Online Orchestra

Online Orchestra image

The Online Orchestra is a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). We're asking how we can use the internet to give children and amateur musicians who live in remote communities around the country the same opportunities to play in an orchestra as those who live in larger towns and cities. We're designing an online orchestra that will allow people who live hundreds of miles apart to make music together for the first time.


Making music in ensembles has a wide range of benefits. Not only do you improve your musical ability, but ensemble performance has also been shown to benefit social and personal skills, create a sense of community and even improve your health and wellbeing. The UK Government's National Music Plan recognizes these benefits, recommending that 'Children from all backgrounds and every part of England should have the opportunity ... to make music with others'.

Yet in parts of the country such as Cornwall, where many people live in geographically remote communities, it's often difficult to find the opportunity to make music with other people: either there are not enough musicians living in one place, or the time and expense of travel prevents regular participation.


Our aim is to design a way of making music online that enables a meaningful and enjoyable musical experience by amateur musicians and children who live in geographically remote communities. This approach will be showcased for the first time at our inaugural Online Orchestra performance on 12 July 2015, which will feature musicians from around Cornwall performing together online. We will also share our approach, so that other remotely located musicians anywhere in the world can in the future form their own online orchestras.

Funding sources

The Online Orchestra is a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

Contact us

For more details contact:

Dr Michael Rofe
Course Coordinator, BA(Hons) Music