Open Sound Ensemble

The London Philharmonic Orchestra's Open Sound Ensemble is a free inclusive creative music opportunity for young people with special educational needs and disabilities and their parents/carers in Greenwich. Open Sound Ensemble courses run three times a year in school holidays and develop musical skills in a supportive and creative environment. The project is run with the support of the Royal Greenwich Music Hub, through the South Riverside Music Partnership.

Next project

The next Open Sound Ensemble Course will be taking place on Thursday 21 February and Friday 22 February 2020. Applications are opening soon, but if you are interested in getting more information about the ensemble in the meantime please get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What can I expect from the Open Sound Ensemble?

Working as a group alongside specialist workshop leaders and musicians from the LPO, we will create, rehearse and perform our own music. We will use a mixture of both traditional and accessible digital instruments to explore sounds, rhythms and melodies, and make music together. We will be interacting with each other as an ensemble, sometimes following cues from the LPO team and each other, and sometimes making our own creative decisions. Open Sound Ensemble courses will often conclude with a short informal sharing to family and friends of the music that the group has created.

Open Sound Ensemble sessions are based around a structure but will always respond flexibly to the individual requirements of the young musicians taking part, creating a musical role for everyone in the group. All professionals involved are experienced and trained to work specifically with young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

October Course Details

Over Thursday 21 and Friday 22 February, we will be running two different Open Sound Ensemble groups – a morning and afternoon group. In your application you will be asked to select a preference, but if you’re not sure which group is right for your young person, don’t worry as we will work with parents/carers to find the right group for their young person. See below for a little guidance on this:

Morning group: for young people with little or no prior musical experience. You might have explored a little bit of handheld percussion (drums, shakers, tambourines) at school or in music therapy sessions, or have encountered an instrument a couple of times.

Afternoon group: for young people with more musical experience – maybe they have played a particular instrument in the past or play one now (e.g. piano, guitar, drum kit) or they sing.

Both sessions will be two hours long, inclusive of time for participants to access and become orientated with the space and time for breaks as necessary. Places are limited to 10 young people per session.

Dates: Thursday 21 and Friday 22 February 2020
Venue: Plumcroft Primary School, 50 Vincent Road, SE18 6RG
Morning group: 10.00 – 12.00
Afternoon group: 13.30 – 15.30

If you are only able to come to one of the days, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Who can take part?

The Open Sound Ensemble is designed to be accessible to young people of secondary school age with special educational needs and disabilities. The courses will be run in Greenwich but we welcome applicants from across Greenwich and other local boroughs. Each young musician will need to be accompanied by a parent or carer – accompanying adults will be required to stay throughout the session and are very welcome to join the ensemble to play alongside their young people if they wish!

Whilst there are no specific entry requirements or audition process for young participants, we would suggest that the project will be most suited to young people who are:

  • aware of their surroundings and able to interact in a group setting
  • able to follow guidance from the LPO team, make deliberate creative choices and communicate these (verbally or non-verbally) to the group
  • aware of their contribution to the group and able to participate with intention
  • able to maintain focus for an extended period of time (note that there will be flexibility in this and breaks can be taken throughout the sessions as required)

Please note that young people do not need to be able to play an instrument (whether traditional or digital) before they join the ensemble. We will discuss all applications on an individual basis so we can best support each young person’s specific needs.

Once we have received your application, the LPO Education & Community team will be in touch with you directly to discuss your application in more detail. If you would like to discuss the application before this point, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

If you have any questions about the project please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call Hannah Tripp on 020 7840 4227.

Applications are not open yet, but if you would like more information about the Open Sound Ensemble in the meantime, please click here to register your interest.

The autumn LPO Open Sound Ensemble course is kindly supported by Thomas Deane Trust. The LPO Open Sound Ensemble is also generously supported by The Viney Family and the Schroder Charity Trust.