Nicola McAteer

Community Music Artist & PhD Researcher

Eternal believer in creating a fairer world.

Music Notes

About Nicola

Nicola was born in Dudley in the Black Country and educated in Sandwell, learning the cello in group classes from Sandwell youth Music. She went on to study Music at Leeds College of Music (2007) and then completed a Msc in Music in the Community at The University of Edinburgh (2009) under supervision from British Composer & Aid worker Professor Nigel Osborne MBE. Nicola has over 15 years experience of working as a musician with vulnerable people within communities including those with disabilities, poor mental health and wellbeing, elderly care and dementia, early years and families, newly arrived mothers and those affected by Trauma and Brain injury.  She co-founded the not for profit organisation Hear My Music producing and facilitating Inclusive participant led music projects across Scotland for both Adults and Young people with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities, SEN and Autism. Since returning to Birmingham Nicola has worked freelance for many Arts organisations across the region including Quench Arts and MAC Makes Music. 

Nicola has visited South India twice to assist on therapeutic music programmes led by Nigel Osborne in partnership with The Sri Aurobindo Society and looks forward to continuing this in the future. 

Nicola is registered on the DBS update service to work with Children and Vulnerable Adults and is certified in Adult Mental Health First Aid & Youth Mental Health First Aid (MHFA England). In 2016-2017 Nicola underwent professional development training with Musicians Without Borders in Advanced Community Music leadership (Derry) and Training for Trainers (The Netherlands) offering expert mentoring in working with current and post-conflict regions. Nicola was awarded a bursary to attend The International Teaching Artist Conference ITAC (New York City, 2018). 

Nicola is currently a PhD researcher at The International Centre of Community Music  & The Institute of Social Justice at York St John University supervised by Professor Lee Higgins and Dr Murphy McCaleb. Her participatory action research focuses of community music and social justice, exploring the role that community music might play in resisting social inequality. 

Active Projects: 

Music Connections (2013-present) managed by Quench Arts in partnership with Solihull and Birmingham Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust is a song-writing and creative music programme for isolated adults, including those with specific needs, physical disabilities and mental health service users. 

Mothership Playgroup (2017 - Present) is a cross-art form creative befriending project for newly arrived mothers and their 0-4 year olds and local mothers and their 0-4 year olds. **Note**Mothership has currently been awarded funding to deliver virtually due to Covid-19. 

Hidden Voices (2020-2021) produced by Midland Arts Centre is a creative music project in Birmingham working to improve the wellbeing of female carers. Nicola is working both as Lead Artist and assisting with the creation & analysis of qualitative and quantitive data which is to be shared nationally for the purpose of co-learning with other Spirit of 2020 Carers' Music Fund programmes. 

Cellist in The Strangest Feeling, Birmingham based 4 piece chamber pop band. 

Cellist and Manager of The Emerald String Quartet

Soothing Bell


Birmingham, UK

07980 119507

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