Music Awards and Funding

Elizabeth Eagle-Bott Memorial Fund

Information about 2021 Awards

The Elizabeth Eagle-Bott Memorial Fund (EEBMF) is making some changes to the types of awards it offers for 2021. The EEBMF will be making available;

These changes have been made in order to support a greater number of blind and partially sighted musicians through the particular challenges of the pandemic while retaining the ability to support third party applications for projects to support blind and partially sighted musicians over the age of 18.

What will the Awards cover?

For individual blind and partially sighted musicians, the Awards may be used in the following ways. Priority will be given to applications which identify relevant and realistic aims, and which clearly explain the relevance of these to your regular musical work or activity.

  • Development of new musical projects suited to remote working and social distancing;

  • Purchase of mainstream and specialist equipment (software and hardware) to enable remote working, video conferencing, live streaming or other online development related to your musical work;

  • Training in the use of such equipment or in the use of digital technology and online platforms;

  • Tuition, professional development, mentoring, coaching or the acquisition of qualifications linked to your current or planned musical activities.

  • Business mentoring and coaching to enable greater resilience during periods of isolation and home-working;

  • Financial hardship directly attributable to Covid-19 to cover immediate living costs.

For third parties making applications on behalf of blind and partially sighted musicians, the EEBMF will continue to consider applications for projects, resources, training and activities to support blind and partially sighted musicians over the age of 18.

Please note that priority will be given to applications from individuals this year.

What the Awards will not cover

The Awards are not intended to reimburse lost earnings for specific work, nor to pay for ongoing costs associated with day-to-day musical work and activities. 

Applicants are expected to have explored alternative sources of funding where possible.

Who can apply?

The Awards are open to blind and partially sighted musicians, resident in the UK. Priority will be given to those who earn the majority of their income from music in a self-employed capacity.

Previous awardees and applicants to the EEBMF are welcome to apply.

How to apply

In order to apply for an Award from the EEBMF, please complete either Application form A (for blind and partially sighted individuals) or Application form B (for third party applications) which are available from [email protected] and email this back to [email protected] by no later than noon on Wednesday 31 March 2021.

When will I hear about my application?

Applicants will be notified during the week of 19 April with interviews to be held on Tuesday 11 May via Zoom.

Further information

For any further information, or to discuss a possible application, please contact [email protected].  

Background to the Elizabeth Eagle-Bott Memorial Fund

Miss Elizabeth Eagle-Bott’s great interest was music. She learnt to play the organ in her sixties. She then played for her parish church for twenty years. Her desire to assist young musicians who are visually impaired arose from her attending an organ recital given by a student, who was blind, at the Royal College of Music. She appreciated that there are additional costs to be met in preparing for a career in music for students with little or no vision. Through her generous bequest, blind and partially sighted people who are musicians, or who aspire to be musicians, can receive substantial financial support.

The first phase of this award, from 2000 to 2009, allocated almost £100,000 to young classical musicians with a particular focus on preparing them for paid employment in the music business. The second phase of this award, from 2010 to 2015, spent just under £200,000 on a broader basis, including supporting third parties working on behalf of blind and partially sighted musicians. Applicants were also asked to consider the community impact of their bids.  

The EEB fund has enabled the website Raised Bar to develop the SurfaceReader application which provides improved speech feedback from any audio production program on Windows or Mac OSX when used in conjunction with a MIDI control surface. Control surfaces are hardware devices that allow more natural manipulation of music/audio data by providing buttons, knobs and faders which are more appropriate for performing these kinds of interactions. SurfaceReader is an on-going project, with new features and more devices being added as new hardware becomes available.

Thanks to funding from EEB, MuseScore has included the main features needed to produce Modified Stave Notation (MSN) in its latest release, version two, of its free music notation package, visit the MuseScore website for more information. For more information about MSN, please see the relevant links on the UKAAF website and the RNIB Music Advisory Service


The Amber Trust

The Amber Trust was set up in 1995 to help blind and partially sighted children up to the age of 18, including those with additional disabilities, to access and enjoy music. Each year, the Amber Trust aims to raise around £100,000 to help as many children as possible reach their full potential. To enable blind or partially sighted children, from toddlers to teenagers, to access the music they enjoy, the Amber Trust provides funding for:

  • music lessons
  • music therapy sessions
  • the purchase of musical instruments
  • software or other equipment
  • concert tickets
  • travel related to musical activities.

For more information or to request an application form, please email [email protected] or visit the Amber Trust website.

The Webster and Davidson Mortification for the Blind

The Webster and Davidson Mortification for the Blind was set up by the Scottish legal firm Thornton’s to assist blind and partially sighted young people. The Trust's annual income provides a Musical Education Award and funding towards educational visits. 

The Trustees give awards to blind and partially sighted people to support their learning and appreciation of music, generally, but not exclusively, at secondary level of school study or further education or degree study. Recipients are usually awarded bursaries (normally tenable for one year with the possibility of renewal) and also in the form of grants for specific musical purposes. The trusts funds are not extensive and preference will be given to persons resident, or normally resident, in Scotland.

A PDF application form is available to download directly from Thornton’s Law LLP Website. Applications must be made in writing by 31 March each year.  


Help Musicians UK

Help Musicians UK is the leading independent charity in the UK helping musicians throughout their careers and their lives. HMUK offers practical, positive support to emerging, professional and retired musicians – whatever the genre. The charity’s Health and Welfare Team help existing professionals who, due to an unforeseen circumstance, need support. HMUK also help with long-term or terminal illness, musicians in retirement and those needing special help as they grow older.

In an ever-changing music industry, the Creative Team is determined to help musicians succeed without facing impossible financial barriers. The Creative Programme’s support is delivered in two main ways: tailored schemes offering funding directly to individuals and groups, and development opportunities offered by partner organisations, funded or part-funded by Help Musicians UK. 

For further information

Other sources of funding

In addition to the above funds, RNIB has a page containing details of grants from other organisations which can help with financial assistance.