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International Sponsorship Fund

The International Sponsorship Fund was created in 2012 as part of ABRSM's commitment to inspire musical achievement and support music education for people from all across the world.

The fund is open to organisations outside the UK and Ireland that provide musical training, performance opportunities and teacher development, particularly where there are barriers to accessing these opportunities.

Applications are now closed for the 2019 fund.

2018 recipients

This year's recipients represent the range of programmes that organisations run globally to give young learners opportunities to access music tuition and develop their musical skills.

Santa Maria Foundation, Colombia

The Santa Maria Foundation works to empower young orphaned, abandoned and underprivileged girls in Colombia to restore their self-esteem, giving them a platform and the confidence to advance in life and fulfil their potential. The orphanage currently supports the personal development of 165 girls, aged 5-16. 

ABRSM’s sponsorship will support its music education programme, which provides all the girls with instruments and music lessons. In particular, it'll enable the foundation to offer training for music educators. As well as developing musical skills, the programme aims to build the girls’ confidence and ability to learn in other areas of their development.

"The girls at Santa Maria Foundation will benefit greatly from this collaboration with ABRSM, both in their current musical education and by broadening their minds", said Lady Yomara Rodriguez Cardenas, the director of Santa Maria Foundation. "This will have huge benefits for their personal growth, for their community and for future generations here. By being able to continue with their musical education, the contribution from ABRSM will have untold benefits for many years to come. We are deeply grateful to ABRSM for collaborating with us to support underprivileged and orphaned girls in Colombia."

The Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, Singapore

The Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra's mission is to nurture Singapore’s pre-professional orchestral musicians by giving them a platform to transition into the professional music industry.

It aims to become Singapore's next semi-professional, home-grown orchestra, targeting the music community and the wider public to cultivate an appreciation for orchestral music by educating audiences through their musical endeavours. 

The orchestra's 2018 season will provide opportunities for young musicians to plan and execute orchestral concerts. These involve an eclectic mix of under-performed works alongside orchestral classics that are assimilated with the orchestra's trademark curated concerts, opening with Toru Takemitsu’s From Me Flows What You Call Time coupled with Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No.9 – From the New World.  

ABRSM’s sponsorship will help musical mentors from the profession to impart both technical skills in instrumental training and soft skills like teamwork within the orchestra – key factors that encourage musical progression in young musicians. 

“I'd like to offer my personal gratitude for ABRSM’s generous support, which has allowed us to focus our energies on music-making of the highest levels”, said Alvin Seville Arumugam, Music Director.

Child’s Play India

Founded in 2009, Child’s Play India is a music charity that seeks to instil positive values and provide social empowerment to India’s disadvantaged children through teaching classical music of the highest standard. It currently teaches violin, viola, cello, recorder, transverse flute, piano and choir to over 120 children in Goa.

The foundation has recently launched an ambitious project that aims to build a new generation of cellists. For a country of over a billion people, India has very few home-grown cellists and therefore just a handful of experienced and qualified cello teachers.

In the short term, the project will hire more experienced teachers to continue to support the local children. ABRSM’s grant will contribute to the cost of music lessons and buying instruments, books and music as part of the programme.

“I'm delighted that ABRSM will support our music education projects for disadvantaged children in Goa", said founder and project director Dr Luis Dias. "We have over 120 children learning violin, viola, cello, flute, recorder, piano and choir. Our big focus this year is our ambitious cello project, and we're happy that ABRSM’s gift to us will help pay for music lessons and cellos for our children."

West Coast Youth Orchestra, South Africa

The West Coast Youth Orchestra is a culturally diverse, non-profit organisation that has provided music outreach and development educational programmes to young people in South Africa's West Coast since 1996.

It believes that any musician should have the chance to take part in music education programmes regardless of their background, ability or socioeconomic status. Students from different cultures participate in five interlocking training and development programmes that encourage imaginative thinking and creativity, and foster an appreciation for their cultural heritage, as well as for others'. 

ABRSM’s sponsorship will support the ongoing music tuition that the orchestra provides in their music education and outreach programmes. These programmes include tuition at Diazille Primary School, the orchestral tutoring programme, its jazz band, its bursary programme and its skills programme, which helps students without prior musical training gain skills for tertiary-level studies.


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