community music

As well as a performer Graham is a dedicated and well respected community musician. Since undertaking the Cert. in Music Workshop Skills course at Goldsmiths in 1994 he has been active across the country and beyond delivering music workshops and latterly training with a wide range of community groups.
His guiding principle is that music has a special power to help effect positive change in the lives of individuals, groups and communities. Inclusivity, access for all, creativity and diversity are central to the ethics and practice of community music activity and Graham’s approach to it.
Graham specialises in working with young people living their lives in challenging circumstances and has worked in a huge range of contexts over the last twenty years. He has run workshops and training programmes for, amongst others , Rhythmix, Sound Connections, Drake Music, the Roundhouse, Pied Piper, numerous Music Hubs and Music Services, Sing Up, Kinetika Bloco, Music Leader, Live Music Now, MADD, Readipop and many more.
He is the Course Director for programmes in Music Workshop Skills at Goldsmiths College ( Univ. of London ) where he also teaches on BA and MA programmes in Community and Youth Work.
Graham is on the board of the national organisation for Community Music – Soundsense and has presented at numerous conferences over recent years.

photo with kind permission of Sound Connections
sound vision words
a life on disc
SEN / Disability

Graham works extensively in Special Schools and other contexts with young people and adults with Special Education Needs, Physical and Cognitive difficulties, Mental Health needs, PMLD, Autism and many other conditions. He employs a wide range of approaches and activities to enable inclusion, participation and self expression which can lead to improved communication, empathy, mood, physical therapy, greater understanding of the world and others, empowerment , joy and many other benefits. He is not a Music Therapist but has a deep understanding of disability and learning difficulties and uses music therapeutically as well as educationally through creative activities including singing, instrumental playing, improvising, composing, and especially a range of music technology including laptops, drum pads, ipads, Soundbeams. Working primarily with groups but also with the individuals in those groups his work uses intensive but informal interactions, tailored for the members of any given group and responding to their needs and aspirations.

Behavorial and Social Difficulties

Using Music technology, drumming and other approaches Graham has worked in many Pupil Referral Units with young people struggling with , or excluded from , mainstream education; alongside Youth Inclusion and Youth Offending teams with young people at risk of or already offending and in Secure Training Centres with young people whose offending has led to their incarceration. Graham believes that the power of music can help young people to address their challenges and behaviour and to find a source of achievement, pride, self expression and application that can help them to turn their lives around. Understanding how the musics that young people may want to make are created, Graham facilitates songwriting, beatmaking, drumming, rapping and other activities. With a background as a community lawyer Graham has a unique perspective on how and why young people may find themselves in these situations.

Cross Arts / Soundscapes / Soundart

As a technologist musician/composer Graham has a wide experience of running projects that work with other artforms especially dance, film and theatre with a range of community groups. This includes co-composing with participants as well as creating to a brief or responsively. He’s worked on films made by deaf young people, wheelchair dance, theatrical soundtracks and other cross arts contexts.
He has also worked on projects using sound in it’s widest meaning to create installations, site specific work and interactive environments that may explore issues around environment, identity, regeneration etc. Graham is familiar with many innovative soft and hardware ways of capturing, manipulating, generating and disseminating sound, music and words and brings the Gagarin approach to participatory creativity to create meaningful and effective projects.


Graham has become one of the country’s leading Community Music trainers in recent years delivering courses ranging from the comprehensive 2 Year Music Workshop Skills course at Goldsmiths to one off CPD courses for Music Hubs. He is part of the Drake Music Training and Consultancy team and has also worked recently with Live Music Now mentoring and training their musicians to work in Autism specialist schools. He has designed formally accredited modules and degrees as well as bespoke informal CPD sessions for a variety of organisations. The type of training programmes that Graham specialises in include – Introduction to Community Music Leading, Working with Music in SEND sessions, Inclusive Technology, Advanced facilitation, Behaviour Management, Understanding musical styles, Improvisation, Community Music refreshers and many more. Training programmes can be designed to any brief and could be for large groups, small groups or 1-2-1. Sessions are always creative and where possible will involve music making.
Graham is also available as a consultant to help plan, design, advocate, evaluate, manage and co-ordinate participatory music projects.

Legal and Other Stuff

Graham has enhanced clearance from the DBS, full Public Liability Insurance, undertakes regular CPD training and has an enormous amount of his own musical equipment including percussion, laptop, ipads, amplification, mics, keyboards etc. which he uses on workshop projects.


Some things people have said about projects and training Graham has delivered.

“You have a real gift working with these young people and they had the time of their lives. It was an excellent, inclusive, musical experience for them and every child’s creative needs were met.“
Eric Forder – Director of Redbridge Music Service

“It’s fantastic to see the way the children have developed in the sessions. How they communicate and join in together more than in any other context. This is in no small part down to Graham’s skilled and sensitive leadership “
Gill Lloyd – Assistant Head Woodlands School.

“ This module was the best in my 3 years at college. Graham was inspirational – we learned so much and had a great time “
Goldsmiths student

“Thanks for another brilliant training session. The participants were buzzing afterwards “
James Pinchen – Surrey Arts Music Officer.

“It was brilliant, a really great day all round and I think our team learnt heaps. F and D in the van on the way back were raving about all the info and experience they were gaining from you, so thanks! “
Tamzyn French – Kinetika Bloco