Links to Funding Support for Individual Musicians and Music Entrepreneurs

These links may help individual musicians find financial support to progress – in training, buying an instrument, touring etc.

Different ways and places to study music can be found in Links to Music Training and Colleges

More learning resources may be found from organisations listed in Links to Organisations Supporting Young People’s Music Education

Solo musicians, bands and music ensembles may find additional help from organisations listed in this B Sharp blog: Links to Music Resources, Organisations and Support

A complete B Sharp music resource menu can be found in  Links to Progress your Music Interests and Journey.

There are 3 sections to this page:

Funding Support for Individual Musicians as Students

Funding Support for Individuals as Music Entrepreneurs.

Funding Support for Individual Musicians as Professionals


Need help paying for music lessons or buying an instrument? Awards for Young Musicians give grants and other support to individual young musicians.

EMI Music Sound 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 up to a total of £2,000. Secondly, the Bursary awards which allow students at the colleges/organisations detailed in the link to apply for assistance with fees and/or living expenses (these are handled directly by the college/organisation). They have a large directory of other funders and resources who support musicians in various ways.

The Royal College of Music lists 29 Trusts that support music students, with links to them. The RCM has more advice on living costs and what you need to budget for as a student.

Uni Grants A 3 page list of Trusts and grants that help students study music at University. Scroll down past the first ones that are not related to music.

The Richard Ely Trust for Young Musicians.  Our purpose is to promote, improve, develop and advance education in and the appreciation of music in all its aspects for young people under the age of 21 resident in or educated within Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole with a particular view to assisting those in financial hardship.

Bursaries for training to teach singing and choral conducting are available to teachers and vocal leaders working with primary school children and also to those aged 16-26 considering a career in this area.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland International Opera Scholarships. A considerable number of Scholarships are awarded each year on the basis of competitive auditions with a special panel, which take place at the time of the main auditions.

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music provides student scholarships and is the best known practical music examining board.

Music Scholarships at colleges in the UK. 13 pages with dozens of listings.

Scholarship Search Uk Provides a freely searchable database of undergraduate and postgraduate awards and other forms of student funding including commercial sponsorship, competitions and prizes, expedition awards and help with child care in the UK. E.g. see their listings for undergraduate scholarships at music colleges and how much they give.

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, London offers Higher Diploma scholarships for Guitar, Bass, Drum and Vocal students. Fully funded places (worth £5950 for UK based students and £7200 for international students) on the one-year intensive course. Closing date for applications in 2014 is 10 March.

National Scholarship Programme You can apply for a bursary if your household income is £25,000 a year or less. The bursary can be one or more of the following:

  • a cash bursary of up to £1,000
  • help with tuition fees and accommodation
  • a free foundation year (a programme that helps students meet the entry criteria for a higher education course)

Life Long Learning financial support links.

The Educational Grants Advisory Service (EGAS). This service provides advice and information on sources of funding available for higher and further education and training. It gives priority to disadvantaged students. Phone: 020 7254 6251 (2-4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays)

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) provides information on which student loans, bursaries and other help you may be entitled to get. You can look at student finance on their education and learning page. Phone: 020 7215 5555

Access to Learning Fund Students in financial hardship who need extra help to start a course or stay in higher education, could get help from the Access to Learning Fund. Any money you get is paid on top of your other student finance. Your university or college decides:

  • who gets the money
  • how much you can get

Loans and Grants for students: Tuition fee loan, Maintenance loan for living costs, Maintenance grant for living costs, Special support grant.

Extra help for students. You might qualify for extra help on top of your main student finance package. Use the student finance calculator to see what extra help you can get. Numerous funds are targeted at: Students on a low-income, Students with children or dependant adults, Disabled students, Medical/social work/teacher training students.

Leaving Local Authority Care If you’ve been in local authority care, you can apply for:

  • a one-off bursary of £2,000 from your local authority
  • a bursary from your university or college

Thomas Wall Trust is for the “encouragement and assistance of educational work and social service”. Today, the Trust continues to assist in these areas by providing grants to individuals and organisations. The Trustees welcome applications from people who want to break through the barriers in their lives and life chances by pursuing technical or skill-based training which will improve their prospects of finding paid work.

Amber Music Awards The Amber Trust was set up to help all blind and partially sighted children (up to the age of 18) – including those with additional disabilities – to access and enjoy music. Amber Music Awards exist to provide financial grants to individual children and young people in support of this vision. They have 3 funding rounds per year. They support:

  • Music lessons
  • Music therapy sessions
  • The purchase of musical instruments
  • The purchase of specialist software or other technology
  • The purchase of concert tickets
  • Travel to attend musical events

Jessie’s Fund A small charity helping children with additional and complex needs through the use of music. The majority of their larger grants to organisations tend to be between £2,000 and £7,000. Grants to individuals are usually no more than £500, with a priority to help children with more complex needs or life-limiting conditions.

Strummerville is a registered charity that gives support to aspiring musicians and help to projects that help change the world through music. Set up by the friends and family of Joe Strummer in the year after his death, the charity seeks to reflect Joe’s unique contribution to the music world by offering support, resources and performance opportunities to artists who would not normally have access to them.

Future Talent find, fund, nurture and monitor gifted musicians aged between 5 and 18 whose current financial circumstances are preventing them from fulfilling their musical potential. They award funding for a variety of needs including:

  • Lessons
  • Instrument purchase
  • Fees for membership to national or local training ensembles
  • Junior conservatoire fees
  • Residential training course fees
  • Graded music exam fees

Christine Brown Trust for Young Musicians offers financial support to exceptionally talented young musicians under 19 years of age, who are UK residents and who are experiencing financial hardship.

