Rachael Perrin
Hannah Dunster
Jenni Parkinson
Gail Macleod

  • Business / Project: Soundcastle
  • Category: Music
  • College: Guildhall School of Music and Drama

Winner : 2011


What advice would you offer to potential applicants?

"Share the impact of your work before anything else – grip people with the reason you do it, not your own personal agenda/ latest success/ business model! Tell the world what you want to be known for and it will know you for that. You might have a portfolio of 10 different projects but find a theme and share, tweet, talk about it night and day. Don’t keep secrets! Secrets don’t put you ahead of ‘competition’ – they isolate you. You’re a collaborator, an artist and a friend of your sector. Treat it with respect and joy and it will treat you with the same." - Rachael Perrin

Rachael Perrin Case Study

What was your winning business/project idea?

Our Vision: That every person has the opportunity to discover and express their creative voice through music, on an equal platform Our Mission: To spark the imagination of artists and facilitators across the country, uniting and sharing ideas within the Soundcastle Community Our Values: Pathfinders – we expand horizons in music leadership Imaginative – we devise captivating musical experiences Inquisitive – we explore challenging and unexpected contexts Responsive – we nourish creative voices Soundcastle is a UK, cutting-edge arts organisation, spearheading our own advanced method in music facilitation to revolutionise participatory music practice. We are an award winning Music Social Enterprise that unites communities and professionals in the music industry through captivating musical experiences and projects. We believe that everyone has the capacity to make music and with our high-level facilitation, groups of ordinary people from diverse backgrounds can create inspiring and exciting new sounds which are truly reflective of their own creative voices. We offer: Music and Cross-Art Projects We collaborate with community organisations to devise and deliver captivating creative music projects in a range of social contexts. We facilitate a process that enables people with any or no level of musical experience to create imaginative and thought-provoking new music, where participants are at the heart of creative practice. Consultancy We deliver high level consultancy in music facilitation based on our own Soundcastle Method, enabling other practitioners to apply it to their own projects. We embed this approach through project delivery and consultancy in partnership with community organisations. In addition, we evaluate the progress of projects in terms of the successful application of the Soundcastle Method and advising on future progression routes. Soundcastle consultancy currently specialises in Families Music Projects and the Art of Facilitation. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) We deliver a six-part CPD course throughout the year which can be taken as a series or as individual sessions. From the fundamental basics of facilitation to the exciting complexities of collaborative music-making, this CPD series will present you with a practical opportunity to develop new creative tools to apply to your own artistic settings. The Soundcastle Community We are in the process of building the Soundcastle Community – a network of arts practitioners engaged in facilitation and/or action research. Alongside our CPD opportunities, we create newsletters, blogs, toolkits and publications as well as host networking events to share ideas and offer support within the profession. Look out for the launch of our first series of podcasts which will reflect on groundbreaking research, interview relevant people in the field and provide a forum for discussion through which to advance the field of creative facilitation. Our Research: Soundcastle is committed to exploring new, unexpected and challenging contexts, asking the difficult questions about creative leadership, and always responding to current issues. In this way we continue to develop and advance methodology adaptable to diverse social settings, so that we can raise standards in our sector. Trialling, reflecting on and refining our approach through ongoing project delivery, we have developed our own Soundcastle Method of creative facilitation which we believe responds to a clear, current need from the arts sector. The Method enables the creation of consistently high-quality new music and musical experiences, which also lead to stronger communities and improved integration. We aim for this to inspire a musical revolution that goes beyond our projects, into the streets and into homes and communities. In addition to this, we engage with the latest relevant research to ensure that we are on the cusp of developments in the field and constantly developing our own knowledge and expertise. We share our discoveries and methodologies through consultancy, our programme of CPD training, online reports, toolkits and publications in the continuing desire to improve and better our field of work.

What did winning the Award mean to you and how did it help launch your career?

It gave us the confidence to pursue an idea. The financial support to buy the resources needed to launch our 'Musical Beacons' family music project. The business basics to turn an idea into a reality and the belief in ourselves to commit our time to develop Soundcastle.

What skills did you develop as a result of DBACE?

  • Confidence
  • Presenting your work / ideas
  • Developing business plans / funding applications
  • Articulating your ideas / creative vision
  • Applying creativity / innovation within a professional setting
  • Understanding client needs
  • Responding to client needs
  • Self confidence
  • Initiative / risk taking
  • Project management
  • Networking
  • Cashflow / budgets

What have been your greatest achievements since winning the Award?

We founded and run Soundcastle - The Music Social Enterprise We have seen communities strengthen and unite as a direct result of our work We ran a high-profile festival in Bloomsbury in 2013 - The Wilding Festival We won the Guildhall Creative Entrepreneurs Pitch - 2015 We recruited four new artists and facilitators to our team We have published Toolkits of our work We have launched a highly successful CPD programme for music educators and artists We have secured funding from ACE, Youth Music, HLF and more We are developing an exciting, sustainable model We've written a corporate programme in partnership with the Barbican

Have your objectives and long-term goals changed since winning the Award? If so, how?

When we won the award we were a brand new organisation, since then we have begun the journey to becoming a sustainable social enterprise. Our vision has always been strong but our long-term goals have changed and become more about how we share our methodology. We are now exploring research and how to create an evidence base to support the work.

For more information on this project/enterprise, please visit:

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