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Head of Programmes

£45,000 - £50,000 per year depending on experience

The Head of Programmes is a key leadership post within the organisation. The role encompasses responsibility for all aspects of the organisation’s activity relating to young composers and those aged 18 and over.

Sound and Music
London (but postholder can work remotely from anywhere in the UK)
Contract Type
Full-Time Permanent
Start Date
3rd June 2024 (depending on notice period)
Closing Date
14th April 2024 at 23:59

Contract & hours: Permanent contract, 1.0 (5 days a week)

Reporting to: Chief Executive

Created: March 2024

General Information

The Head of Programmes is a key leadership post within the organisation. The role encompasses responsibility for all aspects of the organisation’s activity relating to young composers and those aged 18 and over. It also forms part of Sound and Music’s senior management team, who under the leadership of the Chief Executive are responsible for overseeing the organisation’s programme of activity, strategic development, external profile and a positive and productive organisational culture.

The postholder should have exceptional skills, networks and experience in music education and/or supporting artists aged 18 and over to sustain careers in the music profession, demonstrating evidence of previous experience and ability to fill the gaps. This includes composing and musical creativity, in formal and informal contexts, across different genres, and at any educational stage for children and young people. Or this could include leading the recruitment, selection and programme of activity for anyone aged 18 and over working with music and sound. They will need to have proven ability in working as part of a team to problem-solve, creating and nurturing internal and external relationships, and a demonstrable commitment to diversity and inclusion in their work to date.

The broad remit of the role means that working collaboratively, building and nurturing teams and partnerships are essential.

Sound and Music operates a hybrid working model with a mix of in person and remote working, so we welcome applications from anywhere in the UK. Our office is in London and the minimum requirement will be to attend one day per week.

The post holder will support Sound and Music’s commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion, contributing to a culture of respect and collaboration in the organisation’s internal and external activities.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and management

Internal leadership:

  • Shared strategic responsibility and accountability for Sound and Music’s three core aims and their associated objectives, outcomes and outputs
  • Shared accountability (with other senior management colleagues) for the successful delivery and implementation of the organisation’s Business Plan
  • Lead the organisation’s Programmes team. The team includes three Creative Project Leaders (2.2FTE), one Executive and Programmes Coordinator, one Project Manager, In the Making (all line managed by the Head of Programmes) plus support from other Sound and Music team members. For specific projects these teams expand to include freelance composers, tutors and pastoral staff

External leadership:

  • Support the development of Sound and Music’s reputation and national and international profile including through networking and representing Sound and Music at public events; being an active and engaging ambassador for the organisation
  • Be the Designated Safeguarding Lead for Sound and Music

Strategy and planning:

  • Ensure strategies and processes are in place for Sound and Music’s developing artists provision for young people and composers aged 18 and over that lead to a high quality, diverse and balanced programme, and the delivery of live and digital creative outputs that support the organisation’s strategic objectives
  • Work with the Chief Executive and other senior management team members to monitor, evaluate and review KPIs, strategies and activity to maximise Sound and Music’s impact. This includes reporting and presenting to the Board and externally as required
  • Work with the Head of External Engagement to identify funding opportunities, contribute and prepare documents and reports for key funders including Arts Council England
  • Encourage an environment where creativity and innovation can flourish enabling new, imaginative ideas, intellectual property and insights which have the potential to make a significant impact on the music and education sectors
  • Assess the reputational, financial, delivery and other risks associated with current and new projects and partnerships
  • Empower, model, support and encourage cross-team working to realise the full creative possibilities of projects


Lead the delivery, development and regular evaluation of Sound and Music’s programme, currently encompassing:

Major programmes:

  • In the Making
  • In Motion

Supporting programmes:

  • Essentials Awards
  • ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music)
  • New Music Labs
  • Other activity as developed


