Trusts and Foundations exist to give away money and normally provide clear and concise funding guidelines. Please be aware that many trusts have early deadlines, so you will need to allow plenty of time and start your funding search well in advance of the academic year for which you require financial support.

The following is a list of those that offer funding to individuals for music education and training. The list is not exhaustive and you will need to do your own research to find others (see the other pages in this section).

The Albert Cooper Music Charitable Trust (violin, viola, cello and double bass) 
The trust was founded for the benefit of young persons 'who play an instrument with the bow', for example violin, viola, cello and double bass. The Charity provides: funds for tuition; help towards the purchase of an instrument; and some living expenses incurred whilst in full-time or postgraduate education/studies at college/university. They support students up to about 30 years of age. For auditions in 2017, the deadline for applications was 30 November 2016.

Australian Music Foundation (AMF)
The AMF offers scholarships, performing opportunities and mentoring to young Australian musicians, conductors and composers who wish to pursue their music studies overseas. They support study in Europe, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Awards are given on the basis of merit and need. Applications are open to instrumentalists up to the age of 26, and singers, conductors, accompanists, repetiteurs and composers up to the age of 30 on the application closing date. Applications for 2017 open on Monday 10 April and close on Monday 8 May. 

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust
The Trustees of the Countess of Munster Musical Trust accept applications for:

  • Postgraduate Study Awards - open to instrumentalists and singers who are looking to undertake performance-based postgraduate study, as well as to composers wishing to undertake postgraduate study
  • Instrument Purchase Loans - open to young artists who received funding from the Trust towards their postgraduate studies and who have completed their studies and are either working in the music profession or looking to enter the profession
  • The Stephen Oliver Award - for a work which has been or is in the process of being written for music theatre, to assist with the cost of bringing it to performance

The Kenneth Loveland Gift
A supplementary award of £2,500 towards tuition costs for young performing musicians intending to pursue advanced study in their instrument or voice, whether in the UK or abroad. Non-British students will be required to apply the award to studies in the UK. Awards are made on the basis of an audition be held in London. 
The closing date for applications for the 2017 award is Saturday 13 May 2017.

Drake Calleja Trust (for undergraduate, postgraduate or research level students)
The Trust awards scholarships strictly on the basis of merit and financial need. For the academic year 2017-18, the Trust aims to award amounts ranging from £2,500 to £6,000 per scholar depending on individual circumstances. Scholarships can cover fees, instrument hire/purchase, master-classes, competitions, recordings, concerts and other related activities. The 2017-18 scholarships are open to instrumentalists and singers who are enrolled as students for the academic year 2017-18 at a London music institution at undergraduate, postgraduate or research level (musical theatre and jazz students are not eligible). You cannot apply to the Trust unless you can prove that you will be enrolled as a student in London. Applicants must be 18 or over and live in the UK at the time of their study (home, EU and international students can apply). The deadline for submission of all scholarship application material is Wednesday 1 March 2017, 18.00h.

Vaughan Williams Bursaries for postgraduate composition students
Awards for study are made annually to composers who have been accepted on taught Master's courses in composition at British universities or conservatoires. Up to 5 Vaughan Williams Bursaries, of £4,000 each, will be awarded each year, at the discretion of the Trustees. Applicants must be under the age of 30 on the closing date for applications. Applicants must be either British nationals or have lived in the UK continuously for at least 3 years. Applications may be made for the second year of a two-year course, as well as the first, but you may apply for only one year at a time. The deadline for courses beginning in Autumn 2017 is Tuesday 2 May 2017. 

Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarships Trust
The Trust was set up to provide financial support to students in, amongst others, the field of music. Applicants must have Scottish Nationality, i.e. born in Scotland or one parent or grandparent born in Scotland; evidence of this must be produced to the Administrators. Awards of up to £3,500 can be made. Awards for musicians are made on the basis of an audition. The deadline for the submission of completed application forms was 29 January, 2016.

Deena Shypitka Music Awards 2016 (postgraduate music performance courses)
3 awards for classical musicians studying on postgraduate music performance courses 2016-17; any nationality, maximum age 30

  • Strings – £1,000
  • Piano – £750
  • Woodwind/brass – £750

Closing Date – Friday 2 September 2016 (selection by mid-September) 

Muriel Taylor Scholarship for Cellists (charity number 263232) 
Scholarships will now be awarded every two years, starting from 2016. Information about the Scholarship for 2018 will be circulated in October 2017. The Competition is expected to follow its traditional format, with a closing date of 31 January 2018 and the actual competition in late March/early April 2018.

