Funding and support

Learning to play a musical instrument can be expensive. Fortunately there is some support and grants available that can assist parents.

Instrument assisted purchase scheme

Changes in the 1994 VAT (Education) Order now enable Surrey Arts’ pupils to purchase musical instruments free of VAT. The procedure for this scheme has been approved by HM Customs and Excise and was reviewed in September 1994 by the VAT office.

The instrument you wish to purchase must be new. You may choose your own supplier. Advice on a choice of instrument is available from your child’s teacher or from Surrey Arts Co-ordinators of strings, brass and woodwind teaching.

To comply with HM Custom and Excise rules, the following criteria must be satisfied:

  • The student must be in receipt of continuous music lessons from Surrey Arts
  • The student must be a full-time student
  • The instrument must be appropriate to the student’s needs and ability
  • The instrument must be portable
  • The instrument must change hands on Surrey Arts premises

The instrument assisted purchase scheme is non-profit making and offered by Surrey Arts as a service.

London Philharmonic Orchestra

LPO Junior Artists Applications open for 2019 /20 Join our programme for talented young musicians from under-represented backgrounds

LPO Junior Artists is a free year-long programme for eight young musicians from backgrounds currently under-represented in professional UK orchestras, offering an immersive, behind-the scenes experience with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

Awards for Young Musicians

Awards for Young Musicians believes that all talented young people deserve the chance to progress in their music making. They are awarding £100,000 in grants to exceptional young instrumentalists in need of support.

  • Do you love making music?
  • Does money and other things hold you back?

An AYM Award could help.

Maybe you play an instrument, produce, compose or write songs?

You could get between £100 and £2,000 for your music.

And you’ll join a community of talented young musicians from across the UK and get free musical opportunities and advice too.

Find out more and apply for funding at any time at

Apply now.

Cheryl King (Hirst) Trust 

The Cheryl King (Hirst) Trust was established in memory of a former musician and popular Surrey Arts teacher. Cheryl was committed to providing opportunities for all children to learn about music regardless of background. The primary focus of the trust is to offer financial bursaries to enable pupils to have or continue with individual or group instrument lessons who may not otherwise be able to do so. The bursary is open to young people under 18 in Surrey who are learning musical  instruments and have been nominated by their instrument teacher. To find out more go to

Christine Brown Trust

If you are under 19 years of age, a UK resident and can demonstrate evidence of exceptional musical talent, you can apply for funding from the Christine Brown Trust.

Peter Handley Percussion Award

The Peter Handley Percussion Award is a charity that helps young percussionists. Students have had funding towards instrument purchases, one off specialist lessons, summer schools and workshops.

Valentine Alcock Scholarship

The Valentine Alcock Scholarship is a small charity that helps 14 – 18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds by paying for them to attend residential instrumental music courses, ranging from short local authority ensemble workshops to international summer schools.


Help Musicians UK

Help Musicians UK is a UK charity for professional musicians of all genres. Here is a section on supporting young musicians.

The Sue and Freddy Walding Bursary

The British Horn Society are now welcoming applications to the Sue and Freddy Walding Bursary. Available to help promising young UK horn players under the age of 18 in need of financial support.

Apply now for the Sue and Freddy Walding Bursary.

Grants for the Arts

Grants for the Arts is Arts Council England’s open access funding programme. They offer awards from £1,000 to £100,000 to support a wide variety of arts-related activities, from dance to visual arts, literature to theatre, music to combined arts.

The EMI Music Sound Foundation

Assistance with the purchase of musical instruments and/or equipment for schools, teachers and students in full time education. Apply for assistance on the EMI website.

Future Talent

Future Talent supports musicians from any genre of music be it classical, folk or rock and on any instrument from violin to voice and drums to beat boxing.

Martin Read Foundation

Supporting young musicians through workshop, performance and mentoring opportunities. Visit the Martin Read Foundation website.

The Humphrey Richards Taylor Charitable Trust

The aim of the H R Taylor Charitable Trust is to encourage the performance of live classical music in Surrey and adjacent areas.

Children and young adults showing exceptional musical talent who live in Surrey or have a strong link to Surrey [eg music students or recent music graduates], and intend to make a career in music, can apply to the Trust for help in purchasing an instrument or part-funding of tuition, should their financial means be insufficient.

Woking Young Musicians Trust

The Marie Oswald Memorial Fund was originally formed in 1979 in memory of Miss Marie Oswald, for many years Head of Music at Woking County Grammar School for Girls and a revered local music teacher.

The Fund was granted Charitable Status in 1981 and the names was changed to the Woking Young Musicians Trust in 2002/3.

The awards given by the Trust are intended to assist in the training of music students, especially those in financial need, by contributing towards a particular musical purpose – for example, the purchase of a better instrument, attending a masterclass, giving a concert or recital, etc. – but not for routine expenses.

Applicants must be between the ages of 14 and 20 and be pupils or former pupils of a Woking School or resident within the Borough of Woking.

Grants are awarded annually, subject to an audition.