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Make Music this Summer at Sage Gateshead

Posted on 26 April 2022

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Sage Gateshead’s Make Music classes begin this week (Monday 25 April) and people who have been learning at the charity are urging others to join them and enjoy the health and social benefits of music-making.

Mary has been attending classes at Sage Gateshead for two years and enjoys the benefits of group singing.

“Coming together to sing, we leave our baggage at the door. Family problems, pain and sickness, things to do, things to remember – they all have to be let go.

“For 1 hour 30 minutes, our only concern is to join together to make the music come alive; to listen, watch and harmonise, appreciating each other’s voices, correcting lapses of pitch and timing, sometimes frustrated, sometimes laughing, until it all comes together, and we can really enjoy it,” she says. “Afterwards, we pick up our baggage again, but it feels lighter.”

Over 30 different music classes take place each week online and in person for people of all ages and levels of experience.

“The virtual programme lifted my spirits and kept me in touch with tutors and other participants during the pandemic. Coming back to the building was an important step in starting to get back to normal, and making music with my fellow participants was such a joyful experience.” an online user says.

Online lessons were introduced during lockdowns over the past two years and have remained an option for people who want to keep learning from home for a wide range of reasons, including those with younger children for whom connectivity as well as creativity have been vital.

Lauren, who lives in rural Northumberland, started attending online classes during the pandemic and values the connectivity they bring.

“As a home-educating family, we obviously must provide experiences ourselves, so it was a relief when I discovered the Zoom music sessions.

“I am so appreciative of Sage Gateshead and what it provides for all manner of people. In the future, I hope to be able to bring my two girls to classes and workshops, but for now, we are happily playing and singing along.” she says.

Classes for adults cover all levels of experience from absolute beginner, with lots of chances to progress or join bands or choirs with great performance opportunities, combining high quality music learning with vital chances to get together socially to play and create with others.

Make Music features learning and sessions of all kinds, including string, wind, percussion and folk instruments as well as a variety of choirs and singing opportunities.

There’s also a range of classes for families with young children. Children can play, sing and dance with live musicians and grownups can take away ideas for continuing with music at home. These classes teach the foundations of music while children make new friends in this shared experience.

Susanna Mogaji, Head of Public Engagement at Sage Gateshead, said: “

“at Sage Gateshead we want to make sure everyone can get involved in all kinds of music and our programme of adult and family classes focuses on high-quality music tuition in a fun and relaxed style. Our sessions are a great way for people to come together and make music, whether that be in our building or online. For those who prefer to learn independently, VirTuition is a wonderful option, with tuition videos that can be watched at a time that suits you.  There really is something for everyone”.

Summer term starts from Monday 25 April  

Visit to view the full range of classes and workshops available and stride into summer. Classes can be booked in person at Sage Gateshead, by phone on 0191 443 4661 or online at


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About Sage Gateshead

  • Sage Gateshead is an international music centre for the North East and wider North. Through music, creative learning and artist development, the organisation demonstrates what music can achieve for communities.
  • Since opening in 2004, Sage Gateshead has worked side by side with partners and the wider community to help address the complex blend of social and economic challenges the region faces.
  • Sage Gateshead continues to be a major employer bringing investment and tourism into the region. We’ve generated a c. £500 million contribution to the local economy, a sum six times greater than its combined capital cost.
  • Sage Gateshead has brought social, cultural and educational value to over 10 million people and millions more via digital and broadcast activity. The scale of its artistic, learning and artist development activity places Sage Gateshead amongst the UK’s largest cultural organisations, while reaching a substantially more socially and economically diverse audience.
  • Pre-pandemic Sage Gateshead attracted 2 million visitors; 5,000 people took part in weekly music classes; 17,854 school children experienced live orchestral music and we worked with a further 2,418 vulnerable young people; more than 2,000 adults a week took part in music making designed to tackle social isolation.
  • The North East region is one of the worst affected by Covid-19. The region will be one where the recovery is slow and hard. Arts and culture have a pivotal role to play in regional and nation-wide recovery.
  • Covid-19 presents a major financial challenge to Sage Gateshead, the iconic Foster + Partners designed NE landmark. 80% of its income has been affected, and in 2020/21 £10 million in revenue was lost. The organisation has taken swift action to overcome this crisis. 90% of the workforce was placed on furlough, significant cost savings have been sought and found, and it launched a fundraising campaign to raise £3 million to help secure the organisation during the next three years. Further challenges lie ahead; in 2021/22, Sage Gateshead estimates box office and trading income to be less than half of what would be expected in a normal year.
  • Sage Gateshead temporarily closed to the public on 17 March 2020, five days ahead of the announcement of the national lockdown. Sage Gateshead recommenced performances in October 2020 with a season of socially distanced concerts featuring Royal Northern Sinfonia and artists across genres, made available by live stream; audiences were able to be present in the hall for two weekends of those performances.
  • In 2020 Sage Gateshead received a grant of £2.8 million from the Culture Recovery Fund Round One to help it through the pandemic and associated financial crisis. In 2021 the charity received a loan of £3m from the Culture Recovery Fund Round Two to support recovery. It has thanked the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and Arts Council England for this vital support.