Music Scholarships

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What Music Scholarships are Available for College? 

Music majors may find music scholarships for college from many sources that support musical talents of all kinds. Are you a vocalist? Drawn to music performance or music education? Do you compose jazz or play classical music with a musical instrument? Perhaps you want to go for a music therapy degree program. Various scholarship providers also offer financial aid for music related studies to those who qualify.

Colleges with a school of music or music department and nonprofits in the performing arts space may offer college scholarships for music. Some nonprofits may also ask for a performance CD, audition or video recording which helps them narrow down finalists. 

The NFAA youngARTS Program is one. It is specifically for high school students/high school seniors. Eligible applicants must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident/green card recipient. Also, you must be able to show they are legally able to receive taxable income in the United States. Criteria include age (15 to 18 years old, or those in grades 10 through 12) and talent for the arts. Selected winners receive cash prizes between $100 and $10,000.

Many genres of music also create awards for music students in need of financial assistance. So, use your interests to fuel your search for scholarships. If your favorite music is pop, rock, indie or R&B, you could apply for the John Lennon Scholarship. 

In 1997, Yoko Ono and the BMI Foundation came together to offer annual awards that honor John’s legacy. It is open to college student songwriters and composers. BMI also offers the Peermusic Latin Scholarship competition which the genre is Latino music. The BMI Jazz Master Scholarship is one for graduate students who show promise in Jazz.

10 Scholarships for Music You Should Play for in 2021 

Sing, compose, conduct, or play your way through college with the help of a scholarship. Check out these 10 college scholarships for music majors. Keep the application deadline in mind and apply soon!

  1. Davidson Fellowship
  2. Rainbow City Band Scholarship 
  3. University of Bridgeport Music Scholarship for International Students
  4. Benny Goodman Foundation Scholarship
  5. CBCF Spouses USA Performing and Visual Arts Scholarship
  6. Jazz Education Network (JEN) Scholarship Program 
  7. MTNA Chamber Music Performance Competition 
  8. SBO Magazine Music Student Scholarship
  9. Mr. Digital Piano Innovative Annual Writing Scholarship
  10. Spotlight Awards Program 

Could You Get a Music Scholarship for Playing an Instrument?

Yes, if you qualify, you could receive a scholarship award for playing a musical instrument. Instrumentalists may play the piano, guitar, flute, clarinet, violin, trumpet, drums etc.

One grantor is the National Federation of Music Clubs. NFMC offers scholarships for various types of musicians attending a U.S. college. The NFMC Elizabeth Paris French Horn Award is one. It is open to full time undergraduate students who submit a performance CD. NFMC also has other awards such as a music composition competition that’s open to the U.S. military.

Could You Get a Full Ride Scholarship for Music?

Yes, very talented students going into music programs may be eligible for a full ride award. A full ride is also a merit scholarship and you could expect to compete for these coveted awards.

Who wouldn’t want to win a scholarship that paid for tuition, fees and extras – like housing? Some full rides renew for up to four years too. You may have to maintain your grade point average (GPA) for this to happen.

Eligibility to receive a full ride scholarship varies. For some, you might need a solid scholarship application and to show financial need plus talent. For others such as Berklee Merit Based Scholarships you may have to audition or pass through an interview. 

Both the Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee consider new first year musician applicants to their full time music degree or diploma programs. One to try for is the Presidential Scholarship. Selectees receive a sum that pays for tuition, on campus housing and the required laptop. To win, you must show the highest musical merit and financial need. 

The Davidson Fellowship is another notable music scholarship. It is open to students who come up with a “significant piece of work” aimed at making the lives of others better. Awards are granted in the amount of $50,000, $25,000, and $10,000. 

Is Going to Music School Worth It?

Going to music school could be worth the time and investment. You could also hone skills, learn current methods and network. Today’s music programs may produce well rounded:

  • Musicians
  • Music Teachers
  • Producers
  • Agents
  • Talent scouts 
  • Vocal coaches
  • Conductors

There are also programs that focus on the music business. These may also prepare for other career paths that may require a college degree.