The Wrightson Trust are most interested in benefiting young musicians (generally between 10 – 18 years old) showing promise and commitment in financially difficult circumstances. Distributions have ranged between £100 and £800.

The Countess of Munster Musical Trust  Deadline(s): Various.

The Trust provides financial assistance towards the musical education of individual students. What they fund: The Trust’s principal aim is to support young musicians, i.e. instrumentalists, singers, conductors and composers, of exceptional ability. There are three available categories of funding. Grants for study. Loans for instrument purchase. Stephen Oliver Award, a biennial award allocated to an artist who can develop a new piece of musical theatre.

The Martin Musical Scholarship Deadline: February

The Philharmonia Orchestra Martin Musical Scholarship Fund, administered by the Philharmonia Orchestra, has given invaluable support to countless young musicians since 1968. Usually over 60 awards are made each year. For young, gifted musicians, these awards enable them to either continue or complete an essential period of study that, due to financial constraints, may otherwise have been impossible. The culmination of the Fund’s commitment is to offer the opportunity of a recital at the Purcell Room at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, which for these talented performers is an inspiring occasion that marks a milestone in their careers.

The Worshipful Company of Musicians encourages and promotes musical performance and education to the highest professional standards.

What they fund: With a focus on young musicians, packages of support prizes and scholarships, performance opportunities, medals that recognise excellence and achievement.

Turn2Us is a general website aimed at helping people from all backgrounds find funding sources. Use the search function to identify trusts who may be able to help you. This is a very useful starting point when looking for funding, and can also help you identify whether you are eligible for any other UK benefits.

Student Cash Point is a comprehensive website for students seeking funding for university study in the UK.

Links to Entertainment Charities compiled by the Equity Charitable Trust. They may not help musicians but if you are an actor/musician or are/want to be involved in the entertainment industry, these charities may be worth checking out.


The Unsigned Guide An online music industry directory with more than 8,800 UK music business contacts spanning 50 areas of the industry. A subscription website with some free documents, including a funding guide. Worth checking out.

AIM loans: a new Government-backed scheme offering access to finance for independent music companies and entrepreneurs. The AIM Start Up Loans initiative will see the trade body be responsible for assessing applications and approving personal loans ranging from £1,000 up to £25,000 for business purposes. The loans can be paid back in 1-5 years, with interest fixed at 6%. The average loan amount is £5,700.

The Lowde Music Enterprise Awards. In the current economic climate it is becoming increasingly difficult for young creative entrepreneurs to secure investment. Such investment is key to the future development of the music industry, in terms of music creation, recording and performance. The Trust has established a series of Awards targeted at supporting young adults who are interested in setting up business in the music industry.

Music Business Funding Advice about finding different types of investors in music business start-ups.

International Business Seed Accelerators Over 170 links to business investors/accelerators around the world. Q: What is an accelerator? A: A program that works with entrepreneurs to take their products to market – fast and furious. Some are for-profit, others not-for profit. Some provide equity investment, some provide onsite team building. All provide mentoring and most connect entrepreneurs to exceptional networks – market and medium related. Thanks to Alice Loy, PhD on LinkedIn for this list.

How to Crowdfund, where creative people sell perks and rewards to fans in order to fund their project. Advice with further links:

  • Crowdfunding Tips
  • Blast Theory case study A 28 page case study and Crowdfunding user guide by Blast Theory arts organisation, about their experience when raising money to launch their artistic app ‘Karen’. A good report with good advise.

Popular crowdfunding platforms for musicians include:

  • Indiegogo
  • Kickstarter
  • WeFund
  • Crowdfunder – a crowdfunding broker for the arts.
  • Pledge Music allows artists to create a customised menu of exclusive content and experiences that integrate your email database, Facebook fans, Twitter followers and various other social networking sites. You decide how much money you’d like to raise and your fans pledge money for whichever item or experience they want.
  • Crowdfunding Guide – a list of more crowd funding organisations.


Tillett Trust financially supports young classical musicians when they need it most at the very start of their professional solo careers.

Help Musicians UK (formally the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund) help musicians of all genres in a variety of ways. Deadline(s): Various

What they fund: The Musicians’ Benevolent Fund offers a strong collection of awards to young musicians, included targeted emphasis on cellists, female singers, musical theatre, songwriters and disadvantaged young people aged 14-18.

The site also has an advice page with a search tool to find funding for projects, students and under 18s, musical instruments etc.

Enter your details and click on the search button to see a list of results.

In addition, Help Musicians UK help musicians who play, sing or create all styles of music. They support:

• Musicians at the start of their careers who need support as they join the profession.

• Musicians who hit a crisis such as an illness or accident during their working lives.

• Musicians who are thinking about retirement, as well as those later on in their lives.

To qualify for this help, you need to have worked or be working in the music profession. Their help also extends to those who work in related occupations such as record producers, piano tuners and sound engineers and can occasionally help the dependants of musicians. Twitter: @MusiciansBFund

Emerging Musicians Fund Help Musicians UK and PledgeMusic have opened applications for the Emerging Artists Fund. Targeting acts with a DIY drive to build a long-term career, the scheme enables selected artists to run their own PledgeMusic campaign and to access a top-up grant from Help Musicians UK once they hit their funding target. The Emerging Artists Fund is open to UK based artists of any genre and will run from 4 November 2016 to November 2017, with 3 submission rounds.

The PRS Foundation supports artists to in turn support communities through music. Through residencies, community projects and commissions, PRS encourage artists and ensembles to reach their full potential. PRS has a number of funding schemes for Individuals and Organisations & Groups and supports the creation and the touring of new work. Read their advice on writing funding applications. Twitter: @PRSFoundation

If you know of other links that may be useful, please comment below.


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