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Author Topic: Music scholarships for non-music majors  (Read 8135 times)
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BFW
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« on: Jun 15, 2008, 03:06PM »

Having never even considered applying to a college that offered other than needs-based financial aid, I'm a little mystified by the concept of music scholarships.  Thinking ahead for my son, though, I thought I'd do a bit of investigating, starting by asking here in my favorite online musical community.  :)

Does a school you attended or currently attend offer undergraduate music scholarships?  Are they open to people who do not intend to major in music?  What school?  How competitive are they; dozens per year, five per year, one per year, or what?  What do they require to apply?  What do they require in order for you to maintain the scholarship?  How generous are they?

Is there anything relevant that I've failed to consider with my questions above?
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Brian

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« Reply #1 on: Jun 15, 2008, 04:24PM »

Brian,



 You are asking some good questions. Music scholarships are not universal in that not all of them come from the same place. Many schools have merit-based scholarships that come out of funds set aside by the School of Music. Usually some sort of foundation. Usually, the budget in those instances is made up of donated money. Other kinds of scholarships will come from a division of the School of Music, often with a stipulation. For example, the band program offers talent scholarships. These might come from some sort of endowment, and the money belongs to the band department, not the SOM. Often, the stipulation would be that you play in one of the large bands. (insert chorus, orchestra, jazz program, marching band (athletics) as applicable)

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Are they open to people who do not intend to major in music?

 This depends. There are many schools that offer music scholarships to students who are not majors. These people play in a band, or sing in the chorus. Often, these are small schools who need the extra students to fill up a complete wind band, or a complete orchestra. Many schools offer students scholarships for participation in the marching band through the athletic department.

 Even large schools will offer scholarships to students who do not intend to be majors. However, they are still held to the same rules. Participate in an ensemble, enrolled full-time, probably taking lessons.


Quote
How competitive are they; dozens per year, five per year, one per year, or what?  What do they require to apply?  What do they require in order for you to maintain the scholarship?  How generous are they?


 You are asking the correct questions, but you are asking the wrong people. No one here will be able to give you anything more than ballpark answers. Each school is very different, and it usually depends on the size of the school. Small music schools sometimes give out sizeable scholarships depending on their need for good musicians. Sometimes, they have very little money to give.

 To answer the question that is probably in the back of your mind: Someone not majoring in music will probably NOT receive a scholarship large enough to offset the expense of college to any major extent. Music schools want to support students who are going to graduate from the institution with a degree in music.

 I have no idea how old your son is, but the best idea would be to narrow down schools he wants to attend, then email the school directly with those questions, because each school will operate differently. Some will be similar, but not all.
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BFW
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« Reply #2 on: Jun 15, 2008, 04:54PM »

Josh, thanks a bunch, that's exactly the kind of information I was hoping for.  Ballpark figures, anecdotes, etc. are fine; I'm just trying to get a sense of what the situation might be like.

To answer the question that is probably in the back of your mind: Someone not majoring in music will probably NOT receive a scholarship large enough to offset the expense of college to any major extent.

Actually, that question wasn't in the back of my mind.  I have no expectations; the concept is a bit foreign to me, so I don't know what the possibilities are like.

My son is finishing his sophomore year, by the way.
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Brian

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« Reply #3 on: Jun 18, 2008, 11:02PM »

EnTransit answered your questions pretty well.  I think the rest of us should give you our personal experience about music scholarships, and maybe that will give you a better idea.

When I was a Music Education major, tution was about 1000-1100 per semester, and I had a 500 per semester scholarship.  I was required play in one of the major ensembles each semester, maintain a 2.5 GPA overall, and have nothing lower than an A- in trombone lessons. 

We had about 25-30 students in the trombone studio and about 3/4 were music majors and about half of us were on scholarship.  Interestingly the 6-8 non-music majors held 3 or 4 of the scholarships.  I think there were just a couple of students that had 1000 per semester. 

I went to KU (Kansas not Kentucky):)for my undergrad and it has about 30,000 students per year, so it is a fairly big school.
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BFW
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« Reply #4 on: Jun 19, 2008, 06:09AM »

I think the rest of us should give you our personal experience about music scholarships, and maybe that will give you a better idea.

