Just The Tonic with Katie Derham


Music is for Everyone with Xhosa Cole & Chi-Chi Nwanoku

Season 1, Ep. 3

In Just The Tonic so far, we've explored how being involved in an orchestra or a choir does wonders for your mental and physical health.

Results from research studies conducted by universities all over the world highlight the positive effects of being involved in music. It's clear that music-making benefits everyone.

But not everyone has access to the same opportunities, and that's been particularly true of classical music. It has not been a level playing field, particularly for people from ethnically-diverse communities.

In this episode of Just The Tonic, we're looking at diversity and inclusivity. As The People's Orchestra say, 'Music has no prejudice. Music has no limitations. Music is for Everyone.

So, how can classical music be more open to including people from all backgrounds?

Katie finds out when she chats to Bradley Wilson, the new conductor of The People's Orchestra Rusty Orchestra and a player in Chineke!; acclaimed Birmingham-based saxophonist Xhosa Cole; and Chi-chi Nwanoku, founder of Chineke!, Europe's first majority black and minority ethnic orchestra.

Music includes Samuel Coleridge-Taylor's Othello Suite performed by Chineke! and a short piece composed specially for Just The Tonic by Xhosa Cole.




More Episodes


Inspirational Music Educators with Nicola Benedetti

Season 1, Ep. 6
Katie Derham explores how music education for children can be Just The Tonic. She finds out from Nicola Benedetti how music-making can help young people learn all sorts of life skills. Nicola has long been a champion of making music lessons widely available and, through her Benedetti Foundation, provided a lifeline for young musicians during the pandemic. The enormous benefits of giving children a good music education are well-recognised. Neavan Lobban, twenty-two-year-old principal conductor with The People's Orchestra attended a state school that specialised in music education. He firmly believes that instrumental lessons should be provided free of charge. Sistema Scotland's Big Noise projects have been helping young people in deprived communities in Scotland for a number of years, providing music lessons at no cost. Based on the renowned El Sistema system in Venezuela, their motto is social change through music. Senior musician Jo Ashcroft has worked at the Big Noise project in Raploch, Stirling for many years and she's seen first-hand how children who attend music lessons regularly do better at school. Symone and Scott Hutchison are living proof! They've been attending Big Noise lessons since primary school and now they're on course for a career in music. There are many ways in which making music can have a lasting impact on young people's lives. Find out more when Katie meets inspirational music educators in this week's Just The Tonic.