Written by Jane Sandwood

Photo by Isabella Mendes from Pexels

In the last 18 months, the sale of musical instruments went up by 80%, and so many of us discovered that we had musical talent. But what happens when you want to take everything you’ve learned and bring it to the community? Birmingham is of course a hotbed for music, being the birthplace of many amazing artists and bands, including Judas Priest, UB40, Duran Duran, The Moody Blues and Electric Light Orchestra. All these bands started out in the pubs, clubs and music venues around Birmingham, and were soon bringing their music to the masses. If you are an aspiring musician, there are plenty of opportunities in the city for you to start playing to an audience, or attend an open mic session, and soon you too could be joining the alumni of great Birmingham musicians. 

Head to a music session 

A group music session is the ideal way to hone your musical skills. There are sessions for all different styles and instruments in the Birmingham area, and some particularly good sessions for traditional music and the ever-popular ukulele. Taking some online ukulele classes before a session is a great way of getting to grips with the music and learning to keep in time when you play with others.You can learn a variety of different styles from blues to popular music that would be perfect to play at a music session. Every 3rd Sunday of the month there are trad music sessions at the Prince of Wales Pub (Alcester Road, Moseley, B13 8EE). There are also traditional sessions at The New Inn (71 Summer Road, Erdington, B23 6UT) on the 3rd Sunday of the month. 

Open mic nights

If you fancy getting on the stage, there are some great open mic nights in Birmingham for musicians playing in a variety of styles. At Joe Joe Jims Bar (444 Lickey Rd, Cofton Hackett, Birmingham B45 8UU) the stage is all set for you every Tuesday night, with lighting, mics, amps and even guitar and drums. At The Boot Inn (Rectory Road, Coldfield, Birmingham, B75 7RU) the open mic night is every Thursday. This is an acoustic night, but a PA is provided for musicians. All you need to do is show up with your instrument - the atmosphere is very chilled and relaxed. 

Music competitions

Entering a music competition is a great way of getting heard, and also for getting help and feedback from other respected musicians. If you’re a pianist, the Birmingham Music Festival has classes for all abilities including beginners and veterans. The festival takes place in October at The Ruddock Performing Arts Centre (B15 2UA). The Soundwave Music Competition has rounds in Birmingham, and is for pop and rock musicians to showcase their talent. The prizes include the opportunity to take part in a live final in front of industry experts, a photoshoot and a recording session.  

Birmingham is a thriving city for music with plenty of opportunities for aspiring musicians. All you need to do is show up, bring your instrument and you can have a great time playing with other musicians and showcasing your passion for music. 

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