Yes, please do!  Good!
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Brian

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Dennis K.
« Reply #5 on: Jun 19, 2008, 06:40AM »

As stated, it depends on the school.  My brother-in-law received a partial scholarship to play bass in the orchestra (Baylor).  The scholarship was enough to cover textbooks, some of the fees, and private bass lessons.
A friend's daughter is getting a similar deal (TX Tech) - also a bass player.
One of my students was offered a similar deal for bass trombone (some small private college in MO).
I think it really depends on the instrument and the needs of the school.  Many schools have an orchestra or band for non-majors.  Anecdotally, instruments that are difficult to fill are more likely to get scholarships - like bass, viola, harp, oboe, bassoon.
In every case that I have known of, the scholarship offer came from the private teacher for that instrument or the ensemble director.  Basically, when the prospective student took a tour of the campus, they also arranged to meet someone on the music faculty, then opened the discussion asking about the different ensembles that they could possibly play in.
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« Reply #6 on: Jun 19, 2008, 11:10AM »

I attended The University of Central Oklahoma (Edmond, OK) from Fall '93-spring'98.  I was awarded an "alumni scholarship" that was talent based and was absically a tuition waiver.  No stipulation was placed on me for my major, although i had to participate in a major ensemble (Orch, Wind Ensemble) and since it was offered by the Jazz Professor i was expected to play in a Jazz Ensemble (there were 3) as well.  While the "cap" on the scholarship was set at 850, it covered all of my tuition and fees, no matter how much.  I had a school job that took care of my rent and some food, and books; the profs hooked me up with enough gigs to keep the bills paid and the gas tank full.

My cousin Chad attended East Central University in Ada, OK and was offered a pretty sizable scholarship, but i don't really have the numbers on that.  When we were all going into school ('93-94) our family was a bit on the poor side, so college would have had to wait if it weren;t for the scholarship money.  My cousin sarah (Cello) was offered a good scholarship to Oklahoma University, as well as my cousin marc.  Had they decided to become law majors they still would have kept their scholarships, but they both stayed in music.

I was also offered some academic money, but the music and academic monies could not be combined at the time... if your kids are doing well academically, you might want to compare against other schools and award programs to see what the best deal you can get is.

In-state tuition in Oklahoma (in most of the SW, actually) is pretty cheap.  From what i remember, Mass. schools are a bit pricey.  Have you thought of "shipping them off?"  I know you'll miss them, but it's a thought.

Good luck on your endeavors and all the best to your kids....

Zac
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« Reply #7 on: Jun 19, 2008, 11:21AM »

Daughter went to Texas Christian Univ. (TCU) in Ft Worth, ca. 1980.  She got both a music scholarship (flute performance) and an academic schol., graduated with two majors. No longer plays in any organized group, works full time as a Sr Business Analyst for a utility conglomerate.
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« Reply #8 on: Jun 19, 2008, 11:52AM »

The University of Wisconsin awards ten full-tuition scholarships each year to students who attend the summer music clinic in Madison (an excellent two-week music camp) and audition for the award.  Scholarship winners may use the scholarship at the Madison or Milwaukee campuses and may choose any major.  The only requirements are that the student play in a performing group every semester and maintain a 2.5 GPA.  Unfortunately the scholarship competition is only open to Wisconsin residents, so BFW's son isn't eligible.  I won one of these scholarships in 1974, but didn't use it because Michigan State made me an even better financial aid offer.
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Don Bilger
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« Reply #9 on: Jun 19, 2008, 08:30PM »

One of my friends, a very talented clarinetist, received a music scholarship at Northeastern University by audition (she's a pharmacy major). I'm not sure how much it was for, but she just has to be a member of two of the university's ensembles. My brother, a criminal justice major also entering there next fall, was contacted saying that they still have a few of these music scholarships remaining. Auditions will be held in the fall. Obviously your son is still too young, but to me it seems like either people don't know about/audition for them, or that they have many scholarships available. Best wishes for you son and the college process, and also you and your family for the financial situations.
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 19, 2008, 08:43PM »

You know, I don't know why i didn't mention this earlier...

It might be a good idea to have your child study with some college professors somewhere along the way - this can help tremendously when it comes to scholarship money.  Especially if said professor thinks your child would be a welcome addition to the program.

Again I have to thank Dr. Kidwell and Mr. Rucker at UCO for giving me the chance to go to school.  Always very giving with their time and experience.  I am positive there are similar individuals in Massachusetts - sure are a lot of great universities.