The RPS Julius Isserlis Scholarship (for instrumental study abroad) 
The RPS Julius Isserlis Scholarship offers up to £30,000 for a young instrumentalist to study abroad for one or two years. Some smaller scholarships may be available at the discretion of the jury. It is open to all classical instrumentalists of any nationality between the ages of 15 and 25, who are permanent residents of the UK. The next closing date is 15 March 2017. (This scholarship is biennial).

The Stephen Bell Charitable Trust (postgraduate awards)
Awards of up to £3000 may be made to violinists, violists and cellists only who are proposing to study for a Postgraduate Qualification at the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, or the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Applications should be made via the website, and include a recording. The closing date for receipt of application forms and recordings for study during academic year 2017-18 was midday on Monday 16 January 2017.  

The Chilcott Award
The Award offers funding to an emerging British Opera Singer (between the ages of 23 and 33 inclusive at the closing date) for advanced training or career development. Possible uses might include some permutation of: tuition, coaching, audition preparation, audition tours or publicity and promotion. Selection of candidates is by audition and interview. Apply using the form which you can download from the website. The Award is given every two years. Applications for the 2016 Chilcott Award closed on 14 March 2016. The next Award will be given in 2018 and applications will open in the Autumn of 2017.

The Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust Award for Singers
The Trust makes an annual award to one or more deserving musicians, particularly singers, at the beginning of his or her career.  A completed application form (available to download from the website) and cover letter should be submitted by email before the closing date. Shortlisted candidates are then invited to attend an audition in London. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 17 March 2017. 

Advanced Study Music Scholarships - Arts Council of Wales 
Awards up to a maximum of £5,000 will be made to support advanced (postgraduate) music study for promising musicians from Wales or who have studied in Wales. Course fees will be paid directly to the university, college or conservatoire. The course of advanced study should take place in a recognised university, college or conservatoire, be full-time, last not less than one academic year, and start during 2017. They are happy to receive applications from musicians in all genres of music (singers, instrumentalists, composers and conductors). The deadline for applications for Advanced Study Music Scholarships for entry in 2017 will be 17.00h on Wednesday 8 February 2017.

Coro Nuovo Young Musicians Bursary 
The £1,000 bursary for 2017 is intended for a young musician or musicians in the age range 18 to 25 with a Sussex connection, to help with their musical studies. The bursary winner will also be invited to perform with Coro Nuovo on a future occasion.  An application form and further details on the application/audition process are available on the website. The closing date for applications is Friday 31 March 2017.

The Radford Trust Charitable Trust, Cornwall
Applicants must be resident in Cornwall. In the case of university and post-graduate students, residence up to the age of 18 is acceptable. Applications should preferably be made for specific needs. In general, grants are available to assist in the purchase of instruments and music, as a contribution towards the cost of tuition and travel, and for study courses. Where applicants are in full-time study, the Trustees will want to know the extent to which parents can contribute and what other sources of financial help have been approached. Applications can be made at any time, but the majority of the decisions are made at the annual meeting of the Trustees in September.

The Eric Thompson Trust 
The Trust offers three different funding opportunities for Organists:

  • Eric Thompson Trust Grants
    Grants toward further studies; hire of instruments; costs of travel and subsistence for auditions and engagements; and other expenses incurred in the pursuit of an organist's career. Applications should be submitted by 30 April and 31 October.
  • The Flentrop Scholarship
    Enables a young organist to visit Zaandam in Holland for two weeks for an introduction to the craft of organ-building and tuning as well as lessons with distinguished Dutch organists. Open to full-time organ students who are studying in the UK or Ireland and who will be under 25 at the time of taking up the scholarship. Applications should be submitted by 30 April.
  • Eric Thompson Trust Annual Award
    Open to musicians who are passionate about taking on a major project relating to the organ, including candidates in full or part-time study, and those who have recently embarked on their professional career. Applications should be submitted by 30 April.

The Neil Vint Bursary for former students of Chetham's School of Music
A Bursary Fund to help young musicians as they begin their professional career. The conditions of the bursary are:

  • The Bursary of £1,000 is available to former students of Chetham's who are aged between 20 and 26.
  • Preference will be given to students who have recently left music college or university.
  • One award will be made annually by Chetham's from the Neil Vint Bursary Fund.

The Mario Lanza Educational Foundation (Charity Commission Number: 272217)
The Foundation makes monetary awards to deserving applicants during the year who live in the UK and who are studying singing full-time at a college or conservatoire. See the website for details of how to be considered for a grant. 

Related links


Please note: whilst every effort has been made to provide up-to-date information on the funding organisations listed above, we cannot guarantee that the information is correct and recommend that you consult the literature produced by the individual funding organisations for complete and up-to-date information as well as for relevant application forms.