Funding your instrument: where to find help

Buying your perfect musical partner can often be a major investment. The good news is that there are a number of organisations who might be able to help. We’ve listed a number of organisations who regularly support players with the purchase of an instrument or bow. They tend to be quite specific, so it is worth doing lots of research to find one that really fits your circumstances.

We do check all of the links provided fairly regularly but please do let us know if you find one that no longer works. Also, if you represent an organisation not listed here we would be delighted to add your details to the list!

The Royal Philharmonic Society Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation

Who is it open to: Students of UK Music Conservatoires or Colleges of Music. Priority is given to first year students and junior students who will shortly be embarking on full-time study. Helen was a grateful recipient of this award during our time at the RCM.

Maximum amount: Grants do not usually exceed £4,000

How to apply: Application is made directly by College / Conservatoire Principals.


Awards for Young Musicians

Who is it open to: Upper age limit is 17 and applicants must be resident in the UK

Maximum amount: Up to £2,000


 The Countess of Munster Musical Trust Instrument Purchase Loan

Who is it open to: Open to those who have received postgraduate study award from the Trust and have completed their studies.

Maximum amount: Interest-free loans repayable over 5-12 years


The Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust

Who is it open to: Music students and recent music graduates from Surrey or who those are linked to the Royal College of Music  or the University of Surrey

Maximum amount: Not stated

How to apply: Applications can be submitted at any time. The Trust meets five times a year to consider applications.


The Macfarlane Walker Trust

Who is it open to: Music students who can demonstrate financial need. Preference is given to those from Gloucestershire.

Maximum amount: Grants between £500 and £2,000

How to apply: Applications are considered throughout the year.


EMI Music Sound Foundation

Who is it open to: Musicians in full time education

Maximum amount: Awards up to £1,500


Loan Fund for Musical Instruments

Who is it open to: Loan scheme for professional players under 36.

How to apply: Loan requests of any amount considered, maximum repayment period is 5 years.


Loan Fund for Musical Instruments (Grant scheme)

Who is it open to: The Grant Scheme from third year of full-time study until two years after graduation.

Maximum amount: Grant up to £5000.

How to apply: Applications considered three times a year.


Don’t forget, we also offer a part-exchange scheme and the opportunity to pay by instalments. We are always very keen to help and will offer as much support as possible throughout the process of finding the perfect instrument or bow.


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