Connect the Dots: learning & development opportunity

Series of workshops on inclusive music making

About Connect the Dots

Connect the Dots: a series of workshops for composers & facilitators, teaching techniques in inclusive collaborative music making with disabled musicians.

The workshops will be facilitated by professional disabled musicians & practitioners of inclusive music groups. It will comprise two online sessions in January 2024 and an intensive course over 4 days in London, Wednesday 31st January – Saturday 3rd February 2024.

In 2021, CoMA conducted its biennial survey and found 86% of composers surveyed claimed they have never worked with a disabled musician, and when individuals were approached to elaborate on why, the most common answer was “I don’t know how”. Through these workshops, CoMA aims to develop more opportunities, resources and understanding in collaborating with musicians who identify as disabled or would benefit from an alternative physical and/or mental approach to music-making.

Facilitator Clare Johnston's workshop with CoMA Glasgow
Facilitator Clare Johnston's workshop with CoMA Glasgow 

Who is it for?

We have 8 places available for emerging to mid career composers & facilitators who are curious about making their work more inclusive and accessible.

You do not need to have had previous experience of working with inclusive groups or musicians with disabilities.

Composers and facilitators should have at least 2 years experience in their field. Practitioners of all musical genres are welcome.

This is a learning & development opportunity; the workshops are fully-funded. Participants are responsible for their own travel & accommodation if necessary.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds, including those from the Global Majority, d/Deaf and disabled people, working class backgrounds and LGBTQ+.

Application deadline: Monday 20th November 2023 11.59pm

Successful applicants will be contacted by Friday 1st December 2023.

The facilitators & their workshops

Sonic Bothy will deliver an online session sharing their practice in the sector and to highlight the process behind the creation of their award-winning work ‘Verbaaaaatim’ (BBC Tectonics 2021 Commission).

Clare Johnston, an experienced music technologist will present the iPad as an inclusive musical instrument and lead a practical workshop introducing the iPad app, Thumbjam.

Kate Risdon (flute) and Charlotte Bott (LinnStrument) from Bournemouth Symphony’s Disabled-Led Resound Ensemble will focus on what the LinnStrument can do, practical considerations when writing for Braille scores, plus learning and rehearsal processes for Visually Impaired musicians.

Artistic Director of National Open Youth Orchestra Doug Bott and composer Liam Taylor-West will focus on the practical applications and creative possibilities of ‘recomposing’ work for inclusive ensembles.

Composers will also attend a session with Soundbox, an all-ability inclusive music collective that brings together disabled and non-disabled musicians aged 11-25 run by Tower Hamlets Arts & Music Education Service.

When & Where

Online sessions: 

Friday 19th January 2024: Introduction to Soundbox by ensemble facilitators

w/c 22nd January: Session with Sonic Bothy


In-person sessions in London (venue & times tbc):

Wednesday 31st January: Workshop with Doug Bott & Liam Taylor-West (NOYO)

Thursday 1st February: Workshop with Clare Johnston

Friday 2nd February: Workshop with BSO Resound musicians

Saturday 3rd February: Soundbox rehearsal at THAMES Saturday Music Centre, St Paul’s Way Trust School. Attendance at Soundbox rehearsals will be negotiated on an individual basis, but most participants will attend on this date.

Places on the Connect the Dots workshops are funded by CoMA.

Participants are responsible for covering their own costs to attend the intensive.

All participants must commit to attend all of the workshops on Wednesday 31st January – Friday 2nd February 2024 inclusive. 

CoMA is able to provide further assistance to cover access costs for any participants who may require this. Please contact Francesca ( for more information.

How to apply

To apply please fill out the application form:

Application deadline: Monday 20th November 2023 11.59pm


The application will ask you to answer the following:

  1. Tell us a bit about your work and include any audio/video links if applicable
  2. Why do you want to take part in the ‘Connect the Dots’ workshops?
  3. Please identify 3 ways how taking part in the ‘Connect the Dots’ workshops will positively impact your career?

Places are limited, so we will select composers & facilitators based on their answers to these questions, their enthusiasm for inclusive practices and the relevance of the course to their work.


If you would prefer to submit a video answering these questions, there is an option on the application form to include a URL. Please ensure that all video submitted does not require a password. If you encounter any difficulties completing the form, please contact


We look forward to receiving your application!