Young Artist Award

Scholarship Value: $10,000
Awards Available: 20

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation supports talented musicians from limited financial backgrounds through its scholarship programs and sponsorship of the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. The Foundation recognizes that musically talented youth from low-income families often lack the funding for private lessons, master classes, quality instruments, summer programs, and performance experiences. These musicians miss out on the creativity and stimulation that comes from being surrounded by an ensemble of talented peers sharing high music aspirations and being led by inspiring faculty.


From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation share a passion for helping exceptional young people reach their potential in all areas of their lives. From the Top is a nonprofit organization that encourages and celebrates the commitment of young people to music and the arts through a variety of media, including nationally broadcast television and radio shows, education programs, and its website.

Each year From the Top’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award Program provides 20 outstanding young musicians who demonstrate financial need with a $10,000 scholarship to advance their artistic development and education. In addition, Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists perform on the hit NPR and PBS program, From the Top, and participate in arts leadership training to spread the power of classical music.

Since 2005, From the Top has awarded over $1.8M in scholarships to more than 180 talented young people who have used their awards for new instruments, music lessons, summer music program tuition, competition fees, travel costs, computers, recording devices, and more.

Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists range from age 8 to 18 and hail from all across the United States and abroad. Young Artists are classically trained instrumentalists, vocalists and/or composers that are also active in community-service projects and academic pursuits. Common to all is a passion for music and a love for sharing it.

Together the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and From the Top celebrate the unlimited potential of our country’s young students by spreading the message that achievement and excellence are possible for all. Learn more about the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award and apply.

Am I eligible to apply?

You are eligible if you are: classical instrumentalists, vocalists, and composers (ages 8–18) who are full-time elementary, middle, or high school students, and have not yet entered college.

Applicants must demonstrate:

Strong musical commitment

  • Applicants must have strong musical ability and a willingness to participate in our Learning and Media Lab Fellowship.

Unmet financial need

  • The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award is a need-based award. Applicants must provide evidence of a family income unable to meet the costs of his/her musical pursuits (new instruments, music lessons, summer festival tuition, and travel, etc.). 90% of our past recipients come from families with an annual household Adjusted Gross Income of under $60,000. While we do consider extenuating circumstances such as cost of living, medical expenses, dependents, etc., we do not encourage applicants with an annual household Adjusted Gross Income of over $100,000 to apply.
  • COVID UPDATE: If your most recent tax return reflects something different from what your current employment situation projects, please include a detailed statement within the “Special Financial Circumstances” section at the end of the online application.

Educational engagement

  • Applicants must demonstrate a strong commitment to learning and creativity, inside and outside of the classroom.

Strength of character

  • Applicants must demonstrate drive, initiative, maturity, leadership, and a commitment to giving back to one’s community.
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