Trinity's Music & Drama Access Fund 2023 is now open

Trinity's Music & Drama Access Fund 2023 is now open

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BY: Kat Stapley-Smith
10 January 2023

The Music & Drama Access Fund 2023 is now open for applications!

The Music & Drama Access Fund provides small grants for Trinity candidates (via their teacher/Access Fund applicant), based in the UK & Ireland, who experience barriers to accessing our Music and Drama qualifications. These barriers could include having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, living in areas of rural isolation and/or socio-economic deprivation, being in a specific minority group, and more. The grant will be used in order to help these candidates achieve one of our Music or Drama qualifications.

In 2022, we were able to approve 47 applications to support over 180 individuals facing barriers to music and drama education from all across the UK, and in 2023 we hope to be able to fund even more!

Who can apply?

Applications for candidates looking for a grant to support their work towards a Trinity Music or Drama qualification must be nominated by a music or drama teacher/tutor or other appropriate person/professional who is familiar with their background and why they experience barriers to accessing our qualifications. Candidates cannot nominate themselves or be put forward by someone they are related to.

Who can the grant be applied for?

The Access Fund grant is open to:

  • individual candidates
  • groups of candidates working towards the same group exam, such as one of our Group Drama or Music Certificate exams
  • groups of individual candidates who are all working towards different exams but are being nominated by the same applicant.

The Access Fund grant is only open to candidates based in the UK & Ireland.

How much can we apply for?

You can apply for a maximum of £1,500 per group or £300 per candidate (or equivalent in Euros for applicants from the Republic of Ireland).

What can the grant money be spent on?

The grant can be spent on (but is not limited to) any of the following:

  • exam fees
  • contributions towards the cost of lessons
  • contributions towards the cost of musical instrument hire or purchase, where appropriate
  • other relevant equipment/materials needed (replacement strings, reeds, drum sticks, props, etc.)
  • equipment hire, where appropriate
  • sheet music, books or play scripts
  • an accompanist
  • exam venue hire (for private centres only)
  • travel to exam venue.

If there is something else that does not appear on this list which your candidate/s need the grant money for, please detail this in your application.

What can't the grant money be spent on?

The grant cannot be spent on the following:

  • core costs e.g. overheads
  • refreshments (apart from in exceptional cases)
  • advertising
  • purchase of equipment where renting/hiring is a more cost-effective option
  • training/CPD for candidates' teachers
  • exams that have already taken place
  • exams that are taking place within 6 weeks of the application deadline
  • activities that are not clearly linked to a candidate working towards a Trinity College London Music or Drama qualification.

Useful tips

The Access Fund is very competitive as we have a limited budget and receive more applications than we’re able to fund, so please ensure you write detailed responses to the questions – especially for those that are scored. The more information you can give us, the better understanding we will have of your application.  

We need to have a clear idea of who the person is you are applying for; what their musical journey has been so far, and how the barriers they're experiencing are limiting their achievements.

If you're making multiple applications, you should aim to make each one as unique to the individuals concerned as possible, in order for the selection panel to be able to clearly identify and distinguish between the merits of each. Where it is evident that text from one application has been repeatedly copied and pasted across others, all entries from that applicant will automatically be declined.

We ask applicants to note that the Access Fund is designed to fund candidates on a short-term basis; it should not be considered a long-term funding stream. Our ethos is to try and award grants to as many different eligible candidates as possible so applicants should be aware that applications received for candidates who have previously been in receipt of a Music & Drama Access Fund grant may have this taken into consideration.

How do we apply?

Applications are made via an online application form. Please see the Trinity website for details including guidance notes, budget template and brand new videos explaining what the Access Fund is, how to apply and what happens after you apply.

The deadline for applications is Friday 17 February 2023.

What if I have more questions?

You can email the Access Fund Manager at or call 020 7820 6177.

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