2020 Awards programme

We’ve welcomed 193 young musicians to our 2020 Awards programme. This is the highest number in our 22 year history, as we received a record number of eligible applications this year. Thanks to our generous donors and funders we have offered over £100,000 in Awards.

Each young person will receive a means-tested grant of up to £2000 to pay for key musical costs such as instruments, equipment, music lessons and travel, plus support to cater to their individual circumstances.

Our Awards programme is specifically designed to help young people with exceptional musical potential from lower income families in the UK. The news therefore comes at a poignant time, as the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the financial challenges faced by many families.

Our Chief Executive Hester Cockcroft comments:

“We’re delighted to announce this year’s Award winners. Musical talent is everywhere, but more than ever, opportunity isn’t. AYM is here to change this and our Awards programme is vital in helping enable talented young people in financial need achieve their musical potential. We’re very much looking forward to working with them!”

Our 2020 Award winners represent a spectrum of musical interests, genres and mediums. This year’s instrumentalist Award winners range from students of violin and piano through to the electric guitar and drums, to Irish bodhrán and Andean charango. We’ve also increased our support for young people creating original music, from classical composers to songwriters and electronic music producers. 

In total we received 392 eligible applications. With funds available we were able to support 193 of these young people. Our independent adjudication panel had some very hard decisions to make. Sadly we cannot support all deserving young musicians.


To have been eligible to apply for an Award this year a young person must be between the age of 5 and 17 on 31 August 2020.



Special education needs and disability

Young people/parents/carers were given the option to let us know if the young person considers themselves to have any special educational needs or disability:

UK country/region

All applicants

Award winners


We asked young musicians to tell us about the genres of music they make. The graphs show the percentage of young musicians who selected each genre (they could tell us about as many as they wanted). They were also able to tell us about other genres of music, which we’ve shown in the word cloud below.

All applicants

Award winners

Other genres


Our 2020 Award winners play the following instruments or use the following medium to make music.


We take a wide view of what a musical cost is and each Award is tailored to the individual. We have grouped the Awards broadly into the following categories:

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