According to statistics from 2013, over 11,000 scholarships were awarded to music majors from institutions of higher learning. While this may seem low compared to the 300,000+ given out to business majors, music majors still outranked architecture, chemical engineering, and physical education majors by a sizable margin.
The ever-growing popularity of majoring in music leads prospective music students to wonder what they can do to set themselves apart, to lead the pack, or stick their heads above the crowd. The best way, of course, is to apply for a scholarship. Even simply applying shows commitment and faith in one’s ability long before entering the halls of a music building. Here are a few college scholarships for music majors:
Amount: Up to $3,000
Deadline: TBD for 2021
The Glenn Miller Birthplace Society honors Glenn Miller, a famous bandleader and legendary figure in swing music. Miller disappeared in 1944 while traveling to perform for US troops overseas. The scholarship looks for students studying music and the award money goes toward any education-related expenses.
Applicants must submit an audition CD with their application. The society awards three scholarships in two separate categories: vocalists and instrumentalists. The first prize winner receives $3,000, second place receives $2,000 and third place receives $1,000.
The National Federation of Music Clubs prides itself on being the “largest non-profit organization in America to promote and support American music, performers, and music education.”
In total, the federation awards $750,000 annually in grants and awards, money that goes towards students’ education in music. These scholarships break down into many different fields, each with their own different qualifiers and awards, including piano, vocals, composition, conduction, and even the cowbell!
Deadline: TBD for 2021 (Opens September 1, 2021)
The Ladies of the Podium scholarship is one of many awarded by Women Band Directors International. This particular scholarship, created in memory of Ms. Kathy Schmidt, a conductor and music educator, applies to young women entering musical colleges interested in becoming band directors.
It is one of eleven similar scholarships for college-aged women interested in the field. The scholarship application must include two letters of recommendation and any honors or awards given to the applicant. Open to all female music majors, the amount awarded depends on the specific program the student enrolls in or seeks to enter.
Deadline: April 3, 2020
The Congressional Black Caucus established this award in 2000 after the death of legendary soul singer Curtis Mayfield. To qualify, you must be an African-American student pursuing a degree in the arts. Although most scholarships offered by the CBC relate to music, any performing arts student can apply.
Applicants must submit a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and a two-minute visual sample of their work. Ten students will win a $3,000 scholarship to further their education in the performing arts.
Amount: Full Ride
Deadline: Varying, depending on your audition date
Berklee College of Music offers a few scholarships to its potential students, but the Presidential Scholarship gets a special mention. The Presidential Scholarship covers a student’s full tuition, on-campus housing, and provides the student with a laptop. As one of the most exclusive and competitive music scholarships available at Berklee, your chances of winning it depend on your academics, financial need, and of course, your audition.
The Bachuaer Foundation hosts this competition biannually, giving young pianists an opportunity to showcase their skills. This specific competition honors Gina Bachauer, a Greek classical pianist who passed away in 1976.
A lengthy audition and qualification process eventually leads to two competitions in Salt Lake City, one for students aged 11 to 14 and the other for students aged 15 to 18. The students in the older age group compete for many scholarships and prizes that total around $60,000, which can go towards their musical education in any college that offers the major.
Amount: $1,000 — $1,200
Deadline: March 1
The Associated Male Choruses of America, or AMCA, awards college scholarships to students enrolled as music majors. A member of the AMCA must endorse a student for them to qualify. Additionally, students must submit three letters of recommendation, their transcripts, and an essay.