Music Trusts

FUNDING ADVICE FOR SCHOOL AGE MUSICIANS

Courtesy of Awards for Young Musicians: http://www.a-y-m.org.uk/

The information below is to help you and your families identify possible sources of support towards your musical education. They will not all be relevant to your particular needs or age but may be of use in the future. We advise you to check the information provided here on the relevant website where possible, as guidelines and application deadlines do change.

Musical instruments

If you are interested in learning an instrument, you may wish to look at the tuition and instruments offered through your local music service, contact details for which can be found on the Federation of Music Services website (http://www.musicmark.org.uk/about-our-members/music-services-directory). Some local authorities offer rental, assisted or VAT-exempt instrument purchase and some retailers have their own payment/rental schemes.

Other organisations that can help with the cost of instrument purchase include:

  • The EMI Sound Foundation (www.emimusicsoundfoundation.com) on 0207 795 7000 or email enquiries@musicsoundfoundation.
  • The Take it Away scheme (www.takeitaway.org.uk) offers interest free loans up to £5000 for instrument purchase from one of their 320 registered retailers. The loan can now be spread over 18 months for high-value instruments (£800 - £5000). This scheme is now also available to those living in Northern Ireland  - further details from www.artscouncil-ni.org/Takeitaway/take_it_away.pdf .
  • Miss EB Wrightson’s Charitable Trust supports talented young musicians (usually 8-18); contact Norah Hickman at Swangles Farm, Cold Christmas, Herts. SG12 7SP or email norah@henryhickman.com.
  • The Schools Music Association Founder’s Fund can make small grants (rarely more than £150) towards instrument purchase and courses to those under 18 in full-time education and whose families are in financial difficulty (send an SAE to The SMA, Brook House, 24 Royston St, Potton, Beds. SG19 2LP).
  • The SD Whitehead C Trust gives assistance to those under 16 for musical education including instrument purchase (contact Sue Carter at Moore Stephens Chartered Accountants, 30 Gay St, Bath BA1 2PA  tel. 01225 486100).
  • The Alper Charitable Trust offers interest free loans to young musicians in full-time education towards instrument purchase (contact Simon Alper, Chilford Hall, Linton, Cambridge CB1 6LE tel. 01223 895605 or email simonalper@chilfordhall.co.uk).  
  • For exceptionally talented and more advanced young instrumentalists, the Benslow  Trust (Benslow ILS) (www.benslow.org/index.asp?PageID=18) and Cherubim Trust (www.cherubimtrust.org) have high-quality instruments for long-term loan.
  • The Felicity Belfield Trust (3, Frenchmill Rise, Shaftesbury SP7 8HS tel. 01747 853250) lends instruments to those demonstrating talent and need aged 20 and under.
  • For those intending to follow a professional career, The Abbado European Young Musicians’ Trust can make interest-free loans for instrument purchase (J.V. Hughes, Speechly Bircham, 6 St Andrew St., London EC4A 3LX email john.hughes@speechly.com).
  • The Christine Brown Trust (www.christinebrowntrust.org.uk) can help those under 19 with any expenses associated with instrumental tuition though the trust favours those living in Yorkshire.

Lessons and courses

Financial support for regular instrumental lessons can be hard to find. Your local music service (see above) might offer subsidised tuition for low-income families but this may not now be available in your area.  Miss EB Wrightson’s Charitable Trust and the SD Whitehead C Trust might be worth contacting as they will make grants for a variety of purposes as will The Trevor and Muriel Watson Memorial Fund (see above).

  • The Hattori Foundation (www.hattorifoundation.org.uk) Junior Awards are made to talented instrumentalists between 15 and 20 for travelling expenses and course fees for competitions and masterclasses at home and abroad.
  • The Martin Musical Scholarship Fund (www.philharmonia.co.uk/about/mmsf) mainly offers support to those under 25 by bridging the gap between study and a full-time musical career. Awards are made for fees and maintenance for study at home and abroad but they may consider exceptionally talented younger students if help is needed with fees/travel to attend the junior conservatoires  (contact Martyn Jones, Tedward Cottage, Bradcutts Lane, Cookham, Berks. SL6 9EW or email platner@btconnect.com).
  • Some of The Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artists’ Awards are open to those from 15-25yrs old for study at home and abroad (www.royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk). 