Z
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« Reply #11 on: Jun 20, 2008, 09:58AM »

Given Florida's extreme budget crisis... from what I understand, at my school, there are very few music funds available to non-majors or minors. (Heck, most of us don't get too much to major). However, if you are a non-major or minor, and you win a principal chair in one of the top ensembles, you get a scholarship. Last fall, a non-major won the bassoon chair in wind ensemble. From that, he got free lessons and either $500 or $250 each semester he held the chair.
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 20, 2008, 10:16AM »

BFW - Something else to consider:
At some state schools, scholarships also include an out-of-state tuition waiver.  UNT did this - so, you might get a tiny little $250/ semester scholarship.  BUT, that also include the waiver, which translated into another coupla thousand bucks.
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« Reply #13 on: Jun 20, 2008, 10:21AM »

BFW - Something else to consider:
At some state schools, scholarships also include an out-of-state tuition waiver.  UNT did this - so, you might get a tiny little $250/ semester scholarship.  BUT, that also include the waiver, which translated into another coupla thousand bucks.

That's good to know about UNT. I have a student who is interested in UNT for fall 09.
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« Reply #14 on: Jun 20, 2008, 07:16PM »

This is exactly the kind of information I was hoping for, everybody.  Personal experiences, some specifics about certain schools, general impressions, suggestions.  Thanks!
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Brian

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« Reply #15 on: Aug 10, 2008, 05:13PM »

My daughter who is planning on being a music ed major received a music scholarship at Wartburg College in Iowa.  Her requirements are to take lessons and be in the orchestra/band/jazz band. If I remember correctly at Wartburg the music and music ed majors get more $$$ than non majors ($5K vs $2K I believe). I know of other private and public schools here in the Midwest that give similar splits to majors and non majors. 
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« Reply #16 on: Aug 27, 2008, 08:16AM »

We have an obscene amount of non-majors involved with music at Luther and many of them recieve scholarships. They are chosen by audition. 2.5 GPA and play in an ensemble. There are lesson scholarships for majors, but I don't think those are available for non-majors. You can audition your senior year. Also there are scholarships for upperclassmen involved in music that don't nessecarily require you to be a music major. Most people audition at the various music festivals that go on throughout the year or by appointment when they make campus visits.
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« Reply #17 on: Sep 20, 2008, 08:52AM »

I saw an Arizona State signature go by up there, but the person didnt cite what ASU is doing today.  Mine was years ago, but that very question decided what school I went to.

at that time;  ASU did NOT offer ANY scholarships to non-music majors.  Northern Az and UofA did. So I became an Arizona Wildcat, under a full-tuition waiver as a non-music major - and lessons with Tom Ervin - a bonus by any account.  I wish I knew then what I had at the time.  (Sorry Tom!! Im playing again, better than ever.) 

Also, I felt that carrot dangling before me.  They expect a certain amount of return and full participation for their money's worth, or they rescind it to offer to the next person.
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« Reply #18 on: Sep 20, 2008, 07:24PM »

My brother went to SUNY Alfred- I don't recall what his actual major was, some sort of visual art. But he received scholarships for voice and trumpet performance. If I remember correctly, it was like some other folks have described, these were not from the school of music, but from an alumni endowment set up to increase participation in the music program. He had to maintain a GPA (2.5 sounds right, but I wouldn't swear to it) and participate in several ensembles- I don't remember if he had to sing in two and play in one, but that's what he did. There were a pretty good number of non-music majors in the ensembles he played in. I'm pretty sure it was like Dennis described, too: I think the scholarships were $500 each per semester, but included an out of state tuition waiver. I remember my dad talking about that, how he got less money in scholarships than I did, but it ended up saving him more.
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« Reply #19 on: Sep 20, 2008, 10:01PM »

I saw an Arizona State signature go by up there, but the person didnt cite what ASU is doing today.  Mine was years ago, but that very question decided what school I went to.

at that time;  ASU did NOT offer ANY scholarships to non-music majors.  Northern Az and UofA did. So I became an Arizona Wildcat, under a full-tuition waiver as a non-music major - and lessons with Tom Ervin - a bonus by any account.  I wish I knew then what I had at the time.  (Sorry Tom!! Im playing again, better than ever.) 

Also, I felt that carrot dangling before me.  They expect a certain amount of return and full participation for their money's worth, or they rescind it to offer to the next person.


 This illustrates an excellent point about certain schools. I believe the marching band at ASU offers scholarships through the athletic department. However, ASU is large enough that offering non-major scholarships is a rarity. Unfortunately, I have not been here long enough and have not investigated ASU enough to give any kind of definitive answer.

 
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