We help musicians from a wide range of backgrounds and all musical genres. It’s vital that we use our resources to help those with the greatest need and we have set out some of the main criteria below. Please get in touch any time to discuss your needs in detail.
We can help you if:
- You are a working professional musician.
- You are retired and your principal career was in music.
- You work in a related music profession.
- In some circumstances we can help if you are a dependant or partner of a musician
As well as being in one of the four categories above, you will need to:
- Show us you are in need of financial help
- Be either resident in the UK having spent the majority of your working life as a musician in the UK, or
- If not currently living in the UK you must have been resident in the UK for a minimum of three consecutive years having made an active contribution to British music.
What we mean by ‘professional musician’
We know that musical careers have an uneven pattern and many musicians need to supplement their income from other types of work. For the purposes of financial help, we define a professional musician as:
- Someone who has earned their living substantially from music for a significant proportion of their working life. We define ‘working life’ to be from the start of a career (i.e. the end of formal education, usually minimum age 18) to state pension age, or to the age at which a crisis occurs. This would normally be more than three years.
We sometimes offer limited help to musicians who don’t fully meet this definition but have made a significant contribution to music. However, we are not able to help amateur musicians or people whose paid musical work is clearly secondary to another career.
What we mean by ‘related profession’
To qualify, you must be directly involved in the production of music, or in work for which the main qualification is a high level of musical training. So a mixing desk engineer or a music librarian would probably qualify, while a booking agent or tour-bus driver would probably not.
What we mean by ‘financial need’
We need to ensure our help goes to those who need it most. So we will take into account your capital (savings) and income. When you apply for our help, we’ll ask to see evidence of your finances, such as bank statements. We will guide you through this process to make it as easy as possible for you.
We don’t normally give financial help to people with savings of more than £16,000. For older and retired musicians the limit is slightly higher – £20,000 – because we recognise it’s harder to replace your savings once you’re no longer working.
We will ignore some savings in assessing this amount – for example if you are self-employed and have a reasonable amount set aside for your annual tax bill.
We don’t normally take into account the value of pension funds, your only or principal home (if you own it) or the musical instruments that are the tools of your trade.
When you apply, we take details of your income and expenditure to help us decide what help we can give. However, given that you are a musician, we recognise that what you earned last year, or before an accident/illness, is irrelevant in a crisis. If you can’t play or sing and therefore aren’t earning, we’ll consider helping you if the situation is causing you hardship.