Finding Help to Pay for Music Lessons
At Greenwich Music School we try very hard to keep the cost of our quality music education classes as affordable as possible, for families and students of all backgrounds. We have developed many different types of small group and ensemble courses especially for beginners over the past 18 months, helping many children find a way into learning music with experienced professional teachers, that doesn't break the bank.
We know that the chance to learn music and have lessons can be an opportunity that is out of reach for many, due to financial barriers. This is why we continue to spend time and resources building up our dedicated Bursary Scheme funds to help support families on benefits with the costs of music lessons. We also try to help with access to affordable instruments where we can.
However, we know, sadly, that we are not able to help everyone through our own scheme that might need some help and support with the cost of lessons. We currently have a waiting list for bursary support.
With this is in mind we have compiled a list of signposts to other sources of funding and useful music education support organisations that might be helpful for families to look into, to find financial help for students. We hope some of the sources below offer some new prospects to research and possible sources of funding to apply for.
Funding sources for individuals with music education costs
Awards for Young Musicians
AYM supports talented young people from low-income families, helping them to overcome financial and social obstacles. Whatever the genre, whatever the style, their strategically-targeted programmes help young musicians from across the UK to grow, flourish and fulfil their musical potential. Apply for AYM funding here.
London Music Fund
Mayor Sadiq Khan is the Patron of this music charity which awards four-year music scholarships to children who have started learning an instrument and are doing really well but whose families find it difficult to pay for music lessons, meaning that without support they would have to give up their studies. You can access the benefits of their scholarship scheme through local Music Hubs. Apply for LMF Scholarship here.
The Wrightson Trust
The Wrightson Trust aims to benefit those of secondary school age (Year 6) to 18 years. Application rounds take place twice a year, with deadlines at 1st February and 1st September. Funding available includes payment for lessons, choirs, or music colleges and assistance varies according to circumstances. Grants range between £100 and £800 and two letters of support from a students tutors or teachers are needed to apply. http://wrightsontrust.co.uk.
Help with the cost of instruments
EMI Music Sound Foundation
The Foundation provides grants up to a total of £2,000 towards the purchase of musical instruments and/or equipment for individuals who are in full-time education and Schools who require the equipment to fund music education. The next round of funding applications closes on 11 Jan 2022. UMUK Sound Foundation.
Benslow Music Trust
Benslow Instrument Loan Scheme is an unique UK charity that hires high quality instruments to talented young musicians. You can borrow from Benslow ILS if you are an orchestral string or woodwind player aged 7-25, have learned for 2 years and are passionate about your music. Apply to the Benslow Music Trust to borrow instruments.
Music For All
Music For All recognises that not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to musical instruments and lessons. Regardless of your circumstances or age they can often provide support in your music making, whether you are a complete novices or an experienced musician. Their funding rounds alternate between community project and individual grants, so keep checking back with them to see if you might be eligible for funding support. Apply for individual grants here.
The Take It Away Scheme
This scheme offers interest-free loans for musical instruments, equipment and software, helping to support musicians at every level. Take It Away finance is available in over 130 shops in England and Northern Ireland, most of which also sell online. To be eligible to apply for a Take It Away loan, you must be either over 18 buying an instrument for a child under the age of 18, or an individual over 18 using the scheme to buy an instrument for themselves. Find out more about Take It Away here.
Help for aspiring and professional musicians
The Hattori Foundation for Music and the Arts
This foundation is a UK registered charitable trust offering awards to exceptionally talented young instrumental soloists or chamber ensembles whose talent and achievements give promise of an international career. They offer Senior Awards (21-27 year olds) on an annual basis with auditions normally taking place in June and Junior Awards (15-20 year olds) are available on an ongoing basis. Apply to the Hattori Foundation here.
Help Musicians UK
This organisation offers support as an independent UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement. They help at times of crisis, but also at times of opportunity, giving people the extra support they need at a crucial stage that could make or break their career. They also have a Funding Wizard search engine to track down available sources of funding. Help Musicians UK Funding Wizard.
The Cherubim Trust
Cherubim Music Trust assists aspiring musicians to fulfil their potential by providing professional quality instruments on loan to students aged 15-25 who cannot afford one that matches their ability. Apply to the Cherubim Trust here.
The Loan Fund For Musical Instruments
The Loan Scheme is for professional players under the age of 36 who can show that they have sufficient income to be able to repay the Loan. The Grant Scheme is designed to help students and young professional musicians from the beginning of their third year of full-time study until two years after the completion of their full-time course to enable them to purchase high-quality instruments, appropriate to their careers. Loans Fund For Musical Instruments.
Jo Cole is Fundraising & Development Officer at Greenwich Music School.