ABRSM’s International Sponsorship Fund

We created our annual International Sponsorship Fund (ISF) in 2012 as part of our commitment to inspire musical achievement and support music education globally.  All chosen projects provide high quality musical training experiences, from performance opportunities to teacher development. The ISF particularly seeks to support projects that tackle barriers to accessing these opportunities. 

Thank you to all those who have applied for the International Sponsorship Fund 2022. The application period has now closed. 

Successful applicants will be notified directly and the announcement will be publicised here and across our social media channels.

Please email [email protected] if you require any further information.

2021 recipients

Our ISF 2021 recipients were chosen for their commitment to breaking down barriers to access, with a focus on musical tuition, music employment, social inclusion and psychological wellbeing.

BLUME Haiti uses the impact of music to change the life trajectory of musicians throughout Haiti. They work in partnership to develop leadership skills, awaken individual potential, and create opportunities for civic collaboration and economic development through the shared pursuit of musical excellence. 

In partnership with MOTUS, BLUME Haiti set up HOI in 2017, with the aim of bringing together 100 of Haiti’s most talented and dedicated musicians and teachers from around the country to receive intensive orchestral and instrumental training from MOTUS and the Music Director of the Utah Symphony, Thierry Fischer. The program is free for all participants, who gain the opportunity to join like-minded peers from across Haiti to work in sectionals, lessons, masterclasses and rehearsals with the seasoned professionals of the Utah Symphony and, of course, to present their work to the public in an exhilarating final concert.

As BLUME Haiti Executive Director Janet Anthony says, “Haiti has much to offer that is positive, hopeful and optimistic. This invaluable aid will help ensure the smooth running of a long-awaited Institute. The HOI sadly had to be cancelled in 2019 because of political unrest and in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic.  Musicians across Haiti are eagerly awaiting the resumption of what has become an incredibly important part of musical life in the country. ARBSM’s support will help make this possible. Mèsi anpil (thank you)!”

The Kenya Conservatoire of Music (KCM)’s director, Wandiri Karimi founded the KCM’s Women’s Orchestra in 2016, alongside the conductor and composer Keziah Ntwiga.  Their goal is to increase the significantly low representation of women of all age groups in the creative sector in Kenya. As the need for music and musicianship grows, so does the need for upskilling in music theory and instrumental musicianship.  The KCM applied for ABRSM’s International Sponsorship Fund to provide scholarships for women musicians at the Conservatoire. 

Wandiri says: “There is a need for diversification of activities and platforms for women to express themselves.  The value and respect for women in the society needs diverse forums to re-invent and redirect societal perspectives on what women do, or can do. To safeguard the value and rights of women and create opportunities for healing through music and connection, The Kenya Conservatoire Women's Orchestra is determined to advocate and build strong social nets, and create a platform in response to the above mentioned concerns.  We hope to achieve this through music and the mentoring of young women in leadership through scheduled rehearsals, team building and performances in 2021. We strive to bridge a generational understanding of, and awareness for, women empowerment through music.”

Harmony Project Phoenix is a non-profit organisation based in the USA that uses music as the means for social inclusion. The ISF 2021 has allowed the project to launch its first International Teaching Training Programme in partnership with Orquestra nas Escolas, the largest Sistema-inspired programme in Brazil.  Harmony Project Phoenix is designing and supporting the development and implementation of a systematic curriculum that will help meet urgent demand in Rio de Janeiro for music teaching staff.  It will initially serve over 100 string teachers in the Rio de Janeiro state through the 2021-2022 academic year with bilingual benchmarks for string pedagogy, lesson plans and online training sessions.  

Director and Co-Founder of Orquestra nas Escolas, Moana Martins says: “I know from my own personal experience that music can be a lifesaver. As we continue to expand Orquestra nas Escolas in Rio de Janeiro, the demand for structured instrumental music education curriculum has only grown. ABRSM sponsorship is allowing us to build the foundation of educational resources and teacher training programs that will directly impact the professional development of teachers in Brazil and eventually spark social change in the poorest areas of the Rio de Janeiro State.”

Compass Children’s Charity fund projects in Latin America and Mexico that have a meaningful and positive impact on at-risk, migrant and street children globally. They advocate for at-risk children, asking governments to provide protection, services and justice to children who are voiceless. The ISF 2021 is supporting Casa Alianza Nicaragua’s music project that proactively engages children in music workshops designed to support their emotional development and the development of new skills. It also works to repair damage caused to motor skills through prolonged solvent abuse on the streets and supports a detoxification process to prevent relapses. The aim is to allow children to be children who can, enjoy playing, growing and learning.   Director Iraíz Castillo says: “We believe in the development of the whole child. Music is vital in the development of interpersonal skills, physical and psychological wellbeing and provides a creative outlet for the children.”

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