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Your costs

It's a wonderful opportunity for your child to become involved with learning and playing a musical instrument. However, it can become quite costly as they progress and improve, so it's quite useful to get to know what help with your costs can be found in the Southampton area and beyond.

Funding for musicians

In the past, Southampton Music Service were in a position to provide financial help for young musicians and their families in the City. They are now much more restricted in the financial support that can be provided. Below are listed some other possible sources of help with the cost of lessons and instruments. These tend to focus on supporting talented players rather than beginners, and some make awards to schools or groups only. The list is provided for information, and does not imply any endorsement by FSYO.

If you can add to this list, or offer any further general tips, please let us know.

Instrument hire and purchase

Many local retailers continue to support the Assisted Purchase Scheme for new instruments, where the VAT is waived. It is available only for children attending LEA-supported schools, and meeting certain other conditions. The order must be placed through the school.

Take it away is an Arts Council England initiative, designed to help more people get involved in learning and playing music, by providing interest-free loans of up to 5,000. The scheme is open to people aged over 18 who are buying an instrument for a child under the age of 18 or those aged 18-25 years using the scheme to buy an instrument for themselves (or for someone else, e.g. as a gift). See for full details of the eligibility criteria.

Grants, bursaries and other support

Awards for Young Musicians
They offer means-tested grants of between 200 and 2000 for lessons, instruments and courses.

DfE Music and Dance Scheme
Access to Excellence. This includes support for attendance at Centres for Advanced Training. This itself could cover Saturday schools, or possibly summer schools, at conservatoires

EMI Music Sound Foundation
They support schools, teachers and individual musicians, including awards for instrument purchase. There are deadlines for awards - see site for details.

Help Musicians UK
Focuses on support for established musicians, but also has a database of funding opportunities for school- and college-level musicians:

The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts
The PFCA can support schools and teachers (but not individuals directly) with Inset day training, and outreach work. (The Turner Sims has been involved this this scheme.) There is also a list of events (across all the arts) for children:

Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe
YMF can award substantial scholarships to talented young musicians:

Youth Music
They make awards grants to projects, choirs and ensembles rather than individuals: