Phoenix Song Project

by Francis Myerscough in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Phoenix Song Project
We did it
On 23rd December 2019 we successfully raised £820 with 31 supporters in 34 days

Singing groups for trans and non-binary people to experiment and play with their voices in a safe and supportive space.

by Francis Myerscough in Bristol, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Additional funding could enable me to offer travel concessions, making the project more financially accessible, including to those who live further away. Further funding would be carried over to support continuation of the project.

From conversations and experiences I've had over the years, and particularly while running a pop-up choir for Trans Pride South West, I've come to the idea of running some exploratory singing groups for trans and non-binary people.

Our voices are frequently gendered while out and about, and singing voices can be particularly so. As a result of this, it is harder for trans folk to find safe spaces in which they can discover what their voice is capable of without the shadow of cis-normative and binary expectations. More and more research is showing the value of group singing to our mental health and wellbeing; I want this to be available also to the trans and non-binary community.

Setting up the choir I had lots of people express an interest in singing with others, but not wanting to perform, or not feeling able to. These vocal exploration groups won’t be about performing, but about experimenting and playing with our voices, finding out what amazing (maybe including what amazingly ugly!) sounds we can make using our bodies.

These groups are therapeutic, in that we will be exploring something closely intertwined with our sense of self. As a music therapist I am trained in running therapy groups, and holding spaces that are safe enough to experiment and play. I imagine there will also be an element of knowledge-sharing and skill-sharing: shedding light on bits of music history that queer cis-normative or plain simplistic narratives (castrati and trouser roles, anyone?), and awareness of looking after our voices.

Without writing much more, I hope I’ve outlined that there is demand for this sort of group, and a sense of the direction it will take. 

Depending on feedback from the community, it could be the project includes a choral component too. This will give further opportunities for trans and non-binary people to access the benefits of group singing, and the community of a choir, in a group that may feel safer and more welcoming.

It’s important to me that people can pay on a sliding scale so the project is affordable regardless of economic circumstance. At the same time, I want to be creating something which is also sustainable for me by paying myself fairly. 

I am envisioning a 10-week course of sessions with up to 10 people in the group. The success and learnings of the first group will hopefully feed into further groups in future.


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

Video insights

You will receive videos outlining the shape of the project as it progresses, for instance talking through some of the topics we discuss in educational sections of the group.

£100 or more

Skype Q+A Session

We will talk over skype, giving you an opportunity for you to talk to me one-to-one about the project. Note that some details from groups will remain confidential.

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