Help Musicians UK today opened its 2019 Postgraduate Awards, which launches a new, open application process for music performance students who wish to further their study at a UK Conservatoire. Applicants can now apply directly to the charity for funding towards their course fees and associated living costs.

For a number of years, HMUK has run a nominations process for the annual Postgraduate Awards, where select conservatoires and performing arts colleges put forward students to audition for an award.

As part of a commitment to providing accessible, equitable and inclusive application routes to funding opportunities, HMUK has created an open and direct application process to ensure that 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.

HMUK is inviting applications from students from every background who demonstrate strong musical potential, the ambition and ability to sustain a career within the industry and those who are in considerable financial need. Applications will be shortlisted against the latter two of these priorities.

After this stage, students will then be asked to attend auditions in April and June 2019. The auditions process, as in previous years, will bring a range of independent panellists, all experts in their respective disciplines, to assess the musical potential of auditionees.

Claire Gevaux, Director of Programme commented: “Help Musicians UK is already the leading provider of postgraduate awards in music, so we are very excited to open the application process up to allow every eligible applicant the opportunity to directly apply. 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 1970s, HMUK’s Postgraduate Awards have offered support between £1,000 and £5,000 to students who wish to complete their studies at the leading UK conservatoires and performing arts colleges. HMUK’s vital postgraduate funding has helped more than 100 musicians every year at crucial stages in their development.

Intensive post-graduate study is vital if the next generation of musicians are to achieve their potential, but the costs can be astronomical. Taking living expenses and tuition fees into account, the cost of a two-year postgraduate degree can easily reach £40,000.

In 2018 HMUK supported 125 students and the average award was £2,420. In 2019, HMUK hopes to award approximately £300,000 through its Postgraduate Awards.

Previous winners of the Postgraduate Awards include trumpeter Alison Balsom OBE, percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, violinist Clio Gould, cellist Guy Johnston, violinist Tasmin Little OBE and guitarist Miloš Karadaglic.
Applications open today here.

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