FAQs

Postgraduate Study Grant FAQs

Frequently asked questions about our postgraduate study grants

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 Trust Secretary on admin@munstertrust.org.uk or telephone 01428 685427.  The closing date for submission of application forms and video links and references is midnight on 10th February. The closing date for submission of references is  21st February.

Filling out an Application Form can be a daunting process, but the Applications Helpsheet 2022 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 even when you are challenged by coronavirus restrictions, 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 admin@munstertrust.org.uk to discuss your options.

Do I need to submit any references?

The Trust requires two references to be submitted online by 21st February.

  • 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 21st February.
  • References cannot be submitted after 21st February, and as such your application may be rejected.
  • Please ask your referees to contact the Trust Secretary +44 (0)1428 685427 or email admin@munstertrust.org.uk if they encounter any difficulties submitting online

 

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

We appreciate that making a recording may be different from usual this year in view of coronavirus restrictions.  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.

Piano Accompanists – 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 admin@munstertrust.org.uk or 01428 685427 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 Trust Secretary on 01428 685427 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 Trust Secretary on Trust Secretary on 01428 685427 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.
How do I remove advertising from my YouTube video?

Please follow the instructions below:

  • Sign in to YouTube.  In the top right-hand corner, click on your account icon and then go to Creator Studio
  • In the left-hand menu, select Channel and then Status and Features
  • From the Status and Features list, select Advanced
  • There will be a heading “Advertisements” and a question “Allow advertisements to be displayed alongside my videos” – make sure the box is unchecked.
  • Scroll down and click “Save”.
What is the audition process?

Your audition will last approximately 15 minutes.  You will perform for approximately 10 minutes and then this will be followed by a short interview during which you may be asked a variety of questions by the Trustees – about your finances, about the music you played, technique, interpretation etc.

Please note: you cannot offer at audition the same pieces you submitted with your application. However, you can offer a different movement from the same piece.

The audition requirements are:

  • Piano / Brass / Strings / Woodwind: you should prepare three contrasting (in period, style & tempo) pieces (which may be extracts of larger works), lasting approximately 5 minutes each, which show your particular talent to the best advantage
  • Piano Accompaniment: you should bring a singer and be prepared to perform the following pieces:
    Schumann Aufträge (this piece is compulsory); plus
    a choice of three of the following options:
    Brahms Botschaft
    Britten Fish in the Unruffled Lakes
    Debussy Spleen
    Mahler Verlorne Müh (from Knaben Wunderhorn)
    Poulenc Reine des Mouettes
    Richard Strauss Ständchen
  • Voice: you should prepare three contrasting (in period, style & tempo) songs/arias (performed in the original language) lasting approximately 5 minutes each.
  • Percussion:  you should prepare one piece on the marimba which shows your particular talent to the best advantage, together with extracts as set out in your audition invitation.
  • Jazz: you should prepare two pieces, contrasting in tempo and atmosphere.
    Jazz Pianists & guitarists: one piece should feature an unaccompanied introduction.
    Jazz Drummers: one piece must feature unaccompanied improvisation (4s, 8s or open-ended)
    Jazz Bass players: you are required to present the melody of at least one piece.
    Please let us know if you will be bringing a rhythm section or other performers with you and note that this will be at your own expense.
When are the auditions?

The Auditions generally take place between April and early June. You must be prepared to audition in person in London.  Any adjustment to the usual audition procedure on account of pandemic restrictions will be notified in due course.

The provisional dates for the auditions in 2022 are as follows:

Keyboard – Monday 11th April 2022
Voice – Wednesday 20th April 2022
Strings – Thursday 28th April 2022
Woodwind – Thursday 5th May 2022
Brass, Percussion, Strings – Thursday 12th May 2022
Woodwind – Monday 16th May 2022
Jazz, Voice – Thursday 26th May 2022
Composers’ Interviews – Wednesday 8th June 2022

When will I hear whether I have received an award?

You will not hear whether or not you have been offered an award until after all the auditions have been completed i.e. not until early-mid June.

How much might I receive as an award?

Awards are made according to both merit and need.  In recent years, the Trustees have offered amounts of between £2,000 and £4,000.  However, you should be aware that the Trust receives very many applications that are unsuccessful: only around 75 awards are made each year, so please consider whether you are ready to make an application to the Trust and, if in doubt, please speak to your teacher.

I live/study abroad and so may be unable to attend a particular audition day. Can I still apply?

All applicants must be able to audition in person in London if called to audition.  If you will have difficulty attending on a particular audition day, please let the office know as soon as possible in case alternative arrangements can be made.

Any changes in response to pandemic restrictions will be notified in due course.

I am a composer. What is the application/audition process for me?

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 Trust Secretary on Trust Secretary on 01428 685427 well in advance of the application closing date.

After the Trustees have considered your application, you may be asked to submit scores and recordings which will be assessed by our composition assessors.  You may then be asked to attend an interview during which you may be asked questions regarding your finances, study plans and more technical questions regarding your compositions. Whether or not you are offered funding will be decided after this interview.

I am applying for an award for piano accompaniment. What will happen at my audition?

Piano Accompaniment:   you should bring a singer and be prepared to perform the following pieces:

Schumann Aufträge (this piece is compulsory); plus

a choice of three of the following options:
Brahms Botschaft
Britten Fish in the Unruffled Lakes
Debussy Spleen
Mahler Verlorne Müh (from Knaben Wunderhorn)
Poulenc Reine des Mouettes
Richard Strauss Ständchen

I am applying for postgraduate study to more than one institution. Can I apply?

Yes, there is space on the application form for up to two different institutions, and/or private study, short courses, masterclasses.

I am applying for postgraduate study abroad and my audition is not until August. Can I apply?

Yes, you can apply for funding even though you have not yet auditioned. If funding is granted it will be conditional on a successful audition at the institution concerned.

I am on the waiting list, or have not yet heard whether I have been accepted on my postgraduate course. Can I apply?

Yes, if you are on the waiting list, or have not yet heard or even auditioned, you must still submit your application for funding by the closing date (10 February).  You need to keep the Secretary informed of the progress of your application and any award granted will be conditional on acceptance at your chosen institution.

I have already received an award from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust – can I reapply and, if so, how?

If you have received an award once in the past, you can reapply, provided that you are able to comply with the current eligibility requirements, but please be aware that there is no automatic renewal of your award.

You need to apply online in January and the same process will apply as with your first application. The deadline for submission of your application form and  links to video recordings is 10 February. Please do not submit recordings of the same pieces that you submitted with previous applications.

If you have already received two awards from the Trust, you cannot apply again.

I have been turned down for an award in a previous year. Can I reapply?

You may re-apply to the Trust if you have applied in the past but not been offered an award.  However, if you have been turned down without an award twice in the past, you may not apply to the Trust for a third time.  Students who apply to the Trust too early in their training, therefore, risk jeopardising their chances of obtaining funding at a later date.

Can I appeal or get feedback about a decision?

The Trust Secretary will not enter into correspondence with applicants, except to amplify or clarify their applications, and is not at liberty to give applicants any assessment of their chances of success, nor to discuss reasons for failure.

Applicants who enter into correspondence with individual Trustees run the risk of prejudicing their case.

The granting or withholding of financial assistance is entirely at the collective discretion of the Trustees and in no circumstances will reasons be given for rejection or for the selection of one applicant as against another.

 

I have missed the deadline for applications. Can I still apply?

We are unable to accept late applications – the closing date is midnight on 10 February.  Applications submitted after this date will not be accepted.

Can I use an original composition or arrangement in support of my application?

Yes but the recordings submitted should be chosen so as to demonstrate your abilities to their best advantage.