To put yourself at ease, weigh potential cost of attendance vs job outlook/salary. Tuition and fees at The Juilliard School were $45,660 in academic year 2020-21, according to the NCES. 55% of students receive grant or scholarship aid to offset these costs, also reports the National Center for Education Statistics.

As for job outlook, some careers in entertainment are growing faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of these paths use the Bachelor’s degree as entry level. Salaries vary, but tend to pay above the norm. Here are a few potential music careers you may pursue:

Music Directors and Composers: Directors lead music groups and Composers write and arrange original music. 

  • Typical Entry Level Education: Bachelor’s Degree
  • Job Outlook to 2029: 2%
  • 2020 Median Pay: $52,250

Musicians and Singers: Play an instrument and or sing. Some have a bachelor’s degree in music theory or performance. 

  • Typical Entry Level Education: No formal education credential
  • Job Outlook to 2029: 1%
  • 2020 Median Pay: N/A but hourly average is $31.40

List of Music Scholarships

There are 8,406 awards worth $27M below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for musicians.

Musicians Making a Difference Scholarship

Share with us your personal story. Describe specific ways in which you have positively impacted your community and why you believe you should be chosen for the Pearl “Musicians Making A Difference” scholarship. If selected a winner, how will this scholarship aid in your post-graduation plans? Please include your career goals, the level of impact you have had on the community, and any challenges faced. Essays should be no more than 600 words.

Total: $10000

Awards: 2

Deadline: July 16, 2022

The 2021 Donald Runnicles Musical Arts Scholarship Competition

The Grand Teton Music Festival is proud to announce the 4th Annual Scholarship Competition in honor of Music Director Sir Donald Runnicles. The competition is open to graduating high school seniors from Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana who will pursue their primary studies in music (classical, jazz, or other) at an accredited four-year college with a music program recognized by the National Association of Schools of Music, or a conservatory with a widely recognized national profile such as The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute of Music, or the New England Conservatory.

Total: $50000

Awards: 3

Deadline: July 19, 2022

WBDI College Scholarship Program

This award is available to any female student who is enrolled in a university music curriculum pursuing a degree in music education with the intention of becoming a band director.

Total: $2000

Awards: 4

Deadline: August 01, 2022

Clubs of America Scholarship Award for Career Success

This award is available for U.S. and international undergraduate students who feel passionately about the career and educational path they are pursuing. Applicants must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and submit an essay about his/her chosen profession.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: August 31, 2022

Concerto Competition Scholarship for High-School Musician’s

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, in conjunction with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, is pleased to announce its Concerto Competition for High School Musicians is open for applications. (All materials due Nov. 15, 2021). The winner will appear as a guest soloist with the Marine Chamber Orchestra and receive a $2,500 scholarship from the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Second and third-place winners will receive $1,000 and $500 scholarships respectively.

Total: $4000

Awards: 3

Deadline: November 15, 2022

Schmidt Vocal Competition Scholarship

You’ve worked hard. We’d hate for a little thing like money to be the roadblock between you and your dreams. Schmidt Vocal Competition winners who choose to pursue a career in music may be eligible for need-based scholarship assistance to their college or university of choice.

Total: $6450

Awards: 6

Deadline: January 05, 2023

Pinellas Promise Music Education Scholarship

This scholarship is available for high school seniors in Pinellas County, Florida who have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher and plans to major in music education. Applicants must demonstrate a history of community service as well as unmet financial need.

Total: $1000

Awards: 1

Deadline: January 31, 2023

Maryville College Music Scholarship

This award is available for U.S. undergraduate students who plan to attend Maryville College in Tennessee. Students must major in music.

Total: $48296

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2023

Cottey College Fine Arts Scholarship

This award is available to U.S. undergraduate students who are attending Cottey College in Missouri. Students must demonstrate a strong academic proficiency in art, dance, music, or theatre/speech.

Total: $2000

Awards: 1

Deadline: February 01, 2023

Gerrit R. Ludwig Scholarship Fund

This scholarship is available for Hawaii undergraduate and graduate students; preference is given to students who are majoring in fine arts or classics. Students must be graduates of one of the following East Hawai’i public schools: Hilo, Honoka’a, Kea’au, Laupahoehoe, Pahoa, or Waiakea.

Total: $44250

Awards: 3

Deadline: February 01, 2023