Study Grant funding from The Countess of Munster Musical Trust

Everything you'll need to know about our Study Grants

What is the Study Grant and who can apply for funding?

Are you a singer or instrumentalist looking to fund a performance-based classical or jazz music postgraduate study course? Are you a composer looking to fund postgraduate study in composition or an exceptional jazz musician looking to fund their final year of a performance-based jazz undergraduate course?

If you answered yes, please scroll down to learn how to apply for one of our grants…

Key dates for your diary

Applications Open: 01/01/2024

Applications Deadline: 10/02/2024

References Deadline: 17/02/2024

Auditions Start: 21/04/2024

Got more questions about our Study Grants?

We know it can often be complicated applying for grants which is why we have a full list of FAQs to help you understand the process.

When/how can I apply for a Munster Trust Study Award?

It is important in the first instance to make sure you are eligible to apply for an Award –

  • have you been resident in the UK for over ten years since birth, or alternatively have you successfully completed (by the end of the current academic year) at least three academic years of full-time study in a UK higher education institution (University / Music Conservatoire)?
  • can you prove that, based on the laws and regulations in force at the closing date for applications (10 February) and your personal circumstances, you automatically have permission to continue to reside and work in the UK for at least one year following completion of higher education?
  • if you can answer “yes” to both of these questions, you are eligible to apply for an Award but the Trust may require evidence of eligibility e.g. copies of passports, etc.

It is also important that you are aware that the Trust receives very many applications that are ultimately unsuccessful: only around 75 awards are made each year, to outstanding performers who can also demonstrate financial need, so please consider whether you are ready to make an application to the Trust and, if in doubt, please speak to your teacher.

Applications will be available online from 1st January each year and must be submitted through our online application form.  If you have technical issues completing the form please contact the Operations Assistant on or telephone 0207 7591220. The closing date for submission of application forms and video links and references is midnight on 10th February 2024. The closing date for submission of references is 17th February 2024.

Filling out an Application Form can be a daunting process, but the Applications Helpsheet 2024 contains detailed information on what you will need in order to submit your application form. Give yourself enough time to complete the form: a last minute rush can cause undue pressure and possible mistakes.  The website allows you to save your work as you progress through the form.  This is a useful tool and enables you to review/edit the form as many times as you want up until the deadline.  Please do proofread your application form before sending this to us or ask someone to do this for you – there may be spelling mistakes or an important piece of information you have left out. Finally, make sure you get your application to us no later than midnight on 10th February.

For tips about how to produce a suitable recording, please have a look at our guide.

My course start date does not align with the start of the UK academic year. Am I able to apply to the Trust?

Our funding commences in September in order to coincide with the start of the UK academic year. If you are applying for a course where the start date is other than September, please contact us on to discuss your options.

Do I need to submit any references?

The Trust requires two references to be submitted online by 17th February 2024.

  • One referee must be the applicant’s current teacher and the other referee must be a person with up-to-date knowledge of the applicant’s musical training, for instance the applicant’s Head of Department.  If you are unable to gain a reference from your Head of Department, you will need to provide details of someone that has heard you play and who can provide a professional opinion on your playing and your plans for postgraduate study.
  • You need to ask your Referees to check their inbox for an email from our website.  The email, which they will receive as soon as you submit your application form, contains a unique link which they need to click to submit their reference before midnight on 17th February 2024.
  • References cannot be submitted after 17th February 2024, and as such your application may be rejected.
  • Please ask your referees to contact the Operations Assistant on 0207 7591220 or email if they encounter any difficulties submitting online


What recordings do I need to submit in support of my application?

