The cost of acquiring an undergraduate degree is rising. Students with limited financial capability may find it difficult to cover the increase in tuition fees. However, high school students pursuing a music major or who have a talent for music can receive financial assistance, as there are several music scholarships for high school students.
Even if you’re a prospective student and not an undergraduate student already, we’re sure you’re aware that the amount of debt caused by federal student loans is staggering. Scholarships are an opportunity for students in good academic standing to receive funding that they don’t have to pay back. In this article, we will discuss the best music scholarships in 2022 and how to get a music scholarship.
What Is a Music Scholarship?
A music scholarship is an academic scholarship that grants money to students who have exceptional musical talent as a vocalist or an instrumentalist and are looking to get into the music business. It alleviates the financial burden on music students, allowing them to focus on improving their skills. There is a wide range of scholarships for music majors and eligibility requirements vary with each organization. Read on for a top 10 list of music scholarships that can be granted to eligible students.
The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the cost of a college education grew by 28 percent in 2020 in public colleges and by 19 percent in private, non-profit schools. A music scholarship can help you to pay your fees without borrowing as much in student loans. Beyond the financial benefits, it also offers additional benefits such as access to world-class experts and equipment, a lifetime performance opportunity, and paid gigs at events.
There are different types of music scholarships including school-issued scholarships, music department scholarships, national music scholarships, and industry-related scholarships. You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in music with these scholarships.
Common Music Scholarship Requirements
- Demonstrated musical talent. This is the most important criterion to land a music scholarship. Students need to possess exceptional abilities in their chosen field of music.
- Music audition. Most music scholarships involve an audition process or a musical performance video to assess the musical abilities of applicants.
- Academic record. Like other academic awards, the grade point average is a critical requirement. Beyond musical abilities, prospective students also need to be proficient in school. While the academic requirements vary from school to school, students need to have an above-average grade point average to qualify for a music scholarship.
- Financial need. Most music scholarships are awarded as need-based scholarship assistance. The scholarship committee looks at how much the student needs the money to attend the school in question.
- Letters of recommendation. Current high school students or full-time college students interested in a music program may be asked to get recommendation letters from a school official for students like college professors or high school guidance counselors.
How to Find Music Scholarships
There are tons of music scholarships for students at all levels, you can find a music scholarship that best fits your profile. There are scholarship funding opportunities for international students and first-year college students and even a few for audio engineering students. Of course, you’ll have to conduct research and fill out a separate application for each scholarship opportunity. Below are a few ways to start your research for a music scholarship.
Visit the Financial Aid Office at Your School
Having the right information is key to the scholarship application process. You should plan a visit to the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships. The financial aid office at your school also has all the important information on the available scholarships for music degrees such as application requirements, audition requirements, audition deadlines, and application deadlines.
The office can also help you to apply for and receive a wide variety of grants, scholarships, and other types of financial aid. This will help you reduce the financial burden you might face and help you build a career in music as a high-level music producer, for example.
81% of participants stated they felt more confident about their tech job prospects after attending a bootcamp. Get matched to a bootcamp today.
The average bootcamp grad spent less than six months in career transition, from starting a bootcamp to finding their first job.
Use Online Search Options
It is easy to get lost in the massive amount of information you will find when you look for music scholarship opportunities on the Internet. However, you can narrow your search by employing scholarship website search options such as the Sallie Mae scholarship search, US Department of Labor Scholarship Finder, or Cheggs Scholarships
Check the Website of Music Organizations
You can also find music scholarships on the websites of associations and organizations in the music industry. Notable examples are the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Music Publishers Association (MPA). Application materials for most of these scholarships are found in the online application for each organization.
Tips to Find Music Scholarships for High School Students
Prepare in Advance
You must start preparing for the scholarship application process. You should start researching scholarships as early as the semester before you graduate high school. As a rule of thumb, you should have settled all the scholarship requirements two weeks before the application deadline.
