Brass for Africa © Geoffrey Schied

ABRSM Grants Empower Global Grassroots Music Initiatives in 2024

Brass teachers in Africa, young composers in the Caribbean and ‘at risk’ children in Guatemala are to benefit from an ABRSM fund reaching out to grassroots music projects around the world.

ABRSM’s Play On sponsorship fund is celebrating its second year with a new round of grants supporting eight very different music projects in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The eight also include a Mozambique initiative using music to enhance life skills and future employment opportunities for children and young people; a Kenyan project which will use its ABRSM grant to stage workshops and buy instruments for children living in the area’s poorest neighbourhoods, and a South African project supporting the musical progress of disabled musicians.

ABRSM Chief Executive, Chris Cobb said:

“Play On funding is about championing a music education that is high quality, engaging, diverse and inclusive. It can help get an exciting music project up and running, or take an existing project to the next level. Our 2024 grants will support a broad range of initiatives and we’re excited to see how these projects develop and play a role in opening up opportunities for more people to experience a life with music.”

ABRSM launched Play On last year to support, inspire and connect grassroots music learning projects and build on the success of the charity’s previous International Sponsorship Fund (ISF) by supporting more organisations to help people make progress in music learning.

It aims to make the programme a platform for cultural exchange, providing opportunities for Play On recipients to connect, share best practice and learn from each another.

Alison Cox OBE, Founder & Chair of Trustees for The Commonwealth Resounds which helps deliver the grant scheme, said: “The Commonwealth Resounds is delighted and proud to be administering ABRSM’s Play On fund, and it is a pleasure to be able to support the work of eight inspiring, deserving musical partners around the world.

“The efforts of our partners will make a real difference to musical education and create exciting opportunities for young people. We shall follow their progress with great interest and celebrate their achievements wholeheartedly.”

Information on how and when to submit applications for the 2025 Play On fund will be shared via the ABRSM website and social media channels later this year.

The impacts of last year’s grants have been felt by many hundreds of children around the world, with one grantee, Harmony Kenya Foundation, delivering theory and recorder lessons for 1,600 students at Westlands Primary School in Nairobi and providing music teaching training for teachers keyboards and instrument accessories.