  • Minute of Listening
  • Lead the rotation, brokering and engagement of Sound and Music’s advisory groups, currently encompassing:
  • Composer Advisory Group
  • Young Voices (our youth advisory group)
  • Digital Advisory Group

Lead the identification, brokering and nurturing of relevant sector networks, currently encompassing:

  • Northern Jazz Development Forum
  • NYMO (National Youth Music Organisations)
  • PRSF Talent Development Network

Lead the identification, brokering and nurturing of appropriate partner and freelance relationships with regards to the delivery of the programme

Nurture relationships across the music and education sectors including strategic funders, cultural organisations including, talent development partners, music education hubs, policymakers, key influencers, and others relevant to the programme and its national and international strategic context

Work closely with the Head of External Engagement to ensure that public outcomes and marketing are central to decision-making in the programme

Ensure the strategic development of educational, composer and composer alumni databases, contact lists and websites relating to the programme, in line with wider organisational data and customer relationship management approaches


  • Contribute to creating and monitoring the overall organisation budget
  • Work closely with the Chief Executive, Head of External Engagement and Finance Manager to formulate financial strategy against specified budget areas, and to ensure that the programme activity is sufficiently resourced, planned and delivered to budget
  • Ensure close monitoring of income and expenditure for relevant budget lines and contribute to senior management team financial planning and review
Special Conditions of the Post
  • Attendance at Sound and Music’s In the Making residential, a five-day course held in late-July/early August
  • A willingness to travel throughout the country as required by the role
  • A willingness to represent the organisation internationally on an occasional basis
  • Evening and weekend working to attend and network at events will be required (time off in lieu is taken afterwards)
  • Satisfactory completion of an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (if offered the role, and paid for by Sound and Music)
Candidate Profile


  • A demonstrable commitment to Sound and Music’s vision, mission and values
  • Leadership:
  • A track record of leadership, including leading the artist development provision, music education or creative programming in an organisation
  • Excellent team leadership skills, with high emotional intelligence and generosity, a genuine enthusiasm for encouraging the input and ideas of others
  • Strong budgeting and financial planning skills, and the ability to work collaboratively on this
  • Artist development:
  • Knowledge and experience of how music training and education is being delivered nationally across a range of genres and in a range of contexts, both in and out of school, further and higher education
  • Experience leading programmes that help adults and/or young people from diverse backgrounds to fulfil their potential
  • A track record in the planning and delivery of successful music and music education projects and events
  • Knowledge of statutory and legal requirements relating to events and activities involving children and young people, including safeguarding children and child protection
  • Demonstrable commitment to championing Youth Voice
  • Proven commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • A commitment to high quality, accurate communications and project delivery
  • Collaboration:
  • Ability to identify and nurture productive partnerships and work collaboratively as part of a team
  • Ability to lead and inspire a team that includes people reporting directly to you, people from other teams, and freelancers
  • Ability to think strategically, laterally and creatively to support the work of Sound and Music
  • Communication:
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills: able to engage confidently with different audiences and areas of the sector both publicly and on a 1:1 basis
  • Strong presentation skills to a wide range of audiences (for example to a Board, at a conference, or to a large group of young people)


  • Understanding of the current political, economic, social and technological climate, including the context for culture and public funding and an active engagement with technological developments in creativity
  • Experience of increasing brand profile, developing brand awareness, and expanding audiences for a specialist product or service
  • Experience of accessing funding and managing relationships with funders
  • Experience of developing commercial partnerships

How to Apply

If you are interested in working with us, please apply by completing the application form via Airtable. Further details can be found on our website. If you need this form in another format, email Grace Bailey at

For any other questions, please contact Cathy McCosker ( and Jo Bates ( at Reality HR.

Closing Date:
14th April 2024 at 23:59
29th April - 2nd May 2024

About the Provider

Sound and Music

Sound and Music is the national charity for new music. Our work covers composer and artist development, partnerships with a range of organisations, audience development, touring, information and advice, network building, and our education programme.

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