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 8,409 awards worth $27M below. Apply now to our list of scholarships for musicians.

Lessons In Your Home

If you’re an aspiring or current musician, this scholarship is being offered to help fund your educational expenses.
Award Amount

Total: $500

Awards: 1


Deadline: June 25, 2023

Berklee Merit-Based Scholarships

in addition to holding auditions in Boston, Berklee travels to more than 50 cities throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and South America in search of talented artists who are pursuing a college education in music, theater, or dance. While the vast majority of awards are partial-tuition, a limited number of full-tuition awards are available to exceptionally qualified applicants.
Award Amount

Total: $5000

Awards: 1


Deadline: June 30, 2023

Musicians Making a Difference Scholarship

Pearl is proud to announce the “Musicians Making A Difference” college scholarship initiative that will award $10,000 annually in the amount of two $5,000 scholarships to high school musicians who have demonstrated the ability to change themselves, their community, and those around them. A diverse panel of Pearl staff and artists will select recipients based on the student’s contributions to their community, and not their playing or vocal ability. Our objective is to reward and inspire the youth that will shape tomorrow. We look forward to the engagement and interaction with all who share our goals. 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.
Award Amount

Total: $10000

Awards: 2


Deadline: July 16, 2023

WBDI College Scholarship Program

WBDI COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS are given annually to women enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate instrumental music program, with the intent of becoming a band director. Applications are accepted from October 1st through November 1st this year. The Women Band Directors International will award scholarships of various amounts designed to salute the people for whom they are named and to support young women presently preparing to be band directors. Your application must include 2 letters of recommendation, a resume, and a copy of your unofficial transcripts. All files must be submitted with the application for the application to be considered.
Award Amount

Total: $2000

Awards: 4


Deadline: November 01, 2023

Mario Lanza Institute Scholarship Program

This scholarship competition is open to all students who are 21-28 years of age with a background in the study of vocal music. Students must attend preliminary auditions in Philadelphia, PA, to qualify for prizes.
Award Amount

Total: $1750

Awards: 4


Deadline: October 05

Berrien Fragos Thorn Arts Scholarship for Migrant Farmworkers

Students who are 16 years of age or older who are interested in pursuing the development of their talents in an art discipline may apply for this award. Students must have a history of movement to obtain work in agriculture.
Award Amount

Total: $2500

Awards: 10


Deadline: November 01

Jazz At The Ballroom Scholarship

The Jazz At The Ballroom Scholarship is available for high school students in the Bay Area who are active musicians. Students must submit a sample of their musical performance and finalists will be invited to participate in a live concert where the scholarship winners will be selected.
Award Amount

Total: $1500

Awards: 3


Deadline: December 07

Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition for Young Opera Singers

This vocal competition is open to U.S. and Canadian residents who are 21-35 years of age as of the time of application and who are operatic singers. Applicants must be prepared to attend auditions in New York City or Los Angeles at their own expense.
Award Amount

Total: $5005

Awards: 10


Deadline: January 17

Dorchester Woman’s Club Music Scholarship in Voice

This scholarship is available for Massachusetts undergraduates who are majoring in voice. Applicants must be willing to perform at a personal audition.
Award Amount

Total: $500

Awards: 1


Deadline: March 01

Iowa Scholarship for the Arts

This scholarship is available for Iowa students who have graduated this year and will be attending an Iowa college. Students must have proven artistic ability in dance, literature, music, theatre, traditional arts, or the visual arts, and major in one of those areas.
Award Amount

Total: $1500

Awards: 4


Deadline: March 01