The first round of the Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians (MFYM) has allocated 100 children aged between seven and 11 with scholarships worth a total £400,000.
Recipients are from families who struggle to pay for music lessons and the scholarships involve four hours of weekly tuition for up to four years.
In addition to this, they will be given a personal music mentor and the chance to perform in solo concerts and ensembles and attend Saturday morning music centres. They will also have access to instruments if they cannot afford to buy them. The pupils had to show their potential for playing their chosen instrument and commitment to learning it.
“These are the most talented students who would have to stop learning without our support,” explained Ginny Greenwood, the chief executive of MFYM. She added that by 2016, up to 1,000 young people will be supported through the fund.
London mayor Boris Johnson, who is a founder patron of the MFTM, said that learning a musical instrument “can have a powerful impact on a child’s life, helping in their social, emotional and academic development”.
“Sadly, too many families in London cannot afford to pay for music lessons, even for very talented children,” he added.
“By investing in these scholarships and partnerships programmes, the fund will be enriching the lives of thousands of children and also make sure London remains the top city in the world for all kinds of music. I wish these talented young people every success.”
However, the fund must raise up to £1 million through a series of events this year in order to continue the scholarships.
Young musicians aged under 18 can also apply for one of six Music Partnerships under a £100,000 project by the MFYM. It will provide opportunities for students to learn and perform with professional musicians in the capital, including those at London’s biggest orchestras.