Music Scholarships

Written by Tara Peris
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Music scholarships promote long-term involvement in the arts by helping a new generation of singers and musicians to pursue higher education. Budget cuts have left music education grossly under-funded in the U.S., and a variety of federal and local programs attempt to address this deficit through individual scholarship programs. These programs help talented students to pursue their musical skills at the college level and to position themselves for productive careers in the arts.

Whether as casual listeners or active performers, music plays a central role in our lives. It takes only a few notes of an old favorite to transport us to another time and place or to lift us from a glum mood. Yet, the value of music goes well beyond its emotional appeal. A number of studies suggest that music education is linked to higher self-esteem, better social skills, and higher levels of achievement in math and science. These benefits underscore the importance of music scholarships in helping young students develop into well-rounded adults.

Finding the Fit

Those looking for music scholarships have many approaches on which to rely. One method is to search for awards within a particular musical genre. For example, there are numerous awards for jazz musicians including scholarships from the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the Hilton Head Jazz Society, and the Young Musicians Foundation. If you aspire to Glen Miller greatness, these awards may be just what you need.

An alternative strategy for finding music scholarships is to look for awards that target groups that are under-represented in the arts. Keep in mind that this doesn't always mean ethnic minorities. Although these students will certainly qualify, many awards encourage females and older returning students to pursue careers in the musical arts.


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