Help Musicians UK has revised its Postgraduate Awards process for 2019, making it more accessible for students needing support to study at UK conservatoires.
Applicants can now apply directly to the charity for funding towards their course fees and living costs, rather than waiting for conservatoires or performing arts colleges to put forward the students they deem suitable.
Help Musicians UK hopes this will ensure potential barriers in applying for support are removed. The aim is to empower students and alleviate some of the administrative burden within higher education institutions.
Applications are invited from students from every background who can demonstrate strong musical potential, the ambition and ability to sustain a career, and those who are in considerable financial need.
Applications will be shortlisted against the latter two of these priorities. After this stage, students will be asked to attend auditions in April and June.
The audition process will bring a range of independent panellists to assess the musical potential of auditionees.
Claire Gevaux, director of programme at the charity, said: ‘We feel that this change is a necessary first step towards creating a more diverse talent pool and look forward to receiving applications from students who might not normally be nominated for these awards.
‘Our awards have always been made through a competitive process, but we hope that with this revised focus, not just on performance and musicianship, we can further find and support those exceptionally talented students who are most in need and who have the most innovative career pathways.’
Since the seventies, the Postgraduate Awards have offered support between £1,000 and £5,000 to students completing their studies at UK conservatoires and performing arts colleges.
In 2018, the charity supported 125 students and the average award was £2,420. In 2019, it hopes to award approximately £300,000 through its Postgraduate Awards.
Previous winners include trumpeter Alison Balsom OBE, percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, violinist Clio Gould, cellist Guy Johnston, violinist Tasmin Little OBE and guitarist Miloš Karadaglic.