This article was last updated on Dec. 2, 2014.
Music scholarships are highly competitive and can be hard to come by. But if you know where to look, you might be eligible for some substantial financial awards. In our current academic climate, financial assistance is, for most students, indispensable. We’ll get you started with a few of our favorite scholarships.
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In honor of Polish soprano Marcella Kochanska Sembrich, the Kosciuszko Foundation holds a singing competition with cash prizes of $3,000, $1,500 and $1,000. Participants must supply a biography, a photo, a $35 application check and 2 identical 10-minute repertoire CDs. Accepted contestants will attend auditions in New York City. To be eligible, applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 35.
The Jack Cooke Foundation awards up to $10,000 through its annual scholarship. Musicians ages 8 – 18 may apply. In order of priority, winners are selected based on musical achievement, financial need, academic performance and strength of character. Recipients will perform on “From the Top,” the Foundation’s NPR show, and be expected to design and implement an Arts Leadership program in his or her community.
Sigma Alpha Iota grants a $2,500 scholarship in honor of Bobbie Burk. The award goes to a graduate student studying conducting. To apply, students must be a member of SAI, in good financial standing and be current with national fees.
The American Foundation for the Blind offers a $1,000 scholarship to a female graduate or undergraduate student studying classical or religious music. Applicants must be legally blind, provide 2 letters of recommendation and provide a music performance on CD.
The Young Musicians Foundation holds an annual music contest, awarding scholarship prizes worth $500-$2,500. The competition is open to residents of southern California ages 9 – 26. Awards cans be used to pay for tuition, private instruction, music camp or festival attendance. Instrumentalists are welcome to apply until high school graduation. Vocalists may apply between the ages of 12 and 26.
The Community Fund of Middle Tennessee issues a scholarship to fine art and music students. College sophomores, juniors and seniors are welcome to apply. Applicants must be enrolled in at least 6 credit hours at an accredited college, university or institute. Preference is given to students pursing acoustic mandolin or acoustic guitar.
The Oregon Music Hall of Fame grants scholarships to graduating high school seniors pursuing a degree in music. The scholarship is only open to Oregon residents, and winners are chosen largely based on outstanding musical achievement.
The Warrick County Community Foundation offers a $910 scholarship to one male and one female graduating senior from Booneville High School in Warrick County, Indiana. Awards go to students who demonstrate aptitude in music or art. The application requires 2 letters of recommendation and a statement of aspirations.
The Pittsburgh Foundation assists graduating seniors at North Allegheny high school. The scholarship is open to students who have taken at least 2 music courses their junior and senior years and intend to pursue an education in a 2- or 4- year college or technical school. The minimum GPA for application is 2.5.
More ways to pay
The scholarships on this list are all great ways to help pay for college. But be sure to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid so you get other sources of financial aid, too. The FAFSA is the key to unlocking grants, work-study opportunities and even additional private scholarships. Learn more about the FAFSA.
Violin photo via Shutterstock.