We have produced a guide which includes some tips on how to produce a recording that will be acceptable to the Trustees no matter what your circumstances, but some specific points to bear in mind are:

  • The audio quality is more important than the video quality for your recordings but follow our tips on camera position, etc. The recording must be unedited;
  • You should try to submit accompanied pieces performed with an accompaniment but this can be a “minus-one track” if you are unable to record with an accompanist.  Check the balance between your playing and the accompaniment;
  • If you are unable to produce recordings specifically for your Munster Trust application, we will accept recordings made for, for instance, college video auditions, but we do require all recordings to be uploaded to YouTube and YouTube links added to your application.  All recordings should be from within the past 6 months and, if you have applied to the Trust in the past, please do not submit a recording/piece that you have used to support a previous application.
  • Please remember that the Trustees will not be assessing the quality of your recording but only the quality of your performance.

What to provide: SINGERS AND INSTRUMENTALISTS (except PERCUSSION – see below)

To accompany your application form, please include two YouTube links.  Each link must be to a video recording of you singing/playing within the previous 6 months.  The two pieces that you choose for your links must be contrasting in period, style and tempo, and each piece should be between 4 and 5 minutes long.

Do not submit two movements from the same work, or two pieces by the same composer.

Ideally the recordings should not include long introductions by accompanying instruments and you do not need to introduce yourself or the piece.  There should be approximately five minutes of your performance on each recording.

Jazz candidates: We welcome recordings of you playing as part of a small band, so that the Trustees can judge your interaction with other players.  Where this is not possible, you may use backing tracks to replace the small band.  You should choose two pieces that best illustrate your interest and ability in areas of music that involve improvisation.

Collaborative Pianists – Please include links to either:
Two unedited video recordings of you accompanying an instrumentalist. Neither of the two pieces should exceed six minutes; or
Two unedited video recordings of you accompanying a singer. Neither of the two pieces should exceed six minutes; or
Two unedited video recordings of you accompanying, separately, a singer and an instrumentalist. Neither piece should exceed six minutes.
When selecting your pieces and making your recordings, please bear in mind that the Trustees wish to be able to judge both your abilities as a pianist and your skills as an accompanist.

Please contact us on or 0207 7591220 well in advance of the application closing date if you need to discuss what it is possible for you to achieve and what the Trustees will be able to accept.

What to provide: PERCUSSION

To accompany your application form, please include two YouTube links to video recordings as follows:

  • One video recording should consist of the following pieces:  Timpani: Hindemith Metamorphoses on Themes of Weber AND Snare Drum: Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade (Mvts 3 and 4)
  • The other video recording should consist of the following pieces: Xylophone: Gershwin Porgy and Bess Introduction AND Vibraphone: Bernstein West Side Story.

If it is not possible for you to comply with these repertoire requirements, please contact the Operations Assistant on 0207 7591220 well in advance of the application closing date to discuss what it is possible for you to achieve and what the Trustees will be able to accept.

What to provide: COMPOSERS

To accompany your application form, please include YouTube OR SoundCloud links to two recordings of recent contrasting compositions.  Two separate links are required – one for each piece.  These should have been recorded within the last 6 months if possible.

Do not submit scores unless requested to do so.

Recordings of real performances are preferable but we appreciate that this may not always be possible. Please take time to consider whether your pieces are sufficiently contrasting.

If you have problems with these recording requirements, please contact the Operations Assistant on on 0207 7591220 well in advance of the application closing date.

Uploading to YouTube/SoundCloud:

  • Please note: all video recordings must be publicly viewable.  Please use either the unlisted or public privacy setting.
  • Ensure that all advertisements are turned off – please refer to the FAQs if necessary.
  • Please add the date on which the recording was made (and not just the date on which it was uploaded) to the Description section of YouTube or SoundCloud as you upload your recording.

Other funding available from the Trust

Instrument Purchase Loan

Each year the Trust is able to offer a small number of interest-free loans to former beneficiaries to help with the purchase of musical instruments

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Stephen Oliver Award

Awarded biennially to an emerging composer who has written a work for music theatre to assist with bringing that work to performance

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Neil Black Award

Annually awarded to an outstanding woodwind player to support their postgraduate studies and develop their musical career

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