InsideOut Musician - supporting our musicians

Keep live music alive! This GoFundMe supports our community of musicians with new inspirational courses, resources and opportunities helping performing artists at every level, from professional to amateur. Our mental health as musicians is dependant on maintaining the purpose and motivation which are both essential to enable us to play, develop and connect with each other creatively in different ways.

‘…the bursary was crucial in helping me to keep my confidence up, to the point that I am offering online workshops and considering recording new material.’  Sheila McWhirter (vocalist)

‘It has really helped me to keep motivated and inspired while focusing on not only my physical health while playing the cello but also my mental health.’  Sinéad O’Halloran (cellist)

By supporting InsideOut Musician through this GoFundMe you are helping our performing musicians stay connected with each other, motivated to keep developing their craft and encouraged to keep live music alive

Four IOM Bursary holders working with IOM tutors violinist Lucy Russell (top left) and composer Liz Dilnot Johnson (top centre)

Who Is This For?
This GoFundMe supports professional musicians looking for new motivation to develop their artistry in creative ways, students needing encouragement to grow, teachers looking for new inspiration, and musicians who want to be able to play together. As many musicians are currently unable to earn we have set up this Bursary Fund so that everyone can access InsideOut Musician to connect with each other and with new audiences.

How Do Musicians Benefit?
We offer courses, 1 to 1s, discussion groups, performing opportunities, access to free resources and a whole range of innovative online sessions for musicians looking to expand their horizons.

Here are some responses from our IOM Bursary holders:

Sinéad O Halloran - cellist (IOM Energiser Bursary holder) (photo credit:

‘…so many inspirations on playing and creating music!’ Jin Ma (violinist)

‘The course was so skilfully held and affirmed much of my own practice, and giving me the freedom and permission to explore my own creativity for its own sake. …I am really thankful to have had this opportunity and have felt very supported by Inside Out Musician - many thanks.’ Kirsty Martin (vocalist and conductor)

‘It made me think more deeply about my interpretation of other pieces I perform (especially nice, as I was recording audition material), and I found myself sitting down at the piano to just improvise again - something I used to LOVE to do’ Caroline Kouma (vocalist)
Caroline Kouma - soprano (IOM Energiser Bursary holder)

How InsideOut Musician started

In 2020, my friend - professional violist, composer and arranger - Sophie Renshaw saw herself and musicians around her in a state of crisis, with no paid work, no incentive to keep playing or creating, no new opportunities and no easy way of collaborating effectively with others to share, develop or find ways to connect with our audiences. 

Sophie decided to take action and drew together a team with me and three other like-minded and extraordinary women.  Each of us has carved out our own career as musician and inspirational teacher. And each of us has been struggling to keep going on our own...

Now that we are working as a team, we are determined to create vibrant new opportunities and support for musicians at every level, from amateur to top professional.
The InsideOut Musician core team

Here's a bit more about us and our approach:

We are a community of skilled, nurturing musicians expanding our own understanding of our craft, our community and our connection with audiences. We each offer a range of interactive and tailored courses for musicians at every level in groups and individual lessons
Mairi Campbell  award-winning violist, composer, singer and theatre maker
Ruth Phillips cellist known throughout the world for her work with The Breathing Bow
Liz Dilnot Johnson  acclaimed composer and creative facilitator
Lucy Russell  internationally renowned baroque violinist and quartet leader
Sophie Renshaw  violist, arranger, composer and founder of IOM
and we are delighted to welcomePaul Hutchinson  one of the top folk accordionists in the country who has recently joined the team.

We enable musicians to play imaginatively, be adventurous and playful
We offer flexible, sensitive support for musicians from amateur to pro
We embrace diversity of music, people and cultures
We encourage creative collaborations across genres

Here's my little video with a bit more info about IOM and one of our InsideOut Musician Bursary Holders - violinist David López Ibáñez
Your donation will:

* support anyone in severe financial difficulty 
available for all our group classes, support groups and expert one-to-one coaching, so that no one need be turned away for financial reasons

* support student musicians by funding a half-price bursary rate 

* help us create more free online resources  for everyone to access online, developing skills and creativity in innovative and inclusive ways

* maintain the InsideOut Musician website  with courses for all musicians

* admin costs for the bursary scheme, so we can reach the people that need help

InsideOut Musician's stimulating, enriching courses and performing opportunities are designed to keep the life-blood of music-making flowing, connecting musicians and audiences - and making cool new stuff happen!

Here's a response from Gawain Usher, a recent graduate from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and professional violist who helped trial some of the courses at InsideOut Musician:

'I feel I have learned to be brave in my own vision. Sometimes it can be very difficult with second guessing yourself, or stopping yourself because of unhelpful judgement. This course has taught me to be brave, and to go for things I believe in with my playing.

Openness: During the course, there can be no doubt that I feel so much more musically open, and that instead of having a feeling of doubt and judgment in my playing and creative process, I genuinely feel so much more open to all that the creative world has to offer.'
Gawain Usher - violist and InsideOut Musician participant 

The InsideOut Ceilidh - What Is That? - and how do you say it?
We have created a new kind of performance event - the InsideOut Ceilidh - pronounced 'Kale-y' - all about sharing and connecting performers and audiences in new ways, through live music, spoken word, collaborations and more, celebrating live performances in a relaxed and supportive online space. Performers and audience get to meet each other in Break Out rooms so you can chat and get to know new folks.

The next InsideOut Ceilidh will be on Thursday May 25th 2021 with inspiring guests from all over the world. Visit InsideOut Musician to explore! All profits from the Ceilidh go towards the IOM Bursary Fund.

Here's a video celebrating the January 2021 InsideOut Ceilidh with performers from the UK, Sweden and India, featuring violinist tutor Lucy Russell on a new piece written by Lucy for the Hardanger Fiddle

Your support will help provide new opportunities for musicians, free resources and offer special support for those who are struggling financially in these uncertain times for musicians.

Thank you so much for supporting InsideOut Musician by donating, liking and sharing, it means a huge amount to me and to the whole of the InsideOut Musician team.  

Here is another of the Bursary Awardees your donations have already helped support - thank you from Jin and from us all!
Jin Ma - violinist IOM Student Bursary Holder

Thanks again! - Liz

Liz Dilnot Johnson
  • Emma Stansfield 
    • £40 
    • 10 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £30 
    • 12 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • £10 
    • 12 mos
  • Brice Madden 
    • £30 
    • 14 mos
  • Richard Wigmore 
    • £20 
    • 16 mos
See all

Fundraising team (6)

Liz Johnson 
Raised £2,210 from 24 donations
Malvern, West Midlands, United Kingdom
Lucy Russell 
Team member
Raised £3,080 from 23 donations
Sophie Renshaw 
Team member
Raised £1,305 from 22 donations
Ruth Phillips 
Team member
Raised £163 from 6 donations
Mairi Campbell 
Team member
Raised £60 from 2 donations
See all

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