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Student Bursaries and Benefits


We have two primary bursaries that are run by the team at Sage Gateshead. Details of how to apply are provided when accepting a place on the programme following the audition process. Applications must be received by the middle of July and decisions are normally made within a fortnight. Please also see below for information on external bursaries that are available.

Music and Dance Scheme

Students on our Centre for Advanced Training are entitled to apply for a bursary from the Department for Education’s Music and Dance Scheme. These are means tested bursaries based on a calculation of household income, taking into account other factors, such as benefits and number of people in household. Those who have a household income (after deductions) of less than £30,227 will receive £3,686 (17/18 figures). In 2018/19 CAT core curriculum fee will be £2,800 for the year, the remaining c.£900 can be used for a second study or youth ensemble, or for external activity. It can also be used for music related costs such as materials or even travel costs.

We have an allocation of 70 grants per year from the Department for Education, if every applicant needed the full amount this would be granted (in 16/17 this was around 35% of our students). As the CAT has a student intake of around 80 – 85 students each year, there is a higher chance than you might think that you would be eligible, so we strongly recommend that you apply. Partial bursaries are issued up to a maximum household income of £66,498.

David Goldman Bursary

Our Youth Ensemble, Foundation Strings and Step Up Programme students can apply for funding from the David Goldman Bursary, a private fund that is managed by the Community Foundation. This is assessed using similar criteria to the Music and Dance Scheme, but as the assessments are done in house, with the guidance of a committee chosen by the Community Foundation, we are able to occasionally accept appeals for special circumstances, and there is a section on the application form for you to provide this.

The money available each year can vary depending on how financial markets are performing, and is finite. Therefore a greater volume of applicants, or poorly performing financial markets, can result in participants receiving a different amount than the previous year. We prioritise households with an income of below £30,000, and would therefore suggest if you have a household income above this amount that you also investigate the other bursaries recommended below.

NB: We do allow participants to apply to both the Music and Dance Scheme and David Goldman Bursary, however we expect students to use money from their MDS bursary to pay Youth Ensemble fees, and can only grant further funds from David Goldman in exceptional circumstances.

External Bursaries

Awards for Young Musicians
Awards are available to young instrumentalists aged 5 – 17. All genres welcome.
The application deadline is early March every year
For more information –
(applicants can request a recommendation from Sage Gateshead when they apply (and they will also need a reference from their instrumental teacher)).

Future Talent Bursaries
Future Talent is a very special charity that gives financial support and guidance to young musicians aged between 5 and 18 who are clearly demonstrating outstanding musical ability or potential, but for whatever reason do not have the financial means to reach their goal.
3 financial awards available depending on age and circumstances.
Applications for 2018/19 bursaries and scholarships are now open.
For more information –

Young Musicians Fund
Established in 1996 by Kathryn Tickell to develop the musical skills of children and young people in Tyne & Wear, Northumberland and Durham under the age of 18 who are struggling to pay for tuition fees or want help to purchase an instrument.
2 application deadlines per year (approx. May and September)
Application form
Fund homepage

Christine Brown Trust
The Christine Brown Trust for Young Musicians offers financial support to exceptionally talented young musicians under 19 years of age, who are UK residents and who are experiencing financial hardship

Hinrichsen Foundation
A foundation aiming to support and promote contemporary music by providing funding for projects, the commission of new work, recording and publication.

The Wingate Foundation
The Wingate Foundation recognises that music is seriously under-funded in the UK and will consider applications for support in the areas of music performance and education. An important criterion will be whether, in the opinion of the Trustees, the funding sought will make a significant difference to the applicant’s prospects.

Hattori Foundation
Instrumental soloists between the ages of 15 and 20 who are resident in the UK and have demonstrated both exceptional talent and achievement may apply at any time of the year for financial assistance towards travelling expenses to attend national or international competitions, master classes within the UK or abroad and specific assistance in the case of hardship.

Additional Opportunities
You can find the details of other charitable organisations which can assist musicians of school age and details on the help musicians Funding Wizard.

Turn2Us is a general directory of grants but may help you identify local sources of funding for young musicians. For advice on applying to a charitable trust or foundation, visit the Association of Charitable Foundations.

Other sources of funding information include the British Music Education Yearbook, published annually by Rhinegold, and the Directory of Grant Making Trusts. Both resources can be found in your local library.


As a member of our Young Musicians Programme you (and your family) are entitled to a number of benefits.


Royal Northern Sinfonia offer £5 tickets to all under 18s for their RNS at Home concerts. If you receive a David Goldman bursary (for youth ensembles and Foundation Strings / Step Up), or a Music and Dance Scheme Grant (for the Centre for Advanced Training) then you are also entitled to a £5 ticket for your parent / guardian.

You may also be able to get £5 tickets on the day for their RNS Presents and RNS Nights Out series.

More detail on the ticket offers available for Royal Northern Sinfonia can be found here

For all ticket offers you will need to order via phone or in person, please let the member of ticket office staff know that you are a member of YMP – they will have you on their records and you shouldn’t need to provide evidence.


The car park at Sage Gateshead is situated behind the building. YMP participants are eligible to apply for a Car Park pass which allows them to park in Sage Gateshead car park for £2.00 during 8am-6pm and £2.00 during 6pm-11pm (this is classed as a new time period). Participants /parents should go to Ticket Office to get a Car Park pass. Car Park Passes are £6.50; £1.50 pays for the card and £5 will be placed onto the card to use at the car park.

Café Discount

Every YMP participant is entitled to a 10% discount in the café at Sage Gateshead. You can collect a card from the MEC reception which identifies you as a member.