DM Artists in Residence – 2021 – Application Pack

Artist in Residence Application Pack (2021)

About Us

At Drake Music we are leaders in music, disability and technology. We are innovators, educators, curators and advocates. We believe everyone has the right to express themselves creatively through music and we use new technologies and ideas to open up access to music for all.

Our vision is a world where Disabled people have the same range of opportunities as their non-disabled peers, and a culture of music-making where Disabled and non-disabled musicians participate, collaborate, create and perform as equals.

We make innovative and imaginative use of technology to remove disabling barriers across 3 key areas:

  • Learning, Participation & Training – We deliver workshops in schools, train teachers, advocate for inclusive practice and work strategically with music hubs and educators to develop the sector as a whole.
  • Arts & Collaborations – We support Disabled musicians to develop their creative practice and careers via commissions, masterclasses and performance opportunities. We also offer a range of participatory creative music-making opportunities.
  • Research & Development – Working with communities of Disabled musicians, makers and technologists, we imagine, design and build new accessible instruments and ways of making music.

We are a home for new ways of thinking about music, musical instruments and technology, performance, teaching and practice. As such we support and test new ideas, learn from other people and organisations and are prepared to take risks and learn from failure, as well as success.

Three principles inform our thinking and our practice:

  • We are always learning, and always sharing what we learn.
  • Disabled musicians are at the heart of what we do.
  • Our work is underpinned by the Social Model of Disability.

Drake Music is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) – we are also part of Youth Music’s Alliance for a Musically Inclusive England (AMIE). We are a national organisation working across England. We regularly work in partnership with local and regional organisations across the arts, education and tech sectors.

Introduction to the Role

We are excited to open applications for the second year of the DM Artists in Residence scheme. Each year we work with 3 Artists in Residence, as part of The DM Collective, a national game-changing Artist Development Programme that is run by, created for, and developed with, Disabled musicians.

This is a paid part-time role as Drake Music value the importance of embedding Disabled artists within the organisation. It is a chance to expand your individual musical practice and to influence our work.

We are looking for Deaf, Disabled, Visually Impaired and/or Neurodivergent musicians who are creatively curious and excited about a blank page. We want to find musicians who like to think imaginatively, spark off other people and build on their creative concepts. We are open to different genres, styles and types of music making.

Each Artist in Residence will have the opportunity, time, support and budget to develop an individual artistic project in collaboration with the DM team. You will be set creative challenges and expected to challenge us in return. We see this as a mutually beneficial relationship, where you can learn from the expertise within Drake Music, and we can benefit from new ways of thinking. We want to work with you to try new things and explore what we don’t know, to take risks and see what pays off…or doesn’t!

The Artists in Residence are part of the DM creative team. This means balancing the tension between speaking up and championing your own ideas, and letting them go when needed.

The Drake Music approach is experimental and open, sometimes messy and always creatively ambitious. We hope to hear from artists/musicians who are inspired by the chance to explore what we do and make creative connections across our work. You will be excited about the possibilities and potential of combining music and technology, keen to take responsibility and initiate action if there is a problem to be solved, or an opportunity to improve or develop something new.

These roles are open to more established musicians/artists (those who use sound and music within their professional practice) and who identify as Disabled. We are looking for artists who are comfortable in their creative practice and ready for more. As an AiR, you will be supported to develop your practice in the direction you wish, and to cultivate your knowledge of – and connections in – the arts and music sectors.

The role will involve working collectively with the other Artists in Residence and the wider Drake Music team.

Quotes from our 2020 Artists in Residence

“When DM gave me music technology and guidance, this generous and treasured gift meant I was given permission to use my neurodivergent voice freely in my work with them. Thank you.”

Elinor Rowlands – DM Artist in Residence 2020

“The residency has been many things: a rare space to take time over my creative and professional development; a nourishing knowledge-exchange between myself, DM, and the other artists-in-residence; and a warm embrace in a time of great instability, bringing new connections to my professional network.”

Gareth Cutter – DM Artist in Residence 2020

“I’ve always worked with words and music so it seems to be an organic thing connected with my practice anyway. Now it’s even more deeply embedded. It opens up the possibility of collaborating more.”

Sonia Allori – DM Artist in Residence 2020

Terms of Employment

  • Job title: DM Artist in Residence
  • Job purpose: To collaborate with Drake Music, the DM Collective and other artists, in order to expand practice and experimentation within music, technology and access
  • Salary: £25k pro rata
  • Working pattern: 2 days per week
  • Contract length: 10 months fixed term
  • Annual Leave: 28 days per annum (pro rata) plus public and bank holidays
  • Pension: 5% employee contribution with 3% employer contribution
  • Location: We will be working remotely and flexibly until we, and you, feel it is safe to return to an office environment. This can be discussed at interview.
  • Reporting to: DM Collective Lead

Job Description

Undertake a 10-month residency, including the following activities and responsibilities:

Individual Creative Projects

  • Develop and deliver a music project in collaboration with the DM team
  • Research and develop ways to engage with audiences and/or participants as part of your creative project, both live and online
  • Produce content, marketing and fundraising materials as appropriate
  • Establish and manage creative teams
  • Work to manage the project effectively, including meeting deadlines

