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The Way to Become a Professional Musician: the List of 12 College Scholarships for Young Musicians

Music School

Music is one of the most wonderful inventions of humankind. Those young and talented people who want to dedicate their lives to this industry are extremely brave. To become a successful musician, it is not necessary to get a degree in this field. Still, since you’ve decided to study hard, you need to get ready for all academic check-ups, such as essay writing. If you want to order custom college essay online, you can prepare better for admission with a proper sample. Meanwhile, read our suggestions on college scholarships that young musicians can benefit from. 


  1. School Band and Orchestra Essay Contest


If you want to become a music student, start saving for college early. Join annual essay contest organized by School Band and Orchestra Magazine. Get a chance to take monetary prizes of $1,000 award for each of ten winners. Five students in grades 4-8 and five students in grades 9-12 compete in junior and senior categories. The task is to write an essay in 250 words or less. In this task, you should provide an answer to a specific question that is new every year. Some of them could sound like: “How has your music practice changed for you during the COVID-19 pandemic?” You are acceptable to participate if you are studying in grades 4-12.


  1. Glenn Miller Birthplace Society Music Scholarship


Glenn Miller is a great pioneer of swing music style. Established to the memory of the legendary musician eponymous festival at Clarinda, it lets high school students or college newcomers show their talents in competition. Each year jury chooses six winners from the two categories: three instrumentalists and three vocalists. If you study in a high school at the moment of the competition, you take a chance to win more than $12,000 in education.


  1. Davidson Fellows Scholarship


See what you can do with your musical skills and apply for the scholarship in the name of Davidson. The next entrance for the call will be opened in autumn 2022, so you can get ready soon. All applicants get notifications on results on or before July 15 each year. Show passion in playing an instrument and get one of the awards in $10,000 to $50,000. 


  1. The BMI Foundation Music Scholarships


If you want to get a scholarship provided by this organization, you can join one of the following programs by application or invitation: 

  • John Lennon Scholarship: In integration with the BMI Foundation, Yoko Ono established this scholarship program in 1997. Submit an original song to the competition to get one of the three annual scholarships for the sum of $20,000. 
  • Charlie Parker Jazz Composition Prize: If you are lucky to get an invitation to the grant, develop the well-sounded unique composition in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop. The community of jazz saxophonists invented it in 2000 to respect the memory of music legend. The winner will get the $3,000 prize. This amount you can invest in writing a new piece for opening at the next year’s show BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra concert.
  • Lionel Newman Conducting Fellowship: Lionel Newman was a pianist in 1943 at Century Fox and later became a music author. Talented conductors who participate at the Aspen Music Festival can get the fellowship and get education in Aspen Music School in Colorado. 

Young musicians can represent their ideas independently or ask a competent member from the BMI Foundation to be invited to the contest. Anyway, they have over ten options to choose from.


  1. National YoungArts Foundation Scholarships


This scholarship represents vast possibilities for musicians who play in different genres. It also offers education in many disciplines, including blues, voice, dance, video, and literature. If you are one of the winners, get ready to receive financial awards, experience working with artists, and be nominated as a US Presidential Scholar in the Arts. It is applicable for musicians 15-18 years old to register for audition each December 1 and get a money grant up to $10,000. 


  1. The Concerto Competition for High School Musicians


“The President’s Own” U. S. Marine Band organizes concert annually. This is a competition for high school musicians. The winners will receive scholarship awards of $2,500, $1,000, or $500 and perform solely with the U. S. Marine Band. High school learners in grades 9-12 can apply to the scholarship competition. Due to the pandemic, the competition is open to piano and string musicians only until 2022. Then, it will be allowed to percussion, brass, and woodwind players.


  1. ASCAP Foundation Scholarships (The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers)


This organization offers to get one of the 60 music awards and educational prizes, including:


The Michael Masser Music Scholarship: If you are a student who demonstrates outstanding talent, you can get support in educational advancement. This scholarship is excellent for professional musical training.

The Cole Porter Award: This award encourages songwriting among diverse musicians. Get an annual present if you are a promising songwriter.

The Leiber & Stoller Music Scholarship: Assists lyrics and music writers, musicians, or vocalists who showcase aspiring technique and talent.

The Fred Ho Award: If you are an innovative composer who created compositions in Fred Ho’s honor, you can get this grant.


Committee chose youth among relying on specific criteria, depending on different levels, music faculty, scholarships, or awards.


  1. VSA International Young Soloists Competition


There are no boundaries for your musical future if you maintain physical disabilities. Every young person ages 14-25 has a chance to get a $2,500 prize at the annual VSA International Young Soloists Competition. Represent your composition in any genre. Organizers choose up to four young musicians from around the world. Talented boys and girls will perform at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and other musical upgrade contests in Washington, DC.

A student with a disability can apply as an ensemble participant of up to five members or an instrumental or vocal performer. One participant must have a physical dysfunction, and all musicians should be from 14 to 25 years old. A local candidate or an applicant from abroad is allowed. The next application date will be in March 2022. There are no genres restrictions. You can participate in classical, hip-hop, Latin, jazz, rock, folk, indie, country, rap, and other style performances. 


  1. Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter of the Year Music Scholarships


All members of this society can join the NafME contest. The educational possibilities are opened to talented music students for summer study programs. You can get one of three awards at the national level in each chapter: junior (middle school) and senior (high school). Organizers give scholarship grants up to $1,000 to students who deserve to be a winner after each program’s task. The annual application deadline is at the end of April.


  1. Acoustical Society of America International Year of Sound (IYS) Student Competition


The rules of this competition say that each musician aged 13 to 18 years old should write a stanza of 4 verses in native and English languages, relying on the song “The Sound Of The World” and the annual IYS motto. Money grants will go to three finalists from each category: $200, $150, and $100. 


  1. Musical Theater Songwriting Challenge


This is a national competition for high school students who can write lyrics and melody. You can represent your composition as a piece of musical theater production. The National Endowment for the Arts established this challenge to choose students for the Songwriting Challenge from across the US. Each of them gets a professional mentor. Together, they prepare their songs for the Broadway stage. Recognized artists record students’ songs in New York City studio. These compositions will be ready for an album, sound on all significant streaming musical services, published in the Concord Theatricals songbook, and broadcasted on iHeartRadio Broadway.


  1. Jazz at the Ballroom Scholarships for California/Bay Area Students


Sunny California is a great place for the musical competition! Each year Bay Area is open for the call so that musical experts can select the best high school jazz players. Each of them can get $1,000 to proceed with their music studies. The competition is on the edge when the winners perform on the one stage with some of the world’s most excellent jazz players. Learners who don’t pass the final task are invited to join a database that can visit free ballroom workshops. Moreover, the winners’ recognized schools will also get $500 to support the current musical courses headway.


These twelve scholarships and competitions will help you achieve your career goal no matter how young you are now. Believe in your talent and don’t miss a date to apply for your prize!

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