Music in Pilates Classes

Do you play music in your Pilates classes or studio?

I can see why one would want to play music.  It might help you to wind down from the events that came before class, work, family, etc.  If your’e doing a fairly tough routine the music can really have an impact on creating the push that one sometimes needs.  I know if I’m at the gym I have to have some music to spur me on.  Whether that’s because I find the gym such hard work (dull), who knows?  In a Pilates studio set up it can be quite a pleasure to glide up & down, doing your footwork to some music and often gives you a chance to settle in your body.

Personally I don’t have music in my matwork classes. Firstly, it’s just another thing to carry along with mats, balls, etc.  But mainly because I find it distracting. I remember going to a class when I first began practicing Pilates, I was lying on the mat listening to the music, then I found myself moving in time with the music, Over the weeks and months I was getting to know the album – knowing what track was coming up next – maybe a track I didn’t like so much, maybe one I loved and was looking forward to hearing.  All these thoughts distracting me from what I was doing!

I don’t have music in my studio at home either although I could do easily enough but again I find it a distraction.  Having said that, the studios I regularly go to for my own self practice, play music and I’m happy to listen to it but it only sits in the background for me if it’s something I like.  If I don’t like it, I notice it too much and it would be rude to go and turn off someones else’s music!

Then there’s the legal stuff.  You may need a music licence, I should change that to you WILL need a licence if you play any recorded music, whether it’s in the radio, CD or TV. You may,in fact, need 2 licences PPL & PRS!  The idea of the licence is to protect the copyright of the artists and they collect and distribute the fees on behalf of record companies, artists, composers, songwriters.

If you play music in a public place and/or in any way connected to your business, you will need a licence. What constitutes a public place? If it’s outside of the home and with people other than family & friends it’s a public place.  How much does it cost?  This is difficult to define as it depends on many things, such as the building you are in, the number of classes or people you teach, the size of your business.

However, if you really want to play music in your classes or studio there is an alternative and it’s known as Royalty Free music.   It’s not free music, just free from royalties.  To find out about this do a search on the internet.

What happens if I play music but do not have a licence?

“Where a business or organisation requires a PPL licence but does not obtain one, they will be infringing copyright and may ultimately face legal proceedings. Those proceedings would not be a debt claim; instead they would be in respect of copyright infringement liability. Legal proceedings are very much a last resort, but unfortunately are sometimes necessary. A court can order the business to pay its outstanding licence fees plus PPL’s legal costs and issue a court order known as an injunction to stop the business playing recorded music until this is done”.  Copied from the PPL website

For more information on whether you need a music licence or not please click on the link contact

Post Author: Sharon Thompson

Sharon Thompson, co-founder of Sharon has been teaching Pilates for 9 years and has always had an interest in sport, fitness & nutrition. She found the regular practice of Pilates was the only thing that really eased her back & neck pain, so she decided to teach and share the Pilates secret. She also has a passing interest in