A Very Special Banjo

We’re absolutely delighted to say that the wonderful people at Deering Banjos have decided to donate the proceeds of one of their charity auctions to Community Music Wales.

The “Great American Banjo Company” have teamed up with the outstanding Mumford & Sons on their Delta Tour to create custom one-of-a-kind artisan “Goodtime” banjos that represent the locations the band will be playing around the world.

Each are personally signed by Mumford & Sons and will be auctioned online benefiting hand-picked local charities in the tour regions, and of course the proceedings of the Welsh banjo will be generously donated to Community Music Wales!

The Wales Charity Banjo is entirely one-of-a-kind, made with a black neck bearing the shape and name of Wales perfectly on the peghead. With pearloid inlays of white set into the Midnight Maple fingerboard, and green resonator, this banjo represents the lush green lands of Wales.

It truly is a beautiful instrument, which you can see and of course bid on here:

A huge thank you to both Deering and Mumford & Sons, we wish them the best in all their auctions and of course on their tour and hope they have an amazing time in Wales.

Community Music in Mental Health Settings

Sign Up Now!

Our Community Music in Mental Health Settings training course is set to launch in June in Cardiff, with 2 more courses in Carmarthen in July and Rhyl in September.

Funded by Arts Council of Wales lottery funding, each 5 day course will aim to equip community musicians with the knowledge and skills to work in mental health settings. Topics include creating, adapting and leading appropriate musical activities for people with mental health problems, increasing confidence in working with vulnerable or distressed people, and how to include and empower people in groups.

The ideal candidate will already be a tutor or musician who would like to work within mental health settings and is enthusiastic about supporting and empowering those who suffer from mental health conditions through music.

The training would also be suitable for non-tutoring musicians with experience as Mental Health professionals or service users who would like to bring their musical experience into mental health settings.

Following these courses there may be 6-week placement opportunities for newly trained practitioners to shadow experienced tutors.

If you would be interested in enrolling on any of these courses, or know anyone who would, then please make an enquiry by clicking the button below.

Djembalaya Success

Thanks to funding from Learning & Work, CMW could offer a full day of open (and free) drumming workshops as part of Adult Learners’ Week, focusing on rhythms from West Africa and South America.

On the day of June the 19th tutor Ron McCauley ran two hand drumming workshops, teaching participants about the history of the drums they were playing, and leading them through different exercises focusing on tone and rhythm.

CMW were fortunate to meet and work with many talented and enthusiastic participants throughout the day. They were very quick and eager to learn, and brought a fantastic energy to the sessions. After just an hour they were producing a fantastic sound, jamming away like they’d been playing for years.

Thanks again to Learning & Work, as we wouldn’t have been able to run the sessions without them and it was a great opportunity to be a part of such a worthwhile initiative.

CMW Launches Multicultural Choral and Music Project in Merthyr

Wales-wide charity Community Music Wales (CMW) are introducing its newest project “Unideg” in Merthyr Tydfil, funded by the Arts Council of Wales, Lottery scheme.

The project will kick off in September and will focus on bringing together the rich and diverse communities of Merthyr to create new exciting music as part of a choir and other musical groups.

Hannah Jenkins, Director of CMW, explained that the heart of the project is integration and participation,

We know that music can forge strong community bonds, break down barriers and increase confidence and self-esteem.

We developed this project to promote a positive relationship between the Merthyr community and those who have chosen to make Merthyr their home through celebrating each other's cultures through music.

Like Wales, many of those newly arrived communities including Poland, Italy and Ghana bring a rich musical heritage which the charity want to explore, working together with the different nationalities to find a way to celebrate those commonalities.

Hannah said,

We would like to integrate the traditional and modern and develop a choir and music group that’s for everyone to enjoy.

We really want the project to focus on sharing and learning about one another's cultures, celebrating both the diversity and similarities of shared music.

The project will see sessions run by an experienced musical director to create a choir and musical group to perform at the Red House.

In addition to the singing, the charity will also introduce the opportunity for musicians to bring their own instruments to contribute to the sound and diversifying the musical influences.

CMW are looking for anyone interested in participating in this project with a story to tell or music to share. For more information, please contact the charity on 02920 838060 or [email protected]

Free Drum Workshops

As part of Adult Learners’ Week, Community Music Wales are happy to present a full day of African and Samba drumming workshops.

These workshops are fun, interactive and most importantly; educational. Come and join in with our expert tutor as throughout the day we explore the rhythms of South America and West Africa, playing on a variety of different percussion instruments and in many different styles.