See also The Christine Brown Trust above.

For general support, the following can offer educational grants to those of school age:

  • The Emmott Foundation Ltd. (www.emmottfoundation.org) makes small grants towards 6th form fees for those intending to go into Higher Education and whose families are facing an unexpected medical, family or financial crisis (contact Paul and Julie Spillane, 136 Browns Lane, Stanton on the Wolds, Notts. NG12 5BN).
  • The Cherry Tree Foundation makes small one-off grants to musically talented young people (contact Mrs Diana Rawstron, Goodman Derrick LLP, 90 Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1PT tel. 0207 4040606)

Saturday schools, Junior Conservatoires and other Centres for Advanced Training.

The Department of Education funds places at eight specialist independent music and dance schools and will give financial support to students at a number of Centres for Advanced Training, including the junior conservatoires (www.education.gov.uk/b0068711/mds/). These scholarships are administered through the individual CATs. There may be additional support available from The Miss EB Wrightson Charitable Trust and the Hattori Foundation (see above)

Local /specialist trusts and charities

Here are a number of charities that will only support those from specific geographical areas or who play particular instruments:

  • The John Lobb Memorial Trust was founded in 1981 "to assist young people who have been educated wholly or partly in Jersey and have attained the age of fifteen years and show promise in some form of music generally and intend to pursue a career in music”.  Application forms and further information are available from: Miss R Lobb, Hugginshaye, 10a Bel Royal Gardens, St Lawrence, Jersey, JE3 1JU, johnlobbtrust@gmail.com, 01534 721802.  For more on the trust click here. 
  • The Dulce Haigh Marshall Trust provides financial help to string players from Devon for musical education expenses (contact The Secretary, Dulce Haigh Marshall Trust, Heathercombe, Inner Ting Tong, Budleigh Salterton, Devon EX9 7AO tel. 01395 442890).
  • The Richard Ely Trust (01202 882319) (www.therichardelytrust.org.uk) supports young musicians up to the age of 21 from the Dorset, Poole and Bournemouth areas with funding for tuition, courses or instrument purchase.
  • If you live in Lincolnshire, The Kochan Trust will consider applications for musical study and performance. Please send an initial letter to the Trustees, The Old Post Office, West Raynham, Fakenham, Norfolk NR21 7AD with information about yourself and what you would like the grant for and you will then be sent an application form.
  • If you are under 25 and live in the old West Midlands metropolitan area, The Grantham Yorke Trust can help  students and those at school with funds for fees and instruments. Contact Christine Norgrove  on christine.norgrove@sghmartineau.com or 08707632000.
  • The British Horn Society (www.british-horn.org) administers the Sue and Freddy Walding Bursary which helps promising young horn players under 18 where there are financial constraints. Grants have been given for instrument purchase and courses. Applications are dealt with on a first-come-first served basis (contact Jonathan Stoneman on stonepeople@btinternet.com).
  • The Ida Carroll Double Bass Award is administered through The Royal Northern College of Music, 124 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9RD tel. 0161 273 6283 or email margaret.kaye@rncm.ac.uk. Serious students of the bass aged under 19 can apply. Awards are made by audition.
  • If you live in any of the London Boroughs, are between 7-11 at the time of selection, attend a non-fee-paying school and have experienced instrumental tuition for a year at least under a ‘first-access’ programme, then you may be eligible for support with lessons, mentoring and ensemble work through the Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians (www.mfym.org.uk). There is information on the website but nominations are made by your local music service and if you are interested then contact your music service, school or music teacher.

For more information about grants local to your area please contact Awards for Young Musician Bristol office on 0117 9049906 for advice as they can provide information relating to Grantmaking for Individuals and Educational grants.

Further information and funding tools