No-one can do everything, but everyone can do something. We’ve ranked these according to time/energy/financial commitment, though doing any of these is valuable!
Go to their gigs. Buy their albums. Tell people about their music. Bring their compositions into your own groups. Start a band with them. Do this all the time!
Work to change them if they are discriminatory. Remember that some bias is unconscious. There are many resources out there designed to help you with this, including this.
Call them out (or in) if they are discriminatory.
Call them out if it is discriminatory.
Ask if you can support them, or if there’s something you can do to help them directly.
Consider a range of people for each instrument.
Some of this can be difficult to hear. Remember that it takes bravery to share. Let them speak. Listen. Encourage others to do the same, especially when someone is sharing in a group context.
Complete student surveys with this in mind, speak to teachers, send emails to administrators of the course. Your position as a fee-paying customer of the institution gives you more power than you might think.
Start a band or project with this in mind.
Hang out with people in non-musical situations like you might do with your regular friendship group.
Consider that your default locations may not be welcoming or suitable for everyone.
If you’re not sure, ask politely.
For example, “hey folks” instead of “hey guys”.
Are the musicians that you’re telling your students to check out all men (regardless of the gender of your student)? What about the authors of your method books?
Which instruments are you (or parents) encouraging children to play? Are these choices gendered? Do some children seem to need more encouragement to persist than others? Consider the possible reasons that might be the case.
Find out some good ways to do this here.
Start most of your bands/projects with this in mind.
Audition people from outside your usual network. There are loads of great musicians you might never have heard of.
Contact them and ask. Pressure them to make changes if not.
Raise this as an issue and point to some examples of successful policies.
Pressure them to make changes if not.
Get your friends to help.
Show them that these are issues that people care about.
Music lessons are a sustained financial commitment. Class can be a very real barrier for some families.
Start all of your bands/projects with this in mind and alter your current projects.
Sometimes all a student needs is some repairs, a new instrument, even just a little encouragement that what they’re doing is valued.
Indicate the reasons behind your donation.
What does the diversity of your lineup look like? Could you involve participants in masterclasses, interviews or panel discussions?
Find out how students are recruited to your program -— is there any outreach? Gather together a diverse student group to do some outreach performances at schools. Seek out students who play instruments not usually played by people of their gender.
What do your entry requirements or auditions look like? Could you implement blind auditions?
There’s plenty you can do to help us out! Contact us if you're interested in helping out!