You don’t need any experience and you won’t need to bring anything, just come along and try something new with a group of your peers in a relaxed and friendly environment and potentially discover a hobby for life.

Contact [email protected] or 02920 838060 for more information.

Community Music Wales are looking to recruit a Project Assistant and Administrator based in our Cardiff Office but with some travel throughout Wales.

Community Music Wales is Wales’s leading music charity. We are a community arts organisation with 25 years experience of delivering high quality arts activity, touching the lives of over 50,000 people since its inception.

Our fundamental aim is to contribute to the empowerment of disadvantaged groups and individuals through enabling them to participate in creativity and learning, initially and primarily through music making.  We develop participatory music workshops, mentoring schemes and community music training across Wales.  We work strategically to identify need, delivering projects to give people the opportunity to write, play, record or perform their own music, using trained and experienced community arts practitioners.

We believe strongly in working in partnership.  As a charity we fundraise for individual projects, and depend on grants and donations.  We can also be commissioned to manage and deliver specialised activity.

CMW’s fundamental aim is to contribute to the empowerment of disadvantaged groups and individuals through enabling them to participate in creativity and learning, initially and primarily through participation in music making.

We do this through:

  • Participatory music activities which give people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities the opportunity to make music
  • Providing accredited training and professional development for Community Music Tutors
  • Helping other organisations through advice and support to ensure Wales has a network of high quality community music delivery
  • Working internationally as an advocate of community music and to share best practice.

Job Role:

Key activities of the role will be:

  • To support the effective management of all projects, including record keeping, and information systems
  • Liaise with tutors and project hosts to set up timetables and venues
  • Working with the Deputy Director, to provide an efficient administrative environment for the organisation
  • To act as the first point of contact for all visitors, deliveries, telephone, email and web enquiries
  • To be responsible for the enrolment and accreditation of learners engaged on any of the organisation’s accredited programmes
  • To be the Internal Verifier of all the organisation’s accredited programmes

The successful candidate will have the following skills and experience:

  • Positive, proactive approach
  • Ability to speak, read & write in Welsh
  • Ability to build good working relationships, working in a team environment and using own initiative.
  • Good planning and organisational skills, with ability to prioritise tasks within an agreed timeframe.
  • Working knowledge/​experience of Microsoft Office
  • Experience of Internal Verification systems (desirable)

To Apply:

For an application pack please contact:  [email protected]

Closing Date for completed applications:  31 May 2018

Biophony – Uplands

‘Biophony’ was launched by Community Music Wales in the days leading up to Wales Nature Week

This exciting participatory project brings together ecology issues, biodiversity awareness and music composition.

‘Biophony’ will create new pieces of music by working with residents local in distinct topographical areas across Wales including: rivers, sea & coast, woodlands & uplands.

The next stage of ‘Biophony’ will take place in the Brecon Beacons and will consist of a talk and exploration walk by Brecon Beacons National Park. This will be followed by music composition workshops in National Park Visitors Centre in Libanus.

You will work towards writing new music based on data collection and inspiration from the local environment. The final day will culminate in a performance and/or recording.


Funded by Arts Council Wales, ‘Biophony’, follow’s on from last year’s research & development.

Pimp My Uke Artist Profile – Siôn Tomos Owen

Community Music Wales have challenged leading Welsh artists to design and paint a ukulele in their own unique style. A number of exciting and diverse artists have accepted the challenge, and progress on the ukuleles has already begun.

The next artist we would like to introduce you to is Siôn Tomos Owen. 

Who are you and where are you from?

Siôn Tomos Owen, Treorchy in the Rhondda Valley.

How would you describe your art style?

Although my comics are black and white cartoons, my painting style is semi-abstract & very colourful, with a lot of clean mixing on the brush strokes.

Who are your main artistic influences?

I’m heavily influenced by Hodgkins, Hundertwasser & Kandinski.

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever painted?

When painting a series of murals for the documentary series Pobol y Rhondda on S4C, I drew a 3ft x 5ft mural on the theme of Nature with a huge trout in the middle, on top of the Bwlch mountain in the middle of a storm. One of the stupidest ideas I’ve ever had because I almost froze, but it did look good on telly!

How does it compare to painting a ukulele?

Comparitively, it’s a lot easier and warmer to paint a little ukelele in midsummer compared to a mural up a mountain in winter.

What was your first idea when we asked you to paint a ukulele?

Originally, I was intrigued then I got very excited at doing something I’ve never done before.

Join Community Music Wales for an evening of fun, quirky and eclectic participatory music.

A 25th Birthday party like no other!