Ten free composer resources from the ISM

29th March 2022


The ISM Trust is a partner on NMC’s Discover platform, and the sister charity of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM), the UK’s professional body for musicians. Dedicated to creating pioneering resources to support music and all those who work in the sector, the ISM Trust produces a range of useful webinars, seminars, events and advice packs for music professionals.

Below, explore ten free ISM and ISM Trust resources which support the work of UK composers.

1. Opportunities for Composers 

Check out the ISM’s list of competitions, venues, ensembles, and events which may wish to engage composers in commissions or partnership work, and learn about support organisations and useful resources.

2. PRS for Music Webinars

This two-part webinar series will help you to understand your rights as a music creator, the fundamentals of copyright law, and how your songs can generate royalties.  Find out about the benefits of becoming a PRS member, the process of registering your works, and how to report live performances of your music to ensure you get paid.

3. ISMxDelic sessions

In this series of future-focused webinars, panels of industry experts discuss tools, skills and strategies which can help music creators to succeed. The sessions explore ‘How technology can aid creativity’, ‘Why collaboration is key’, and ‘How to make money from your music’. Speakers include broadcaster and journalist Vic Galloway, musician BISHI, and Gee Linford Grayson, UK Creator Partnerships at Patreon.

4. Composing for animation, video games and virtual reality

Dr François Evans, composer and Associate Professor in music at Middlesex University, looks at writing music for animation, video games and virtual reality in this ISM Trust webinar. Find out about the process, from how you might get your first job in this area, to managing briefs work and time frames. He also discusses how the structure of games might change the way you approach your composition.

5. How to… Negotiate a contract

Read an extract from the ISM’s guide to reading, understanding and negotiating a contract, written by Victoria Barrett of VLT LEGAL. The full downloadable advice pack is exclusive to ISM members, along with template contracts for composition commission and publishing.

6. A neurodiverse journey in music

In this webinar, composer Ben Lunn takes us through the history of neurodiversity and talks about his experience navigating the music profession as a neurodiverse person. The webinar is aimed at performers, composers and non-neurodiverse people to learn how to accommodate people with neurodiversity.

7. Tax for musicians 

Trevor Ford, accountant and ISM Council member, offers an in-depth look at income tax, self-assessment tax returns, and areas where you’re allowed to claim money back, in this ISM Trust webcast for employed and self-employed musicians.

8. Funding for composers and performers

Access this list of funding programmes and grants which can support composers and performers and help them to advance their careers.

9. Incorporating online work into your portfolio career

This session from the ISM’s digital conference ‘Building for the future’ offers practical advice and tips for composers and performers on successful remote working, both during the pandemic and beyond. Find out how to maximise the tech you have available, how to make money in the digital space, and discover new and improved ways of working online.

10. Building your professional support network

Discover how to build yourself a professional support network, which will allow you tap into others’ expertise, and free up time and energy for music making.

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