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Value                                      Up to US$12,000

Themes                                  Music Making, Leisure and Wellbeing OR Community Music

Duration                                1 to 3 years

Application deadline            June 21st each year

Results announced              August each year

Apply                                      Application form and brief CV


ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grants provide funding for one to three years to individuals or teams to support projects that have a significant community development component. Proposed projects should advance knowledge of the diverse ways in which people involve themselves in recreational music activities, and how knowledge of their involvement might better inform music learning and teaching practices.

The grants enable the development of new projects that may involve, but are not limited to:

  • developing community music programs, research and/or related activities in music education, including the meaningful involvement of music educators and community partners; or 
  • designing and implementing new approaches in community music for music education that may result in best practices or models that either can be adapted by others or have the potential to be scaled up to a regional, national or international level. 

Community music development projects may involve local, national and/or international collaboration. Proposals should identify how projects might better inform music learning and teaching practices.


Music Making, Leisure and Wellbeing

Throughout history, people have made music, alone or with others, for reasons of personal enjoyment and wellbeing. As an organization that “believes that lived experiences of music, in all their many aspects, are a vital part of the life of all people,” ISME seeks proposals that will advance its mission of increasing knowledge of the ways in which people learn to satisfy their “diverse musical needs, interests, and capacities,” especially as these pertain to opportunities that lead people to “participate actively in various aspects of music [that are] essential for the wellbeing of the individual and Society.”

Community Music

Consciously organized community music activities have become a global phenomenon. The growing internationalization of the field has brought with it insights from cultural contexts that have both expanded and challenged accepted approaches, priorities and ideas regarding what is labelled “community music.” These emerging voices, agendas and contexts indicate that the field is continuing to expand, diversify and mature. As a practice welded so closely to the environment in which it takes place, the growth and development of community music has occurred in different contexts for different reasons. As such, the term “community music” can be understood in a variety of ways, reflecting a myriad of possible contexts and musical situations.

Value and Duration

ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grants are valued at up to $12,000 over one to three years.


Applications must be submitted by the applicant (Project Leader). Applicants (and Co-applicants if any) must be members of ISME.

ISME aims to optimize the use of resources available for members to access. Therefore, ISME will not fund the same project or research-related activity with more than one grant at the same time.

Report Requirement

The ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grant holder (Project Leader) will be required to report on the use of grant funds each year during the period of the grant, and on outcomes at the end of the grant period. Successful applicants will be informed of reporting requirements upon receiving their Notice of Award.

Application Process

Applicants must complete the application form and follow the accompanying instructions. Applicants are also required to submit a brief CV (1-2 pages). Applications must be submitted electronically by email  on or before the deadline.

Evaluation and Adjudication

ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grant applications are adjudicated, and available funds are awarded, through a competitive process. ISME is committed to ensuring high-quality adjudication of all proposals.

ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grants are adjudicated by members of the ISME Board. The exact number and composition of review committees will be determined by the number and nature of proposals received. Members of the ISME Board involved in the review process, if not in a conflict of interest with the applicant or any team members, are asked to evaluate the proposal based on the evaluation criteria below. 

Committee members read all applications submitted by a given closing date. Members, as a group, then evaluate and rank all the proposals assigned to their committee. 

ISME makes funding decisions based on the recommendations of the adjudication committee and on the funds available. Committee discussions will be guided by the principle of minimum essential funding.

Evaluation Criteria and Scoring

The following criteria and scoring schemes are used by the adjudication committees to evaluate ISME-NAMM Community Music Development Grant applications:

Relevance: The aim and importance of the endeavor to furthering ISME’s mission and building on and maintaining ISME’s Core Values – (50%):

  • originality or significance of the proposed project;
  • potential for the project to have influence and impact within music education locally, nationally and/or internationally.

Feasibility: The plan to achieve viable and meaningful outcomes (20%):

  • probability that the project objectives will be met within the timeline proposed;
  • appropriateness of the requested budget and justification of proposed costs; 
  • indications of financial and in-kind contributions for other sources, where appropriate;
  • appropriateness of the strategies for conducting the activity/activities proposed.

Capability: The expertise to succeed (30%):

  • quality, quantity and significance of past experience and published and/or other outputs of the applicant and any co-applicants relative to their roles in the project and their respective stages of career;
  • potential of the project in terms of future funding and sustainability plans beyond the initial development phase.

Scoring table

Adjudication committee members assign a score for each of the three criteria based on the scoring table below. The appropriate weighting is then applied to arrive at a final score. Applications must receive a score of 3.0 or higher for each of the three criteria to be recommended for funding. 

Score Descriptor


Very good - excellent


Good - very good


Satisfactory - good

Below 3


Communication of Results

The applicant (Project Leader) will be informed of the competition results by email within two months of the application deadline. All applicants will receive, in addition to ISME’s notice of decision, a summary of the adjudication committee’s evaluation of their proposal, where applicable. 

How to apply

Applications will be managed online. More information coming soon.

Contact Information

For more information about the ISME-NAMM Foundation Community Music Development Grants funding opportunity, please contact the Secretary General.