This includes letters of recommendation, performance videos, audition materials, a copy of your written musical piece, or a recording of your vocal performance. This would give you enough time to submit a perfect application and avoid errors.
Apply for as Many Music Scholarships as Possible
There are numerous music scholarships out there and you may be restricting yourself by applying for just one or two scholarships. We recommend that you apply for as many scholarships as possible. The more applications you complete, the higher your chances are of getting one or more scholarships.
Know Your Audience
A great part of many music scholarships is the audition process. The music scholarship audition is arguably the most important few minutes of music you’ll perform in your college career. We recommend that you develop your musical presentation with the scholarship committee in mind. Before the audition date, find out the genres of music that the scholarship committee prefers.
For instance, if one of the scholarship committees loves jazz or even contemporary music, you can use that type of music in your audition. This would be a great time to put your proficiency in jazz studies or those individual lessons in contemporary music composition to good use. This would put the odds in your favor and may even help you elicit a positive reaction from the committee.
- Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
- Get exclusive scholarships and prep courses
10 Best Music Scholarships in 2022: Overview
|Scholarship Name||Who Is Eligible||Amount Covered|
|American Indian Music Scholarships||American Indian students pursuing a degree in music in Montana||$500|
|Augustana Pro Musica Scholarship||Current students in vocal music majors and instrumental music majors at Augustana University||$4,000- $20,000|
|Berklee College of Music Presidential Scholarship||Top incoming students with the highest music merits and financial need||Total tuition cost|
|Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Performing and Visual Arts Scholarship||African American high school students or scholars in performing art discipline||$5,000|
|Dave Brubeck Living Legacy Scholarship||College students majoring in jazz or piano||$1,000|
|Edwini Eustis Dick Scholarship for Music Therapy Interns||Music therapy interns or students about to begin an internship within six months||$500|
|Great Value Colleges Music Scholarship for Black Students||Outstanding Black students in a music program||$5,000|
|Gretchen E Van Roy Music Education Scholarship||A college student majoring in music education at a National Federation of Music Clubs school||1st place- $1,500
2nd place- $500
|SYTA Youth Foundation Road Scholarship||Nominated students who need financial assistance for their educational travel expenses||$1,000 – $5,000|
|Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter of the Year Music Scholarship||Student chapters demonstrated outstanding community service and musical achievement||$1,000|
Top 10 Music Scholarships: In Detail
1. American Indian Music Scholarships
- Awarded by: North Valley Music School
- Deadline: March 31, 2022
Montana’s only non-profit community school of music, the North Valley Music School, offers the American Indian Music Scholarship to encourage American Indians and students from indigenous communities to pursue a degree in music.
The scholarship also aims to increase public awareness of the diverse musical contributions of American Indians to Montana. It involves two cash awards of $500. Applications are closed for this year, but you can apply when the application process opens up again next year.
2. Augustana Pro Musica Scholarships
- Awarded by: Augustana University
- Deadline: May 31, 2022
Students in vocal music majors and instrumental music majors at Augustana University can benefit from Augustana Pro Music Scholarships. There four levels of scholarship are the Mozart Award, Bach Award, Beethoven Award, and Brahms Award. These awards offer up to $20,000 over four years. Scholars in this program are obligated to take applied music lessons for the first four semesters of the award period to improve the level of accuracy with which they play their instruments.
Applications are closed for this year, but you can apply when the application process opens up again next year.
3. Berklee College of Music Presidential Scholarship
- Awarded by: Berklee College of Music
- Deadline: N/A
Unlike all other merit-based scholarships on this list, Berklee College of Music requires no application. Instead, the college nominates the top incoming students with exemplary performance and financial need to receive the scholarship. This scholarship covers the total cost of tuition, campus housing, food, and other related academic expenses.
4. The Congressional Black Caucus Spouses Performing and Visual Arts Scholarship
- Awarded by: Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
- Deadline: TBD
This scholarship was established in memory of Curtis Mayfield. It is awarded to high school seniors of African American origin and scholars pursuing a college degree in performing and visual arts like music, comedy, dance, theater, drama, and opera. It awards $5,000 to 10 applicants in both visual and performing arts.
