Musical instruments

General Funding for Musical Instruments

Music for All’s mission is to get as many people involved in music as possible, and they do this by providing advice and financial assistance to projects that service the community and individuals wanting to enter the profession and who may have experienced difficulties due to the financial implications.

MFA also offer practical help on subjects like finding a music teacher, locating a musical shop and buying a suitable musical instrument, so whether you are a young or old musician or a project looking for a helping hand to fulfil your potential, Music for All would like to help. 

Young musicians

Many young musicians begin by borrowing or hiring instruments from either their school or local music service. You can find your local music service by visiting Music Mark’s directory. Some local authorities also offer an Assisted Purchase Scheme whereby an instrument can be purchased at a VAT-exempt price. Your music teacher may be able to give you advice.

For exceptionally talented young musicians, the Benslow Instrument Loan Scheme can offer high-quality instruments on long-term loan. A similar service is offered by the Cherubim Trust.

If you are thinking about purchasing an instrument many instrument retailers offer hire-purchase schemes or payment plans, enabling you to spread the cost of purchase. Sometimes these are interest-free.

Creative United's 'Take it away' scheme away aims to make musical instruments more accessible by providing interest-free loans of up to £25,000. To be eligible to apply for a Take it away loan, you must be either an individual over 18 buying an instrument for a child under the age of 18, or an individual over 18 using the scheme to buy an instrument for themselves (or someone else, e.g. as a gift)

There are a few organisations who offer grant funding towards instrument purchase, including the EMI Music Sound Foundation, Awards for Young Musicians and Future Talent.

Rhinegold publish annually an Instrument Buyers Guide which is free to download and contains advice on buying an instrument, with listings for retailers, repairers and other services.

Musicians in higher education and young professionals

The Loan Fund for Musical Instruments will consider applications for grants from students and young professional musicians from the beginning of the third year of their full time studies, until they have been working professionally for two years after graduation. Professional musicians under the age of 36 can apply for loan funding.

Another source of loan funding is the Abbado European Young Musicians Trust. The Royal Philharmonic Society also offers grants for instrument purchase (applicants must be nominated by their college principal).

Musicians in higher education can borrow high quality instruments from the Benslow Instrument Loan Scheme, however the scheme requires students to return the instruments once they have completed their studies.

Adapting Musical Instruments

The OHMI Trust's objective is to remove the barriers to music-making faced by those who have physical disabilities. 

For the OHMI,  The primary obstacle is the absence of suitable instruments and the fact that there is currently no orchestral instruments that can be played without having two fully functioning hands and arms. A fact that denies unlimited participation in musical life to those with congenital disabilities and amputees, as well as the millions who may have been injured, suffered a stroke or developed arthritis. 

Have you found a resource you think we should include on this page? Get in touch to let us know.