Core Music was set up in 2008 as a Community Interest Company (CIC) with a mission to make music accessible to all across the community of Hexham and the Tyne Valley.
Through the hard work of Mike Coleman, whose vision it was in 2008 to make music more accessible to the community, Core Music was initiated and today provides facilities to more than 200 people a week to come and learn a musical instrument, play music together, sing as part of a choir and generally celebrate music in all its forms and genres. Whether it is to learn and study towards grade exams or just to play for fun, Core Music offers a safe, friendly and non-judgemental environment where people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy music.
Since it opened its doors, Core Music has introduced thousands of people to music in its various forms, some of whom have gone on to pursue exciting careers in the music industry. Core has been at the heart of the community running special events, supporting local festivals, hosting small concerts and running regular weekly clubs and workshops. In excess of 15 freelance experts provide tuition for drums, piano, guitar, bass guitar, violin, saxophone, clarinet, flute and singing. There are 7 rooms which are used for lessons and which can be hired out for practice as well as for meetings and group activities.
Core Music also has a shop which stocks a comprehensive range of musical instruments and accessories including music books, CDs and a wide range of DVDs which are available for hire. It offers a repair service for musical instruments and is the go-to place for information on any musical events happening in the area. Its founder, Mike Coleman, was named as one of five ‘Unsung Heroes’ as part of the BBC’s 2016 Music Day, recognising the contribution he and Core Music have made to music in Hexham and the region. The business is supported by a small number of staff and a loyal bunch of volunteers upon whom they depend.
Core’s vision going forward is to sustain as well as to expand its musical provision in the community. The benefits of music to both young and old, in terms of improving health and wellbeing, has been well documented and it is Core’s aim to continue to promote its services and make music accessible to even more.
As a CIC, our shop and trading activities help to fund the business but we also rely on grants and loans from funding bodies as well as donations from individuals. We have a ‘Friends of Core Music’ scheme for supporters who would like to become regular supporters of Core Music.
We achieve this through providing a space for people to teach musical instruments (and for their students to come to lessons), running regular weekly clubs and workshops for people to make music together across a variety of styles and genres, and running special projects that bring music to specific parts of our community. Over 200 people come for individual instrument tuition every week at Core Music, with others coming for weekly sessions and clubs, and some just coming to hire a movie from our DVD rental outlet, GoJo@coremusic.
Since 2008, we have introduced thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds to music in its various forms, all through the activities that we have provided in and around our building in the heart of Hexham. Several of our volunteers and teachers have gone on to pursue exciting careers in music – some have been signed to record labels, some have appeared at major festivals in the UK and abroad, some have studied music further and used their experience and knowledge to craft their own careers teaching and making music… and that’s just part of the story!
Our main aim is to provide an environment for people to enjoy what they’re doing, because we believe that this enables people to thrive. Our teaching, for instance, is all geared towards the needs of the individual student – so, whether you want to learn and study towards grade exams or just play for fun, we can cater to you. Since we opened our doors in October 2008, we have witnessed so many people on their journey through music, seeing them grow and develop not just as musicians, but also as people; in many ways, this is one of the things of which we are most proud.
Our staff, volunteers, board members and supporters all share our vision and philosophy, and all work hard to create an environment which is safe, friendly, non-judgemental and supportive. In the words of one of our club leaders, “Music changes lives.”
In 2016, our founder and managing director, Mike Coleman, was named as one of just five Unsung Heroes as part of BBC Music Day, recognising the contribution he and Core Music have made to music in Hexham and the region.
As a CIC, our shop and trading activities help us fund these activities, but we also rely on grants and loans from funding bodies as well as donations from individuals. We have a Friends of Core Music scheme for supporters who would like to make a monthly donation. The support and regular donations of our Friends allow us to better plan our activities.