Instrument Purchase Loans from The Countess of Munster Musical Trust

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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What is the Instrument Purchase Loan and who can apply for funding?

We understand the financial difficulties aspiring musicians face and this funding is to help those who, following their years of study, have no capital resources to equip themselves with the quality of instrument vital to the advancement of their careers.

The Trust offers assistance to former beneficiaries in the form of interest-free instrument-purchase loans repayable over periods varying from 5 to 12 years depending on the size of the loan advanced.


Key dates for your diary

Applications Open: 01/01/2024

Applications Deadline: 10/02/2024

References Deadline: 20/02/2024

Auditions Start: 22/04/2024


Audition dates for 2024

Strings – Monday 22nd April and Friday 31st May

Woodwind – Friday 26th April

Brass/Organ/Percussion – Monday 29th April

Piano – Friday 3rd May

Woodwind/Jazz – Monday 13th May

Vocal – Thursday 16th May and Monday 20th May

Composers’ Interviews – Monday 3rd June

Got more questions about our Instrument Purchase Loans?

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

Who can apply for an Instrument Purchase Loan?

Instrument Purchase Loans are only available to past beneficiaries of the Trust i.e. you have to have been offered financial support from the Trust towards your studies in order to be eligible.

How do I apply for an Instrument Purchase Loan?

Eligibility Criteria for an Instrument Purchase Loan:

  • You must have received a study award from the Trust in the past.
  • You must have completed your education and be working as a professional musician.

Application Procedure:

  • The application form will be available for online submission from 1 January 2024.
  • The closing date for submission of completed application forms and video recordings is midnight on 10 February 2024. Applications received after this date will be rejected. The closing date for submission of references is midnight on 17 February 2024.
  • Please contact the Operations Assistant on if you encounter difficulties submitting online, or if you require additional help or support through the application and audition process.

Video Recording Information:

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 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 submit

To accompany your application form, please include YouTube links to video recordings of two pieces contrasting in period, style and tempo.  The two pieces should each be approximately five minutes long.  Two separate links are required – one for each piece.

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


  • Two references must be submitted by midnight on  17 February 2024 as part of your application.  If your references are received after that date, your application may be rejected.
  • Please ensure your chosen referees are able to write in support of your application, giving particular attention to your future career prospects and dependability.  Comments on the suitability and price of the chosen instrument (if any) would also be helpful.
  • 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.
  • Please ask your referees to contact the Operations Assistant 0207 7591220 or if they encounter any difficulties submitting online.


  • You will not hear back from the Trust regarding auditions until early-mid April.
  • If live auditions are possible, they will take place between April and June.  You must be prepared to audition in person in London. Provisional audition dates for 2024 are to be confirmed.
  • If invited to audition, you will not be able to perform the pieces you have submitted with your application.

Loan offers:

  • Offers of loans are made to selected applicants after completion of the application process.  You may not hear the result of your application until early-mid June.
When are the auditions?

The Auditions generally take place between April and early June. You must be prepared to audition in person in London.

Provisional audition dates for 2024 are to be confirmed.

What are the repayment terms of an Instrument Purchase Loan?

The precise repayment terms of any loan offer will depend upon the individual circumstances of the candidate. However the usual terms allow for a 10-month grace period following the grant of the loan and then a repayment period calculated according to the amount of the loan. By way of example, for loans between  £5,001-£10,000 there would be a 10 months’ grace period and then a 7 year repayment period so that is 1/84th per month of sum loaned. In this example, a loan of £10,000 would need to be repaid at £119 per month over 7 years.

Other funding available from the Trust

Study Grants

Open to undergraduate Jazz musicians and postgraduate classical and jazz singers, instrumentalists and composers

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Stephen Oliver Award

Awarded biennially to a young 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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