD-York)
HCPC registered AS12407
BAMT registered supervisor
Lucy Melluish GRSM Hons, PGDipMTh (GSMD-York)
HCPC registered AS16458
Lucy is also a trainee psychotherapist website
MusicAbility promotes and supports Health Education England return to work
Tim Boulton FTCL MISM
Emma Stansfield BMus MMus
Melissa Bird BSc
Ruth Boulton LTCL LRAM PGDipMTh
Tim Boulton FTCL
John Maggs BA MSc
Since relocating to Cornwall in 2003 Tim has worked tirelessly to promote opportunities for young musicians to expand their musical horizons in Cornwall and beyond. As Director of Cornwall Youth Orchestra (for Cornwall Music Education Hub) and MusicAbility’s network of youth string orchestras he regularly works with hundreds of young people while also sustaining a teaching practice that includes many of the counties’ most able young string players. Tim has established a strong partnership with Music For Youth in the region, with a thriving regional festival supporting musicians in many genres and a dedicated festival for young rock and pop bands. His work with IMS Prussia Cove has included initiating Inspiring Young Musicians courses for talented young musicians from across the South West, and a regional touring programme bringing IMS musicians to local venues. Tim has been a tutor, mentor and course director with South West Music School since its inception in 2007.
All Tim’s education work is underpinned by years of performing experience in top chamber ensembles including Domus piano quartet, the Vellinger String Quartet and the Raphael Ensemble and with chamber orchestras including English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Chamber Orchestra of Europe. Tim has also appeared as guest viola player with many quartets and ensembles. A professor of viola and chamber music at Guildhall School of Music & Drama from 1988 until 2005, his responsibilities included Deputy Head of Strings and Head of Strings at Junior Guildhall.
Ruth has been a music therapist since 1994. She works from a fully-equipped, dedicated music therapy space in the heart of Penzance with families, groups and individuals – both children and adults. Ruth uses attachment, systemic and psychodynamically-informed approaches within a creative and intuitive framework. She is dedicated to listening fully to the people she works with. Her focus is on building a trusting, attuned therapeutic relationship led by the client’s need for change. Ruth has confidence in music therapy as an unrestricted dialogue about the client’s lived experience across a wide range of client ‘conditions’. She has an understanding of the role and spectrum of music in therapy from being sole language, through to silence and restorative listening, as well as the content of verbal material. Ruth works closely with other health and education professionals as part of a multidisciplinary approach to mental health and welfare support where required.
Ruth found her ‘home’ as a music therapist following her own personal challenges. As a result of the support she has been given and the musicianship she is able to use, she is motivated to establish this support for others. Ruth enables people to express themselves in their own way, without any need of musical skill, but instead facilitating a new and ‘real’ language with and through sound, words and silence, creating healthier pathways.
Ruth’s brief biog: Ruth studied for 9 years at Chetham’s School of Music (winner, Thames TV’s Fanfare for Young Musicians ’79) before attending Trinity College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music (violin prize year 2, Manson prize for chamber music) and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s music therapy course, being offered scholarships to all of those institutions. She is an experienced chamber musician, was a duo member of Live Music Now! and worked as a professional violinist in London with orchestras including London Sinfonietta and John Elliot Gardiner’s ORR before working exclusively as a music therapist.
Alan Beevor graduated in Commerce in 1972 from the University of Birmingham, qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1975. He has spent his entire subsequent career in business, with both household names and family businesses. During that career he has gained general and strategic management experience as well as in financial management, in both executive and non-executive director roles and in a variety of different businesses.
This experience was put to further good use when he was engaged in investigative and forensic accounting within a major FTSE 100 investment company, where he ran the rule over existing and potential investee businesses. Subsequently he has run his own strategic consulting company and latterly managed his own family wine merchant business based in south west England.
Now retired from full time employment, he spends some of his time advising SMEs and charities, often on a pro-bono basis.
After graduating from Keele University (BA: International relations) and the London School of Economics (Msc: Sea use law and policing) John has spent the last 25 plus years as a campaigner on oceans and climate issues, representing civil society in the various EU, regional and United Nations bodies where new international rules and regulations affecting the marine environment and the fight against climate change are negotiated. In recent years this work has focussed on mitigating the very significant climate impacts of international shipping, but previous campaign work has focussed on, amongst other issues, overfishing, oil tanker safety, and ship waste dumping at sea. While not a musician himself John is an enthusiastic concert goer and has been a keen supporter and follower of his daughter’s progress on the violin.
Mimi Bird studied Biochemistry at the University of Bristol and is now furthering her education at the University of Leicester where she studies Medicine. Mimi has a keen interest in research due to her science background and hopes that research can be an important part of her future career. Once qualified as a Doctor Mimi desires to work as a General Practitioner with a specialist interest in Paediatrics. These fields focus on two of the most important aspects of medicine for Mimi, the patient centeredness and holistic approach of primary care alongside being able to work and engage with young people.
During her youth Mimi was a member of Penzance Youth String Orchestra, playing the viola. Her experience in PYSO has encouraged music making over the last 5 years. Currently she is a University of Leicester music scholar and plays in the University of Leicester Orchestra. Music continues to be a big part of her life.
