About Our Bursaries

We fund bursaries through three different access channels :

1) Via Our Music Education Charity Partners

Every year the Trust funds a number of bursaries for applicants living in Surrey and the South East selected by our Partners Awards for Young Musicians (AYM) and Future Talent.

Applicants for these awards which are each worth £500 per annum should apply to AYM and Future Talent directly.

More information about these awards, the award criteria  and application process can be found here.

2) Via Surrey Arts

Surrey Arts have been providing young people in Surrey instrumental music lessons for over 50 years and currently teach thousands of students in schools across the county. Parents and carers can request support when they apply for lessons which Surrey Arts then recommend to us.

3) Via Direct Applications

Any child or parent can apply to us directly for financial support.

The funding criteria for bursaries awarded via Surrey Arts and via Direct Applications are described below in Who we Support and What we Support.

Who We Support
Financial Criteria

We believe that all young people should be able to experience the joy of making music. None should be precluded from doing so due to financial barriers. We focus on helping young people who would not otherwise have music opportunities because of financial constraints.
We currently apply the following funding criteria:

• Annual gross combined family income should normally be at or below £30,000 but exceptions will be considered.

• Applicants are unlikely to be eligible if either…
  - annual gross family income exceeds £40,000 except in very exceptional circumstances OR
  - where government or other public funding for lessons is available (for example, through Surrey Arts where pupils qualify for free school meals).

We will require appropriate evidence of income or relevant financial circumstances for direct bursary applications before providing funds and require the organisations we work with (e.g. Surrey Arts) to do likewise. Typical evidence would be 3 months’ of payslips or most recent tax self-assessment income summary

The Trust normally provides co-funding. We will usually award bursaries covering 50% of costs with families or guardians normally expected to provide the other 50% of costs. Funding up to 75% may be available for households with significantly lower income levels.

Ability and Progression

The Cheryl King Trust believes in music for all. Applicants can be at any level of ability and any stage of music progression from beginner to advanced. The Trust aims to fund a mix of abilities and progression levels.

We expect a reasonable level of commitment and participation from students receiving bursaries and will ask music teachers for reports on pupils to confirm ongoing commitment and participation.


For Surrey Arts and direct applications the Trust supports applicants living in Surrey. Applicants living in London and the South East will only be considered by exception.

Where we support bursaries through our charity partners, we prefer to support candidates who live in Surrey, and will consider applicants who live in London or the South East but only by exception elsewhere in the UK.


The Trust believes in music for all and funds children and young people at or under the age of 18. Applicants can be at any level of ability and any stage of music progression from beginner to advanced.  The Trust aims to fund a mix of abilities and progression levels.

Lesson Duration and Student Skill Levels

We would normally expect beginners to start with 20-minute lessons however there is no cap on duration of lessons, or student skill level but lesson length is expected to be at the appropriate level for the stage of learning. The Trust primarily funds lessons for students at beginner and intermediate level but bursaries may also be available to students at an advanced level. Alternative funding for advanced students may also be available from AYM, Future Talent and other organisations.

What We Support

Our main focus is co-funding group or individual instrumental lessons provided by any professional music teacher (whether or not linked to Surrey Arts).

However we will also consider applications to co-fund  costs and fees for

> exams

> accompanists for exams

> participation in music courses, workshops and ensembles normally where applicants are receiving regular tuition (whether or not funded by the Trust)

The trust does not currently fund

> theory lessons or theory exams

> instrument hire or purchase.

> applications to commence music lessons where the primary purpose appears to be to meet requirements of the GCSE syllabus (although this exclusion may be waived in exceptional cases and the exclusion does not affect the continued funding of students already taking lessons who go on to do GCSE music).

We require that all applicants for bursaries are taught by suitable music teachers or music leaders who must be named in the application. The assessment of whether a teacher is suitable depends on experience, professional qualifications, DBS disclosure, membership of professional associations, safeguarding policies, independence and teaching rates (which must be reasonable and in line with market rates).

Monitoring, retention and assessing progress

At the end of each academic year we receive a report from the teacher covering musical ability, approach to learning and overall progress.  This report is taken into account for any reapplication. 

Click here for details how to apply.