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Getting a Music Scholarship, Where Could it Take You?

Going to college may be your dream but the finances involved can put many people off and may even be out of the dreams of some. Scholarships can help but choosing the right one, applying and obtaining one will take some work. You will need to choose a major and this will affect what scholarships are available, and of course, will there be employment available after you finish your degree?

Assuming you have chosen to take music in some form as your major you might want to consider getting a scholarship to help with financial assistance. Upon conclusion of your studies, you can head into the big wide world to look for employment. Is a music scholarship a good idea? How do you get one, and ultimately, where will it take you in the future? 

What is a scholarship?

A scholarship is a way to reduce the financial burden of further education. These scholarships are not given to everyone and they are awarded on differing criteria. They may be given to a student who is in financial need or to someone who has achieved well academically. They are most commonly given out because someone deserves them through merit or need.

The financial award will be set by a donor or perhaps a department and they will also set the criteria on how the scholarship is awarded. Funds are to be used for education purposes, that is to say, university fees, books, lodgings, and other costs linked to the student’s education. 

How do you apply for a scholarship?

You would need to check the criteria to see if you are eligible to apply. Scholarships are typically given out for the above two reasons but can include the following factors and more:

  • Academic achievements
  • Financial need
  • Community involvement
  • Employment experience
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Sporting or athletic skills

Once you have decided on your college major, music in this case then you can start looking for the available scholarships. You will need to put in a fair amount of research to find which ones are suitable for you and narrow them down to which ones to apply for. Different donors will offer different benefits and some scholarships come with $20,000 for assisting with Musical Arts students and others offer less. Once you have your options together you need to check for eligibility and weed out the ones that you cannot apply for. 

Applying for the scholarships of your choice

You have your options and you are eligible for all of them. Now comes the hard work of applying and trying to be awarded the right scholarship. Preparation and organization are everything here. Firstly, find out the closing dates for applying as some scholarship applications may close before you expected. Take into account postage times too so you don’t miss any of these dates. Taking a Bachelors in Music Education for example may take you 4 years and it is estimated that the total cost of this is up to $400,000 so gaining a scholarship is a great help to relieve this burden.

Here is a checklist for your application:

  • Check eligibility
  • Reduce the amount of scholarships so you can concentrate on making the best applications that you can
  • Check the deadlines and note them down
  • Get referees and inform them which scholarships may be contacting them
  • Gather all information you need - take time so you don’t miss out on anything important
  • Check your application, check it again, and then get someone else to check it
  • Send off the application on time, move on to the next one if applicable

Assuming that you were successful with your music scholarship application you will then head off to study at college for perhaps the next four years. What happens after that? Studying music at college isn’t all about learning Bruno Mars chords, you will have hopefully picked up many new skills and now be prepared to take your love of music and forge a career. 

What career options are there for you now you have your degree?

There are lots of career paths you can consider in the music industry after you leave college. To become a Music Director or Composer you require a Bachelor’s degree and if you wanted to be a music teacher you would need similar but with an emphasis on music education.

These following positions are jobs you can think about after you gained your degree:

  • Artist manager
  • Promoter
  • Music teacher
  • Sound engineer
  • Producer
  • Musician
  • Music therapist

Depending on what type of Bachelor’s degree you took and what other qualifications you have you could move into management, distribution, marketing, and other areas of the industry. 

Music therapist

There is growing evidence of the ability for music to aid in the health and recovery of patients. It is known to help with pain relief and also for aiding with dementia and anxiety.

Music therapists will use music and customize sessions for individual patients to help with general well-being as well as aid with communication, physical health, and depression. This may include teaching patients to play music or to play instruments for them or even just to listen to different types of music. Music has been shown to help restore the ability to speak, help with cancer patients and help alleviate pain from surgeries. It can also help with emotional problems and other mental health issues. 

Music teacher

It may be that after receiving your education you wish to put something back into the system. To become a music teacher you would have ideally taken a Bachelors in Music Education however a degree related to music may be able to be combined with a teaching qualification to let you go down this route.

Being a teacher means you will have a chance to play the instruments you love and you can use modern technology to help teach chords, guitar and lyrics and notes to students. If you love playing instruments and singing then this may be an outlet for you and a chance to pass on your knowledge and educate future musicians. 

Music production

A producer helps bands and artists find the right sound and record their music. They are responsible for developing and creating music with the artist and this may involve advising which songs to use on albums, editing and even writing lyrics. 

Where can you work with a music degree?

Apart from the positions available you may not have considered where in the world your scholarship may eventually take you. You are not confined to working in a school or for a record company. Music promotion can lead you to travel the world as can tour management. There are also numerous other areas you can work in that require music. TV, movies, and video games all need qualified musicians and engineers. 


A scholarship, in general, can aid a student with the financial difficulties that college can bring and a scholarship for a musician might end in a fruitful and creative career. You could take your talent and end up performing as a conductor or as a solo artist. You may produce some of the future’s biggest hits or you might end up educating tomorrow’s musicians.

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