Musical talent is everywhere but opportunity isn't: family finances and other obstacles too often get in the way. We're here to change this.

Musical talent is everywhere but opportunity isn't: family finances and other obstacles too often get in the way. We're here to change this.

We're Awards for Young Musicians (AYM)

For 25 years, we've supported talented young people from low income families, helping them to overcome financial and social barriers. Whatever the genre or style, our programmes help young musicians from across the UK to fulfil their musical potential.

Whether funding instruments, lessons or transport, expanding their musical networks or giving them opportunities to perform, we do everything we can to give individual support to young people in need.

Our programmes not only sustain musical journeys, we also help others to identify and nurture talent wherever they find it.

AYM are a proud member of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of funded organisations for 2023-2026 and one of eight new National Youth Music Organisations.

In 2023 we're:

Supporting 800 young people across our programmes
Granting over £160,000 in Awards and Bursaries to our young people
Providing more than 200 musical opportunities and events.
Training over 1,000 teachers how to identify musical talent and potential.

We’re excited to announce that we’re once again taking part in The Big Give 2023 Christmas Challenge! Donations made to our appeal from 12 noon on Tuesday 28 November to 12 noon Tuesday 5 December will be doubled! In 2023 we want to help more young musicians through the Awards Programme. One donation, twice the impact! Will you help us and give talent a chance?

The Online Individual Learning Plan

Awards for Young Musicians and Charanga have developed a dynamic and exciting new tool that supports young people’s independent music learning and progression. The Online Individual Learning Plan – or Online-ILP for short – sits within Yumu, Charanga’s student-facing learning space and brings a new dimension to the student – teacher learning relationship. Using our Online-ILP tool, teachers and students will be able to explore a wide range of musical activities, and agree goals and targets together, based on each student’s interests and needs.

JUST ANNOUNCED: Free online introductory CPD sessions will be held on the 5th or 7th of December at 16:30. Click here to register.

Who we are

We support talented young musicians from low-income families throughout the UK, helping them to overcome financial and social barriers in their musical journeys.

How we help

Offering individual support to young people, our programmes sustain young people's musical progress and help teachers identify and nurture talent wherever they find it.

How you can help

AYM is a charity. Donations of time, effort and financial contributions from funders, donors and supporters are what keep us going.

Opportunities in your area

We’ve established a network of experts across the music education sector in England. We’re calling them ‘Connectors’ and their role is to connect young people and families with musical opportunities and information.

Free teacher training

Giving teachers the tools they need to identify those with talent and potential, especially in whole class or larger group settings. Available via Music Hubs, Multi Academy Trusts, individual schools and other organisations.


Our financial support is available to young musicians until they turn 18, however that's not necessarily the end of the journey. We love to stay connected with our Alumni and many go on to to be involved in other AYM events and programmes.

"In the 20+ years since AYM's founding, when I became its very first Patron, much has changed in music education. AYM has changed too, and is now a significant player in the sector, where it focuses on those most in need. This work is made possible thanks to the ever-growing support of donors and funders across the UK. Sadly AYM's help is now needed more than ever as the arts are increasingly sidelined in schools and music funding constantly threatened.

I'm extremely proud of the transformative difference our charity has made to so many young people's musical future."

Sir Simon Rattle OM CBE
Founding Patron

Photographer: Oliver Helbig

News and Stories

2 days ago

“I don’t envisage a time in my life when I will stop playing violin, and I plan on making music a part of my career.” 

Music has always been 15 year old Maisie’s core passion.   She started playing the violin when she was six years…

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Dr Linda Beeley Award

AYM are delighted to launch the Dr Linda Beeley Awards to support young classical musicians. Dr Linda Beeley says “I…

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1 week ago

Awards Day 2023 at BBC Maida Vale Studios

On Sunday 29  October young musicians on our Awards Programme came together at the legendary BBC Maida Vale Studios for…

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Funded by UK Gov-01_1
Youth Music 2019
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living wage employer