What can we do to be more inclusive in our music community?

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!


Broaden the range of musicians you check out.

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!

Examine and question your own behaviour and biases.

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.

Examine and question the behaviour and biases of your peers.

Call them out (or in) if they are discriminatory.

Examine and question the behaviour and biases of your heroes.

Call them out if it is discriminatory.

Speak to a friend who has experienced discrimination.

Ask if you can support them, or if there’s something you can do to help them directly.

Need a dep? Think twice about your default calls.

Consider a range of people for each instrument.

Believe and respect people when they tell you about their personal experiences.

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.

Are you a music student? Voice your need to have a diverse range of tutors and role models within your course.

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.

Consider diversity in your own projects.

Start a band or project with this in mind.

Actively cultivate genuine relationships with people.

Hang out with people in non-musical situations like you might do with your regular friendship group.

After a gig, make sure everybody is invited and included in post-gig hangs.

Consider that your default locations may not be welcoming or suitable for everyone.

Always use people’s preferred pronouns.

If you’re not sure, ask politely.

Use gender-inclusive language where applicable.

For example, “hey folks” instead of “hey guys”.

Interrogate your teaching practices.

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?

Do you teach in a school?

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.

Acknowledge the traditional owners of the land before gigs or events.

Find out some good ways to do this here.


Consider diversity in your own projects.

Start most of your bands/projects with this in mind.

When an ensemble you’re part of needs a new member, put the word out as widely as you can.

Audition people from outside your usual network. There are loads of great musicians you might never have heard of.

Are the venues that you’re playing at accessible for disabled people?

Contact them and ask. Pressure them to make changes if not.

Do the venues that you play at or frequent have a sexual harassment or safety policy?

Raise this as an issue and point to some examples of successful policies.

Do the venues you play at or frequent have bathrooms that accommodate trans and non-binary people?

Pressure them to make changes if not.

Contact senior members of your university to inform them about issues of discrimination and harassment.

Get your friends to help.

Contact administrative bodies of a festival regarding diversity in their programming.

Show them that these are issues that people care about.

Offer discounted lesson and instrument hire fees for lower-income families or individuals (whether you’re an individual or school).

Music lessons are a sustained financial commitment. Class can be a very real barrier for some families.


Consider diversity in your own projects.

Start all of your bands/projects with this in mind and alter your current projects.

Approach a university or other institution about funding a scholarship.

Sometimes all a student needs is some repairs, a new instrument, even just a little encouragement that what they’re doing is valued.

Donate to festivals that are doing things well.

Indicate the reasons behind your donation.

Are you curating a festival?

What does the diversity of your lineup look like? Could you involve participants in masterclasses, interviews or panel discussions?

Are you a music student?

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.

Do you run a university course or large ensemble?

What do your entry requirements or auditions look like? Could you implement blind auditions?

Join All In!

There’s plenty you can do to help us out! Contact us if you're interested in helping out!


Understand the terminology
Read about gender in music
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