Silver Strings

Strings for over-50s:

Always wanted to play a musical instrument? Come and try us out!

Silver Strings, Brighton & Hove’s very own later-starter community string band, has been running since early 2013. So far we have introduced 200+ older people to playing stringed instruments together.

Now in our 11th year, in 2023, we’re offering an exciting new four-week programme cycle: 

fortnightly: Silver Strings – weeks 1 & 3

  • play with others in our friendly group, with the focus on reading music, as well as developing musicianship skills
  • dates: 5th / 19th September, 3rd / 17th / 31st October, 14th / 28th November, 12th December
  • cost: £13.50/session, payable upfront every two months
  • 50% bursaries available for those on low incomes (thanks to The Paley Trust)
  • Silver Strings also perform several times per year in, eg: Sussex Prairie Garden, Royal Pavilion Gardens

monthly ­– week 2: a) beginners’ strings & b) strings-based improvisation

a) Completely new to playing, or returning after a long break? The beginners’ session is for you. We even provide the instruments to try! 9:30-10:25am

b) Improvisation using strings: group-based exploration of listening, sound, non-verbal communication, curiosity, and the present moment. 10:40-11:25am 

No experience is required for either of these sessions, and anyone over 50 is very welcome. The session is free as it’s funded by BHCC’s Third Sector Partnership. NB: booking required.

Dates: 12th September, 10th October, 7th November, 5th December


monthly – week 4: Strings Unbarred – playing together beyond reading music

  • skills development: learning by ear, creating music together, listening
  • minimum ability on instrument: major scale
  • dates: 26th September, 24th October, 21st November, 19th December
  • cost: £13.50/session if all four sessions paid upfront (ie: £54 total), otherwise £17/session


More details and booking via our contact form:


Silver Strings is co-ordinated and facilitated by Bela Emerson, professional cellist and Goldsmiths’-trained community musician. 

“Starting from a total beginner, you have brought me on to the point where I can play. Joining Silver Strings has changed my life, now making music is part of my everyday and I’m loving it!”
– MB

“Good for the brain & a great feeling of achievement!”

“I was very proud of our joint efforts at the wedding, I got quite lost in the moment!”
– PG, participant

Group Improvisation,  March 2016: