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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.

Funding to individuals for music education and training.

Please note this list is not exhaustive and you will need to do your own research to find others.

Help Musicians UK - Postgraduate Awards 2019

Help Musicians UK - Postgraduate Awards 2019 
To apply for a Postgraduate Award, students must:

  • Be intending to study a postgraduate degree in September 2019 (i.e. MMus, MA, PGDip, Artist Diploma);
  • Have lived in the UK for at least 3 consecutive years at the start of the academic year in which they will be supported by the award;
  • Be in financial need;
  • Demonstrate that they have the musical potential and ambition to create a successful and sustainable career within the music industry.

The deadline to complete the application form and for your referee to complete their reference form is 5pm on Monday 4 February 2019 for students who wish to study the following disciplines: brass, guitar, harp, historical performance, jazz, strings, percussion, piano/ piano accompaniment, voice or woodwind. Applications from the following disciplines should apply in April 2019: musical theatre, opera, popular music, répétiteur.

The Albert Cooper Music Charitable Trust (Strings)

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'. The Charity provides funds for: tuition; help towards the purchase of an instrument; 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 2020, the deadline for applications is 30 November 2019.

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 (made biennially)- 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

Applications will be available online from 1 January each year. The closing date for submission of application forms, video links and references is 10 February.

Drake Calleja Trust 

Drake Calleja Trust (for undergraduate, postgraduate or research level students)
Scholarship applications are accepted once a year and the Trust follows a rigorous and strict application and audition process. For each academic year, the Trust awards amounts ranging from £2,500 to £9,000 per scholar depending on individual circumstances. Scholarships cover fees, instrument purchase, masterclasses, competitions, recordings, concerts and other related activities. The scholarships are open to singers, solo instrumentalists and accompanists (but not ensembles) enrolled as students at a music institution in the UK at undergraduate, postgraduate or research level (musical theatre and jazz students are not eligible). To apply to the Trust you must be able to prove that you will be enrolled as a student for the applicable academic year (next applicable year: 2019-20). Applicants must be 18 or over on 31 December on the year of application, and they must live in the UK at the time of their study (UK, EU and international students can apply). Applicants must be of an outstanding standard and be able to demonstrate that they are in need of funding. Applications for 2020-21 scholarships will be open from January - March 2020.

Vaughn 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 five 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 either must be 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 next application deadline is 1 May 2020.

Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarships Trust

Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarships Trust
Each year the Trust makes a number of awards to students seeking to pursue their music studies. Applicants must have Scottish nationality, i.e. born in Scotland or one parent or grandparent born in Scotland. Awards generally range from £500 to £3,500 per year. Awards for musicians are made on the basis of an audition. Caird Scholarships are targeted generally at postgraduate levels of study, or undergraduate studies abroad for those of exceptional talent. Scholarships are only awarded to applicants who are travelling to a place of study away from their hometown. The deadline for the submission of completed application forms is 31 January 2020.

Muriel Taylor Scholarship for Cellists

Muriel Taylor Scholarship Fund for Cellists
A scholarship is awarded annually to a cellist for the purpose of further study. Applicants should be not less than 17 and not more than 23 on 31 March 2019. The award will be £5,000. The next scholarship competition will take place on Friday 12 April 2019 in London. The closing date for entries is 31 January 2020.

The RPS Julius Isserlis Scholarship (for instrumental study abroad) 

Every two years, the Royal Philharmonic Society Julius Isserlis Scholarship offers scholarships totalling £30,000 to young instrumentalists to study abroad for up to two years. Usually this is split between two or three musicians, at the discretion of the panel. Students might be looking to fulfil a course at an international music school or university, or to take lessons from a specialist based overseas. All classical instrumentalists of any nationality between the ages of 15 and 25, who are permanently resident in the UK, are eligible for the scholarship. Applications will open again in Autumn 2020.

Craxton Memorial Trust Awards

Craxton Memorial Trust Awards 
The Trust makes awards to highly talented musicians to assist with post-graduate study and special projects. There is no restriction on nationality, but applicants should have been resident in the UK for a year prior to applying. The age limit is 25 years at the closing date for applications. Awards are currently made to pianists and instrumentalists, excluding the players of organ, harpsichord and percussion.

Rapahel Sommer Music Scholarship Trust (for cellists)

Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust (for cellists)
Auditions are held every year and the Foundation awards scholarships of up to £1,000 to highly talented young cellists aged 16 to 20 who are studying in the UK. The focus is in the field of chamber music performance, which can be of critical importance to developing musicians, and where opportunities for advanced performance coaching and experience are generally rather limited after students leave teaching institutions. Candidates should have already achieved a significant level of playing (i.e., Grade 8 minimum), won scholarships or awards, and be preparing to enter one of the major music colleges in the UK or abroad (or already be a student of such an institution).

Sussex Young Musician of the Year Bursary Competition (Coro Nuovo Bursary)

The Coro Nuovo Bursary is intended to support young musicians with a Sussex connection and age 18 to 26 who are training for or embarking on a professional career in music. The Competition winner will receive an award of £1000 and be invited to perform with the choir on a future occasion and receive a performance fee.  The runner-up will receive £500 and other finalists will receive £250 each.

The Radford Charitable Trust (Cornwall)

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. Potential applicants are invited to make initial contact via the Trust's website.

The Eric Thompson Trust 

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

  • Eric Thompson Trust Grants
    Grants toward further studies, hire of instruments, 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 Mario Lanza Educational Foundation

The Mario Lanza Educational 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. 

Australian Music Foundation (AMF)

The Australian Music Foundation (AMF) offers scholarships, performing opportunities and mentoring to young Australian classical 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.


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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.