About Lucy: My own path has been held in music as I trained at the Royal Academy of Music, and in 1988 I qualified in Music Therapy at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. I am an HCPC registered music therapist and presently work with children, adolescents and adults in MusicAbility in Cornwall. I have 10 years experience of working in mental health in the NHS in London. I am a UKCP trainee psychotherapist.
I am a mother of grown up children and have a deep connection to the natural world. I am curious in the nature of relationship and how mindfulness and a developing sense of awareness can lighten our life journey.
Emma is a former student of Tim Boulton at both GSMD Junior Department and Guildhall School of Music & Drama. After graduating she taught violin and viola in Abu Dhabi for eight years including setting up a youth string orchestra for Abu Dhabi’s most talented string players – a particular highlight was an orchestral masterclass with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
After leaving the Emirates, Emma gained a diploma in music education at the Kodály Institute in Hungary and completed a Master’s degree at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) studying with Richard O’Neill (Takacs Quartet) and Carla Maria Rodrigues (principal viola, San Francisco opera). During her time in California she taught on UCLA’s music partnership programme working with underserved communities, as the teaching assistant for the strings department and for musicologist and cellist Elisabeth Le Guin’s Early Music Ensemble.
Since returning to Britain, Emma has been teaching Kodály musicianship at Junior Guildhall and is excited to bring her passion for string playing to Cornwall!
MusicAbility’s Comunity Mentor scheme is our way to connect with the vast pool of experience held by the people in our community. Mentors are a virtual group of well-wishers who for professional, personal or local reasons have an interest in our work, and the scheme provides a gateway through which we may from time to time receive supportive feedback or helpful advice. The group includes representatives who are service users, doctors, councillors, parents, psychotherapists, teachers, musicians and concert goers, as well as people with experience in the charity sector. Becoming a mentor involves no more time commitment than the few minutes it takes to read an occasional email newsletter – offering feedback is entirely optional.
Please let us know if you’d like your name to be added to our list of Community Mentors.
MusicAbility is proud to work with a number of very effective partners with whom we share common aims:
Cornwall Music Education Hub: www.cornwallmusiceducationhub.org
Cornwall Music Therapy Trust: www.cornwallmusictherapy.org
Golowan Festival: www.golowanfestival.org
Health Education England: www.hee.nhs.uk
Healthy Cornwall: www.healthycornwall.org.uk
Humphry Davy School: www.humphry-davy.cornwall.sch.uk
International Musicians Seminars (Prussia Cove): www.i-m-s.org.uk
Music for Youth: www.mfy.org.uk
Royal Birmingham Conservatoire: www.bcu.ac.uk/conservatoire
South West Music School: www.swms.org.uk
St. Mary’s, Penzance: www.penleecluster.org.uk
Truro and Penwith College: www.truro-penwith.ac.uk
MusicAbility relies on a number of different strands of income and we carry out a significant amount of fundraising to make sure that our services are as affordable as possible.
Payment for services
Our clients usually pay all or some of the cost of the services they receive, some of which are heavily subsidised. Clients may be individuals (or their parents) as well as organisations, for example schools or care centres.
MusicAbility is very grateful for substantial funding it receives from a number of generous organisations, including
ABRSM ● Awards for Young Musicians ● Cornwall Council Community Chest Fund ● Cornwall Music Education Hub ● Cornwall Music Therapy Trust ● The Lord Lieutenant’s Fund For Youth ● Music For Youth ● Penzance Town Council ● LocalGiving Community Match Challenge / DCMS ● The McCabe Trust ● Groundwork
We are also very grateful for support in kind from others organisations with which we share common aims, including
Concerts Penzance ● Cornwall MusicService Trust ● The Exchange & Newlyn Gallery ● Health Promotion Service ● Humphry Davy School ● John Daniel Centre ● Penlee Cluster ● Poppies Inclusive Café ● Royal Birmingham Conservatoire ● Trelya
Put simply, without the donations we receive we would not survive. As a Community Interest Company we aim to serve our community and we value the gifts that members of the community offer to support our work. If you would like to make a donation just scroll down to our donations page.
Fundraising concerts have become central not just to our fundraising efforts, but are often important educational opportunities for young people too. MusicAbility string orchestras often give free concerts with opportunities for donations at the end. The concerts given at Penzance’s annual Golowan Festival are both important cultural events in the Penzance calendar and a lifeline to supporting music therapy work. Events given by others as fundraisers for MusicAbility are very much appreciated too, for instance the Duchy Singers Messiah performance in December 2019 which was a deeply moving concert supporting work with dementia sufferers in Penwith. A great big thank you to everyone who makes these concerts possible, both musicians and helpers.
Generous donors like you make a massive contribution to MusicAbility’s work each year. In particular, music therapy services in West Cornwall are underpinned by donations, supporting adults with learning disabilities and complex needs, dementia sufferers, challenges caused by addiction and homelessness, as well as children living with trauma and young people’s mental health.
To maximise the effectiveness of your donations, we have teamed up with national charity Localgiving. If you are a UK taxpayer, making your donation through Localgiving using Gift Aid enables us to claim back tax on your donation. If you are able to do so, please consider donating to MusicAbility: