Scholarships for music majors

By Unigo
11/30/2018
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Music is a way of life, a medium that helps define a culture.

Many musicians develop their gift for playing music way before college. Maybe it starts with a piano lesson in first grade, an infatuation with guitar at 12, or playing a melody on a toy flute at 3. Musicians hear music in their head and it comes through in the instrument they play. Over time, dedicated musicians continue to develop their skills and knowledge of music. And it’s this dedication and love for the art that help push musicians to continue their education.

So, if you choose to pursue an education in music, winning a scholarship is an excellent way to get some extra college funds.

What You Can Do With A Music Degree

A musician with a degree in music has extended  career opportunities beyond performing and teaching. In fact some musicians combine multiple jobs to support themselves—say performing and teaching, or maybe working in a recording studio.

Some may even work non-related jobs to enable them to continue to perform, record, and teach. If you’re curious about what ELSE you can do with a music degree, check out these options:

  • Arranger
  • Artist Management
  • Artistic Director
  • Community Music School Director
  • Composer
  • Concert Manager
  • Conductor
  • Cruise Ship Performer
  • DJ
  • Film Scoring
  • Instrument Builder
  • Lyricist
  • Music Agent
  • Music Consultant
  • Music Publishing
  • Music Therapist
  • Sound Designer (including audio engineering, mastering, mixing, music directing, producing, program directing, programming, recording engineer, studio manager, MIDI technician)
  • Talent Scout

Types of Music Scholarships

For those pursuing a music degree, you have many scholarships to choose from. Hundreds of scholarships are available; some awards may be small, others may offer more. The best part is you can apply for multiple scholarships.

Here are a few types to consider:

  • School-Issued Scholarships – Offered by individual schools, these scholarships often have a higher dollar value than other scholarships. Some even cover tuition and on-campus housing.
  • John Lennon Scholarship – For musicians, songwriters, and composers who prefer pop, rock, electronica, and other contemporary music; you must submit an original song along with your application.
  • Kerope Zildjian Concert Scholarship – This scholarship is for percussionists and is open to full-time students worldwide. You must send in a recorded performance.
  • Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Performing Arts Scholarship – For black college students majoring in the performing arts, this scholarship requires students to submit a 2-minute visual recording

Applying for Music Scholarships

Like all scholarships, competition is high for the few awards that are given out. For music scholarships, you will be judged on your performance, composition, and other criteria. Accompanying essays and applications are also extremely important in the application process.

Here are a few additional things to consider:

  • Apply for as many scholarships as possible – Don’t limit yourself to just one application; apply for as many as you want to. After all, if you win more than one—well, the more the merrier when we’re talking about paying your entire college tuition.
  • Take your time – You have an application, essay, a performance video/recording, and maybe a few other things to put together. Give yourself plenty of time to do everything. Think of the applications as a work of art; allow time to create and revise your art.
  • Pay attention to detail – Remember to read the instructions and requirements for the scholarship carefully. Make sure you fully understand what you need to submit. The same applies to the performance video/recording – don’t miss a note.
  • Know your audience – This is key when creating your performance video/recording. Know the scholarship judging audience. Do your research and best determine what the judges for a particular scholarship are looking for.

Winning A Music Scholarship

The purpose of submitting an application for a music scholarship is to win, right? Music scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate an excellent understanding of their skills and knowledge of their music.

Consider the following:

  • Keep your grades up – It’s not enough to be an excellent musician. To win a scholarship you have to show your equally adept at keeping up your grades. Good grades are essential to winning.
  • Be yourself – When creating your performance video/recording, make sure to be yourself. Show them you, and what separates your from every other musician. Use all the special tricks and talents that only you possess.
  • Be the best – This goes without saying, but it’s a good reminder. Take every scholarship your apply for seriously. Just because a scholarship is small doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving it your all. Remember, scholarships add up the more you win. So be the best, be a winner, and go for it!

Find Your Scholarship with Unigo!

Scroll through our music scholarships and find one that feels like you. Search for scholarships offered to students in a certain geographic area or in your area of expertise, be it piano, singing, guitar or flute. Just remember the tips we talked about and give it your all—we at Unigo are here to tell you: You got this!

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