Instrument Purchase

It is a startling fact that many music students often have no choice but to embark on their professional training without an adequate instrument of their own. The RPS can help.

Every year, we are pleased to provide funding to young musicians who do not own an instrument suitable for their professional training. Unlike many schemes, this is not a loan: it is a grant that we do not expect to be repaid, as we recognise the many financial challenges that young musicians face. For many years, this fund has been principally supported by the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation, established in tribute to the renowned conductor and Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal recipient, but increasingly we are grateful to a range of supporters whose kindness helps us to help more young musicians in this way.

“So many young players are hampered by poor quality instruments… it can be very demoralising. Being able to buy my own horn while still a student enabled me to fulfil my own potential. Thank you RPS for giving me really practical support when it mattered.” Angela Barnes, Second Horn, London Symphony Orchestra

Who is it open to?

Students of UK music colleges. Due to limited funding, priority is given to existing first year undergraduates, then to Juniors who are intending to take up a full time place next academic year. We regret we can only consider grants for students at later stages of study in exceptional circumstances, and keyboard instruments cannot be considered.

How can I apply?

Rather than apply directly, all candidates must be nominated by their music college Principal. Application forms are sent directly to UK music colleges annually in March, which they will then invite students to complete. If you are an eligible instrumentalist, we recommend you talk to your Head of Faculty or a college administrator about the opportunity.

If you teach or work at a music college and would like to know who the representative at your organisation is who generally coordinates applications on behalf of the Principal, we can let you know if you get in touch with us.

We supply a detailed set of Guidelines, mainly for each music college to follow, but it is equally useful for applicants to read this. Please find these linked below.

When is the next closing date?

The next round of applications will open in Spring 2020.

Every year, the Instrument Purchase Scheme remains our most over-subscribed fund. We would dearly like to help more young people acquire the instrument they really need to progress. If you would like to help us to help more young musicians, please contact us or find out more about supporting the RPS here.

See who we helped this year