Music for Open Ears was founded in 2015 by Dr Mirjam James, a passionate lover of classical music and a dedicated concert goer. Creating the charity’s interactive concerts Mirjam built on her experiences as editor and author for the journal ‘Musik in der Grundschule’ – Music in primary schools – a German publication. Her main contributions as an author concentrated on projects that made classical music accessible for children.

In recent years, Mirjam – a trained academic – has worked at the Guildhall School for Music and Drama’s research unit ‘Understanding Audiences’. While Mirjam’s academic work focuses on initiatives recruiting new audiences for classical music among older cohorts – 16 and older – her charity work is dedicated to children of primary school age, as they are hardly ever seen as an audience.

Mirjam is a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), London.

Julia Mac Donell studied modern and natural horn at the Australian National University and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has completed a Graduate Certificate in Regional and Community Development at Monash University where she used music projects as the context to apply community development ideologies in order to understand the role music has in society. In addition to her  formal education, Julia was selected as a LEYMN Apprentice and completed the Creative Music Training summer course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Spitalfields Music Core Training, and attended training workshops with Streetwise Opera and Sound Connections.
Julia’s wide experience as facilitator includes working for Arts First CIC, Mini Mozart, and the Hackney Youth Orchestra Trust. She has worked as assistant workshop leader for Chamber Tots run at the Wigmore Hall and developed music workshops ideas for the London Early Year Music Network.

Julia has the ability to be inclusive and inspiring when working with groups of children and we are pleased that she can join our team from January 2017.