How did the Universal Music UK Sound Foundation start?

Universal Music UK Sound Foundation (UMUKSF) was formally known as EMI Music Sound Foundation (EMI MSF) and is an independent music education charity, established in 1997 to celebrate the centenary of EMI Records and to improve young people’s access to music education in the UK & Ireland.


Who can apply for a UMUKSF grant ?

Individuals in full time education to fund musical instrument/equipment purchase.
Schools to fund music education in the form of instruments, equipment and workshops (with the exception of statutory national curriculum music teaching).
Music teachers working within schools to fund courses and training.

What kind of resources do you fund?

Individuals can apply for funds towards musical instruments, equipment and sheet music. This includes computer equipment and software where vital to a music-related course.
Schools can apply for workshops and resources which will allow ongoing development of their music department.
Music teachers working within schools can apply for funding towards a recognised course, training or a qualification to aid their career progression.
We do not fund music lessons or peripatetic teachers.

How much money can we request ?

The maximum funding we award is £1,500 per applicant. The Foundation has limited funds and while we would like to help everybody, due to the high demand for funding, regrettably it is unlikely we will be able to meet your funding request in full and therefore strongly advise for you to apply to other funders for assistance. Please see the resources pages of our website for our ‘Other Charities that can help’ document.

How do I apply ?

Please visit the ‘Apply for Funding’ page of our website to see which type of funding is relevant to you, then read the instructions and complete an application form. The webpage includes the submission deadline date and a list of all supporting documents that must be submitted with the application.

What geographical area does UMUKSF cover ?

UMUKSF accepts applications from students, schools and teachers from the United Kingdom & Ireland.

Where do I send my application ?

Please complete the application from the link on the relevant page of our website. You will get a notification to confirm it was submitted and the option to keep a copy of the application. Please do this so you have it to refer to should you need it at a later date.

What criteria do the selection panel use ?

The Trustees will look at all of the information that you provide, therefore it is important that you complete all the questions on the application form in full. If you are applying as an individual the trustees pay particular attention to your reference, so do ensure your referee fully explains your abilities, progress and your need for the new instrument/equipment.

What is the next deadline for applications ?

Deadlines are given on the application form.

I have received an offer of funding from UMUKSF (previously known as EMI Music Sound Foundation) before. Can I apply again ?

Applicants who apply for funding are required to wait for 12 months/two clear trustee meetings (March and October) before they can apply again. If you are unsure of the date you are able to re-apply, please contact the office.

Can I apply again if I have not been successful ?

Yes you can apply again, however you will need to wait for two trustee meetings (March & October) to pass before re-applying. If you are unsure of the date you are able to re-apply, please contact the office.

I have been given an award, what do I do now ?

Congratulations! Please follow the instructions that were sent with your offer to acknowledge your award and claim the funding.

The deadline for claiming your award is included in your offer email and attachments. If the funding has not been claimed by the deadline it will automatically be withdrawn and will no longer be available, so please ensure you claim the donation in time.

I am ready to buy my instrument and/or equipment

Please refer back to the instructions that were included with your offer email to claim our donation.

I have been given an award but still need more funds, what can I do?

On our application form we suggest that you also apply to other charities for support as there are so many worthy candidates applying for financial assistance and sadly we can’t help everyone as much as we would like to.

If you need help finding the right charities, please see our spreadsheet ‘Other charities that can help’ on the resources page of our website.

Can I buy from eBay or other online sites ?

We have had applicants buy from eBay and other websites in the past.

You will need to contact the seller and explain to them about the award and ask them if:

1) they are willing to wait up to 30 working days (Mon-Fr) for payment
2) if they will accept a bank transfer, we cannot make payments via paypal.

If they accept the conditions please contact the Foundation and we can advise the next steps.

Can I change the use of my award ?

If your circumstances have changed and you find that you have a different need than that detailed on your application form, in special circumstances, we do consider change of use of awards.

You will need to email the details of how you would now like to use our award and the reasons behind the change to the email address given on you offer letter. This request will then be sent to the Trustees for approval and we will get back to you with the outcome.

I sent in my claim, where are my funds ?

Once we have all the required documents we will add your request to our payment run. It can take up to 30 working days (Monday to Friday) for a payment to be processed and sent to the supplier. We will contact you to confirm when the payment has been made.

Can you send the award to me personally ?

We can only send payments to the supplier and are unable make any payments to the applicant.

What if my instrument/equipment is second hand ?

Please follow the instructions outlined on the instructions which were included with our offer email.


What is a Universal Music UK Sound Foundation (UMUKSF) bursary ?

The Trustees of UMUKSF have awarded funds as bursaries for music students to 11 music colleges/organisations. The bursaries are distributed at each college/organisation’s discretion based on criteria provided by UMUKSF.

We do not accept applications for bursary funding, so please see the ‘Apply for Funding’ page for further information and contact details of each college.

How much money can I get ?

We provide funds to each bursary partner and they will decide how to distribute it.

How do I apply ?

The Foundation does not accept applications from students, please contact the college directly using the contact information on our ‘Apply for Funding’ page to enquire about their application process.

How can I let you know what I am up to ?

If we have awarded you funds in the past or you are a previous or current bursary student we would love to hear what you are up to and events you are involved in. Please keep in contact with us by sending us your stories and news via our contact form or by email to


How do I contact UMUKSF?

You can contact us in writing at or by phone on 0203 932 6101

How do I make a complaint?

Any complaints can be sent in writing to and will be passed to the Chief Executive who will aim to resolve the issue in the first instance. If this is not possible the complaint may be escalated to board level. Time scales for resolving the complaint will be communicated throughout the process.