Briefings and Toolkits

This section features a selection of websites with free resources that members may find useful in relation to managing their choirs and singing groups, planning performances and other events, and developing new ventures. Some of these sites carry reports that are also featured separately in our Research Reports section. The focus here is on ‘how to’ style resources that offer information, prompts, step-by-step guidelines and tips for best practice.

Voluntary Arts

This website is a fantastic resource for arts practitioners and community organisations. Among other things, it carries scores of free downloadable briefings – concise, well designed and user-friendly – alongside links to numerous reports, policy documents and toolkits. Titles of briefings that may be of particular interest to NVN members include:

  • Finding a Venue – Some New Ideas
  • Events Checklist – Disability and Access
  • Making Performances Accessible
  • Breaking Down Barriers
  • Risk Assessment – Event Organisers
  • Getting Started Marketing
  • Publicity Explained
  • Guide to Good Design
  • Digital Skills
  • Creating Engaging Content for Social Media
  • Getting Your Website Noticed
  • Community Media
  • Using Copyright Music
  • GDPR: Data Protection
  • Handling Complaints

Arts Council England

This website has a range of useful resources, together with advice on running a business, applying for funding and developing audiences. Among the things that NVN members might find especially useful are:

  • Facts and figures about the value and impact of participation in arts activity, both in general and e.g. with reference to improving health, wellbeing and quality of life for older people (useful evidence to support funding applications)
  • Self-evaluation toolkit
  • Inspiring case studies (based on different art forms but with some great ideas)
  • Short articles and links to reports on e.g. the arts and wellbeing
  • Detailed guidance on applying for Arts Council funding

A Choir in Every Care Home

This site features toolkits for musicians and care staff on leading singing sessions for older people, including a set of short video tutorials and a set of working papers (ranging from surveys to case studies). Of particular interest is the paper Case Studies of Singing, which identifies the NVN approach as being ‘fundamental’ and potentially ‘ground-breaking’. Other downloadable ‘how to do it’ guides include The Rhythm of Life (by Ros Hawley), a pack that grew out of a project encouraging older people in sheltered accommodation and day care to create and perform their own songs.

See also:

Singing for Health: Tips and Tactics – A Practical Guide to Running a Singing for Health Choir

Sonia Page – Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health (2014)

Safeguarding Information: Advice for Practitioners (HM Government)