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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 – Postgraduate Awards

Help Musicians – Postgraduate Awards
Help Musicians’ postgraduate awards offer support to students who wish to complete their studies at the leading UK conservatoires and performing arts colleges. Information about awards for students who are either hoping to start or move in to the second year of a music performance postgraduate degree in September 2021 will be made available on the Help Musicians website in January.

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. Please note that due to Covid-19, all applications and auditions have been suspended until further notice.

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust

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

  • Munster Trust Study Awards – open to instrumentalists and singers who are looking to undertake performance-based classical or jazz music postgraduate study, to composers wishing to undertake postgraduate study in composition, as well as to jazz musicians looking for funding towards their final year of a performance-based jazz undergraduate course
  • Instrument Purchase Loans – open to young artists who received funding from the Trust towards their 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: next award 2021) – 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 current intention of the Trustees is to continue to provide support for students in the academic year 2021-22. The application opening date is 1 January 2021.

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 can be used to 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 (composers, conductors, music 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: 2021-22). 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 2021-22 scholarships will open at the end of January.

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, though in exceptional circumstances only the Trustees will consider applicants who are under the age of 35. Applicants either must be British nationals, or have lived in the UK continuously for at least 3 years. You can only apply for one year of funding at a time. For courses lasting longer than one year you will have to submit a new application for the second year. The next application deadline, for courses beginning in Autumn 2021, is 1 May 2021.

Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarships Trust

Sir James Caird Travelling Scholarships Trust
The Trust provides scholarships for music students who are travelling away from their home town to a place of study either in the UK or abroad. Applicants must have Scottish nationality, i.e. born in Scotland or one parent or grandparent born in Scotland. Awards of up to £3,500 can be made. Awards for musicians are made on the basis of an audition.

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 years of age on 31 March 2021. The award for 2021 will be £5,000. The next scholarship competition will take place on 18 March 2021 in London. The closing date for entries is 31 January 2021.

The RPS Julius Isserlis Scholarship (for instrumental study abroad)

The Royal Philharmonic Society Julius Isserlis Scholarship is for young instrumentalists to study abroad for up to two years. Applicants 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 to apply. The closing date is midday on Tuesday 16 February 2021.

Craxton Memorial Trust Awards

Craxton Memorial Trust Awards
The Trust makes awards of between £400 – £1,000 every two years to highly talented musicians following an audition and interview. Assistance includes helping fund post-graduate studies, private lessons, fees or travel expenses to attend competitions and courses to other special projects such as the costs of concert publicity or a demo CD. There is no restriction on nationality, but applicants should have been resident in the UK for a year prior to applying. Awards are currently made to pianists and instrumentalists, excluding the players of organ, harpsichord and percussion. The age limit is 25 years at the closing date, which will be Sunday 7 February 2021.

The Rhona Reid Charitable Trust

The promotion of excellence from those that have insufficient resource to achieve their goals is a key objective of the Rhona Reid Charitable Trust.  Applications must fall within the following areas:

  • Postgraduate study in classical music
  • Postgraduate research in medicine and life sciences with a focus on ophthalmology

Applications falling outside these fields will be unsuccessful and this includes undergraduate study. Applications from individuals must be on the form available on the Trust’s website. If applying for the next academic year, applications should arrive by the end of April. In some circumstances an award conditional on receiving a place may be made. It is unlikely any award will cover all fees or costs.

Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust (for cellists)

Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust (for cellists)
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 (for organists)

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 based in the UK or Ireland who will be under 25 at the time of taking up the scholarship. Applications should be submitted by 31 October.
  • 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.

Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust

Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust
Children and young adults showing exceptional musical talent (e.g. music students or recent music graduates), who live in Surrey or have a strong link to Surrey (and are UK citizens) and intend to make a career in music, can apply to the Trust for help in purchasing an instrument or funding tuition, should your financial means be insufficient.

Australian Music Foundation (AMF)

The Australian Music Foundation (AMF) supports young Australian musicians, conductors and composers in furthering their studies overseas.

  • AMF Classical Awards – 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 closing date for applications.
  • AMF Jazz Award – applicants must be Australian citizens of no more than 26 years of age on the date applications close. The applicant must be either planning to begin, or already enrolled on, a postgraduate course at a recognised music college or university outside Australia.


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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.