Artistic Practice

  • Seek out and undertake monthly personal artistic practice development opportunities and training
  • Undertake monthly creative and exploratory music ‘challenges’
  • Peer support the other DM Artists in Residence

Music Sector Research

  • Plan and co-ordinate research ‘visits’ (live or online) with regional music and arts organisations
  • Set agendas, questions and focal points for each visit
  • Document and share experiences and learning from each visit with the DM Collective and the wider DM team

Working with Drake Music

  • Undertake any training required within the role
  • Support fundraising, including application-writing, if required
  • Document projects and processes in order to share good practice with the wider music sector
  • Mentor a DM trainee musician to acquire new skills and experience
  • Contribute to our leadership and organisational development, in accordance with our drive to ensure that musicians are at the heart of our practice and decision-making processes
  • Be an active member of the Artistic team, enhancing the creative approach and output of the organisation
  • Be part of a welcoming, inclusive and supportive working environment
  • Oversee the recording and internal sharing of all project activity working closely with the DM Collective Lead
  • Attend DM events on a regular basis and, where applicable, take responsibility for aspects of event management (for example social media, front of house, curating, welcoming guests)
  • Coordinate logistics in respect of any events/residencies, supporting the project managers and Programme Leaders, where appropriate
  • Comply with organisational policies and procedures including safeguarding and GDPR.
  • Act as an ambassador for Drake Music

This job description is not exhaustive; the post holder may therefore be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

Person Specification

Below are some of the skills, qualities and experience that will be important to this role.

If there are any elements of the person spec which you would require access support with then Drake Music will work with you to provide this support.

Essential Skills/Qualities

  • Passionate about music, technology, the arts and inclusion
  • A willingness to work collaboratively (both live and online) as part of a diverse, creative team, and with an open-minded and supportive approach
  • A commitment to working collaboratively with other musicians and the Drake Music team (both live and online)
  • Ability to self-manage and balance a variety of activities
  • A good communicator able to share their ideas clearly
  • A commitment to creating work that pushes boundaries and aspires to be as diverse and inclusive as possible
  • A willingness to question, share ideas, and be a critical friend
  • A willingness to contribute to the visibility of our work, via sharing on social media and other online platforms

Essential Experience

  • At least 5 years’ experience as a working musician/sound-artist (Please evidence this in your CV Portfolio, through web-links to performances/videos/projects/articles)
  • Proven experience of artistic collaboration (e.g. working with a producer/curating an event/playing in an ensemble or band)
  • Demonstrable experience of working as part of a team

Desirable Skills & Experience

  • Awareness and understanding of the Social Model of Disability
  • Project management experience
  • Experience of supporting or mentoring others
  • Understanding of the workings of a small charity/ arts organisation
  • Knowledge of safe-guarding and child protection policies
  • Experience of developing and delivering musical projects and/or has been awarded commissions/funding as a musician/artist
  • Experience of managing budgets, with support if needed

Our Commitment to Equality

Drake Music is an Equal Opportunities, Disability Confident and Living Wage employer. We are a team of Disabled and non-disabled people working together to advocate for and achieve quality, equality and meaningful inclusion in music-making.

We are committed to employing Disabled people, and people with health conditions or impairments, and this means we:

  • actively look to attract, recruit and retain Disabled people
  • aim to provide a fully inclusive and accessible recruitment process
  • are flexible with assessments, so everyone has the best possible opportunity to demonstrate that they can do the job
  • make reasonable adjustments as required, in both recruitment and in the role

In addition, we are especially welcoming of other under-represented groups, including Black, Asian and ethnic minority people and LGBTQ+ people.

Support & Access

We are happy to make any reasonable adjustments needed to support you in applying, interviewing, or carrying out the role. If the role is offered to you, we will work with you to complete an Access to Work claim to support and provide the relevant access you require.

If you would like to have an informal conversation about the role before applying, please contact Louis Gilbert. We also have created some FAQs which you may find helpful.

If you require this document in alternative formats please visit this page

To discuss your requirements, or notify us of adjustments, please contact Louis Gilbert:

  • Tel: 020 7739 5444
  • Email:

Application Process


Deadline: 12 noon, 21st April 2021
Please note: Applications received after this time will not be considered.

To apply: Please send a covering letter, Creative Portfolio/CV and Equal Opportunities monitoring form by email to with the subject: “AIR Application”
Please note: Your covering letter should outline your skills, experience, and creative interest in the role, and should be no more than 2 A4 pages.

Alternative formats: We’re more than happy to accept applicant cover letters in alternative forms, such as audio/video files. If so, then these should be no longer than 5 minutes.

Creative Portfolio: With all applicants, we accept your Creative Portfolio in a format that best suits you and your work. It could include images, video links, Soundcloud or other audio links. We ask that you bear in mind that it needs to be presented in a way that is easy for us to access and understand.

Recruitment process

The recruitment process will be in two stages:

  • Stage One – Week commencing 3rd May 2021
    The selected shortlist artists will be invited to attend and take part in a small group online creative session.
  • Stage Two – Week commencing 10th May 2021
    Selected artists from stage one will be invited to a one-to-one discussion.

We anticipate the roles beginning the week commencing 7th June 2021, but this will be discussed with individual artists.

Thank you for your interest in these roles.