Union learning strikes the right chord for Holly

Holly Lowe is one of many union members in the entertainment industry to have acquired social media skills through the union route.  

When she is not hard at work practising or on tour performing with her harp, Musicians’ Union member Holly Lowe is reaching new audiences through social media, which is why she leaped at the chance to take part in a social media course this summer.

The course was organised by the Federation of Entertainment Unions (FEU), a partnership between the actors’ union Equity, the Musicians’ Union, the National Union of Journalists and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

Holly said:

The websites and tools that the internet can offer to help you with your social media presence was a real eye-opener during the course.

As a musician, I loved learning how to maximise coverage by the time of day and what social media platform you use to release your videos and photos. Since the course, I have tried to implement this and have found that my music is reaching more and more people."

Born and brought up in North Wales, Holly has played the harp since the age of eight, and studied at the Junior Department of The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM), The Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD) and The Royal College of Music (RCM).

Now based in London, Holly is a member of the award-winning Lilium Trio and one half of the duo Tendons, in which she works with performance artist/DJ Nwando Ebizie to mix spoken word, harp and electronics. She also plays with the Southbank Sinfonia, the Royal Northern Sinfonia and the New London Orchestra.

Holly also continues the outreach work she began as a student at RCM, performing in retirement homes and hospitals in London and North Wales, and has worked with Nonclassical, the cutting-edge classical club-night and record label based in East London.

Tutor Frances Dredge says FEU Training gets an excellent response because it is specifically developed for its target audience of freelance members. They all need to be able to pitch their ideas, market their work and manage their finances if they are to maximise their career potential in highly competitive industries.

Frances said:

People love the fact that they can learn from industry professionals in a peer group environment: being freelance often means long periods of working on your own so getting together to compare notes is motivating and inspires new ideas.

Freelancers only get this support from FEU Training, because employers are not responsible for their learning needs: demand for course places often outstrips supply by two or three to one."

The FEU is running a programme of venue-based courses and webinars throughout 2017, as well as a range of online training and information with the aim of improving accessibility.

This story first appeared in The Learning Rep – Autumn 2017.