We are often asked if we know of anywhere people can apply for help with support for the cost of music lessons and instruments. This is a non-exhaustive list of charities, trusts and foundations that we invite you to consider when looking for support.
Support from Local Trusts and Foundations
Beckett’s and Sargeant’s Educational Foundation
Promoting the education of persons under the age of 25 years who are in need of financial assistance and who are resident in the Borough of Northampton and are attending schools or full time course of education, to include Northampton University, within the Borough of Northampton.
Finedon Educational Charity
Aim is to promote the education and development of young people living in Finedon.
South Northants Grants for Talented Performers
The Talented Performers scheme provides funding for talented 11 to 18 year olds who have reached county standard or an equivalent level in the field of Sports or Arts and are looking to develop their skills further. The scheme is also open to other individuals in exceptional circumstances, at the Council’s discretion, who are able to prove that the District would benefit from their skills.
A grant of 35% up to a maximum of £200 is available towards the cost of equipment, training or competition/examination/audition fees.
The Elizabeth Groome Music Charity
Objects to support the musical development of children. Principal area of benefit, Higham Ferrers, Northants.
Contact The Elizabeth Groome Music Charity, 20a Holdenby Road, Spratton, Northants, NN76 8JD
The Wilson Foundation
The Wilson Foundation is a UK registered charity established to 'give a helping hand' to young people in Northamptonshire - broadly aged between the ages of 10 and 21.
The Charity of Hervey and Elizabeth Eakins (Charity No. 309858)
The Trustees provide educational grants to young people, resident in the Borough of Northampton or the Parish of Great Doddington. There are separate application forms for those who are “under the age of 18” and for those “over the age of 18 and under the age of 25 (and in special circumstances those under 30)”.
The person must have been resident in the area for not less than three years of have attended a publically funded school in, or serving the area, for not less than one year. Preference is given to those living in the parishes of Weston Favell, Abington and Emmanuel, Northampton. There is a requirement to demonstrate a need for financial assistance and to provide a church or chapel reference.
Enquires should be made to Richard Pestell, Clerk to the Trustees, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ecton Educational Charity (Charity No. 1019323)
This charity makes grants to young people, under the age of 25, who are residents in the village of Ecton, in Northamptonshire.
Support from National Trusts and Foundations
Albert Cooper Music Charitable Trust
For instruments played with a 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 - supporting students up to about 30 years of age.
Awards for Young Musicians
AYM helps exceptional young people who need financial and other forms of support to progress their musical talent and to develop their skills to their full potential.
BBC Young Musician of the Year
EMI Music Sound Foundation
EMI Music Sound Foundation is an independent music education charity, established in 1997 to celebrate the centenary of EMI Records and to improve young peoples' access to music education in the UK & Ireland. The Foundation provides two types of awards: Firstly, the Instrument and/or Equipment awards which allows schools, music teachers and individuals in full time education to apply directly to the Foundation for assistance with the purchase of musical instruments and/or equipment. Secondly, the Bursary awards which allow students at the colleges/organisations as listed on their website to apply for assistance with fees and/or living expenses (these are handled directly by the college/organisation).
Fidelio Charitable Trust
Fidelio welcomes applications for grants in support of the Arts particularly for Music, including Opera, Lieder, Composition and Dance. Fidelio looks to provide support for individuals or groups of exceptional ability.
Offers financial bursaries to young musicians, instrumentalists and singers from any genre of music.
Future Talent supports gifted young musicians from low income backgrounds from anywhere in the UK. This is typically families who have a household income of around £30,000 per year, or less, before tax (including benefits). Any young musicians on free school dinners would be eligible for one of these bursaries. Bursaries of up to £2,000 per year can be used on anything that will help to nurture a young musicians’ talent. For example, funds can be used for lessons, a new instrument or case, courses or maintenance. There is no specific grade requirement or level that needs to be reached. Some examples, given by the trust include:
- A 16/17 year old, grade 7/8 musician who is planning to study music in heighted education and needs their own instrument or extra lessons
- A 13 year old how has been learning for a few years and is progressing really quickly, who would really benefit from taking part in an ensemble / orchestral course, or who needs some more support with costs
- A year 5 or 6 continuer, who has gone through wider opportunities, and has managed to reach grade 2/3 by the end of primary school, but whose parents cannot afford to carry on with lessons
The Mentoring, Advice and Bursary Programme also offers free orchestral days and performance classes, mentoring with a professional musician / conductor and development opportunities. Our aim is to give talented young musicians an equal chance to enter a musical career, who might otherwise not get the opportunity due to lack of funds or experience.
The Hattori Foundation is a charitable trust offering awards to exceptionally talented young instrumental soloists or chamber ensembles whose talent and achievements give promise of an international career.
Lawrence Atwell’s Charity
Provides grants to young people to assist them with vocational training and education. Helping young people 16 – 26, to learn new skills and make their way into employment. They cannot help if you are still in secondary education, studying GCSEs or A levels, nor undertaking a course at a private dance / drama college, nor an undergraduate or postgraduate degree – will only support you if studying on a course that is vocational and accredited. Parental income must be below £26,000 per annum.
Music for All
Music for all is the charity of the Musical Instrument Industry. They provide advice and grant funding support which is available to individuals to provide access to musical instruments and lessons.
Take it Away
Take it away is supported by Arts Council England, provides interest free loans for instrument purchases:
The Wrightson Trust
The Wrightson Trust generally aims to benefit young people between 10 and 18. Includes support for lessons, choir/orchestra tour fees, music colleges etc. Assistance varies according to circumstances. Distributions have ranged between £100 and £800. Grants are either "one offs" or reviewable annual payments for a specific period. Three grants per person is normally the maximum the trust gives. Two letters of support are required from the candidate's tutors/teachers.
Other potentially useful sources of advice
Help Musicians – formerly the Musicians Benevolent Fund
Help Musicians UK is the leading UK charity for professional musicians of all genres, from starting out through to retirement.
Help Musicians exists to 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 provide information and advice to musicians of any age, and have a specific link for under 18s.
ISM – the Incorporated Society of Musicians
The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK's professional body for musicians. The ISM was set up in 1882 to promote the importance of music and protect the rights of those working within music. It is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation which has 7,600 individual musicians in its membership. The ISM protects and supports its members by providing them with expert legal advice and representation, comprehensive insurance and specialist services as well as access to a community of like-minded musicians and the status that comes with being a member of a professional body. Their website includes information on careers in music and you can request their (free of charge) digital guide for young musicians.
More information ...
If you have information, links, or contacts that could be added to this list please email