5. Dave Brubeck Living Legacy Scholarship
- Awarded by: Jazz Education Network Scholarships
- Deadline: March 31, 2022
The Dave Brubeck award is a one-time $1,000 scholarship awarded to a college student in an accredited university majoring in jazz music with a focus on composition or piano. It also comes with other perks such as a collection of Dave Brubeck recordings, an all-expense-paid trip to the Jazz Education Network Conference, and the book, Dave Brubeck: A Life in Time by Philip Clark. Applications are closed for this year, but you can apply when the application process opens up again next year.
6. Edwini Eustis Dick Scholarship for Music Therapy Interns
- Awarded by: American Music Therapy Association (AMTA)
- Deadline: March 25, 2022
The Edwini Eustis Dick Scholarship for Music Therapy Interns awards two cash scholarships of $500 to music interns or students who are beginning a music therapy internship program within six months of the application deadline.
Eligible candidates are required to have active involvement in community and college activities, letters of recommendation, and active participation in American Music Therapy Association conferences. Applications are closed for this year, but you can apply when the application process opens up again next year.
7. Great Value Colleges Music Scholarship for Black Students
- Awarded by: Great Value Colleges
- Deadline: July 30, 2022, and November 30, 2022
Great Value Colleges Music Scholarship for Black Students is awarded to exceptional Black undergraduate or graduate students majoring in music degrees like music performance, music therapy, music education, or related music majors. Interested students are required to have a competitive GPA and submit a five- to 10-minute performance video that describes their music goals.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
8. Gretchen E Van Roy Music Education Scholarship
- Awarded by: National Federation of Music Clubs
- Deadline: April 1, 2022
The National Federation of Music Clubs offers the Gretchen E Van Roy Music education scholarship to a junior majoring in music education at a college or university. It involves a $1,500 prize for the winner and $500 for the runner-up.
Interested students must be a student at a school that is a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs or possess an individual NFMC membership. Applications are closed for this year, but you can apply when the application process opens up again next year.
9. SYTA Youth Foundation Road Scholarship
- Awarded by: SYTA Youth Foundation
- Deadline: March 28, 2022
The SYTA Youth Foundation Road Scholarship is a special type of scholarship program to fund the educational travel expenses of music students who need financial assistance.
Eligible applicants must be nominated by the music directors, teachers, principals, and other youth leaders. It includes a maximum payment of $5,000 for group awards and $1,000 for individual awards. Applications are closed for this year, but you can apply when the application process opens up again next year.
10. Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter of the Year Music Scholarship
- Awarded by: Tri-M Music Honor Society
- Deadline: April 29, 2022
The annual competition for this scholarship started in 1985 and has awarded over $140,000 in chapter of the year awards to different schools across the country. The scholarship is disbursed by the winning chapter’s advisor to deserving students. Eligible chapters are required to engage in community service, encourage musical achievement, and execute projects to qualify for the award
Should I Apply for a Music Scholarship?
You should apply for a music scholarship. A music scholarship can lessen or even totally remove the financial burden associated with music schools. The money awarded will give you the freedom to become a full-time student and not have to work your way through college. This allows you more time to improve your musical abilities.
Music Scholarships FAQ
It can be quite difficult to successfully get a music scholarship due to the large number of applicants. Most music scholarships are merit-based music scholarships and students are essentially taking part in a competition on a national level to win one. It is very competitive and this means only the most outstanding musicians eventually get it.
A music scholarship could be as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as thousands of dollars. There are also assistantships that are available at some schools, which are similar to scholarships except you do have to work at the school.
The tuba has more scholarships than other instruments. Skilled tuba players enjoy the most scholarships. They are the most sought-after instrumentalists for the university choir and campus band, making them the most likely candidate to win the scholarship.
Yes, you can. Like other stringed instruments, there are tons of scholarship opportunities for guitar players. We recommend that you search through scholarship websites for guitar scholarships.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.