Top 3 Instruments That Make it Easier to Get a Scholarship

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Top 3 Instruments That Make it Easier to Get a Scholarship

At some point, everyone is encouraged to pick up an instrument. Toddlers are handed toy tambourines, drums, and guitars. It is an admirable effort, giving every child the opportunity to appreciate one of the most precious things shared by this entire planet: music. Unfortunately, despite these attempts, only a minute few children come to develop a talent for music.

It may not come until later in life, but many students develop a passion for sound that lasts a lifetime. We become band geeks, composers, producers and artists, church organists and cover band players. But whether it’s performing before a few dozen or several thousand, we have the privilege of using our talent to do something we love.

Another great opportunity that comes with learning to appreciate playing an instrument is the educational opportunities. A high school student with a deep passion for music in general and who has mastered the complexity of an instrument has also developed the capacity to earn scholarships.

Getting a Music Scholarship

Music scholarships are as tough as they come. Unlike other forms of scholarship, those awarded to student musicians will require live auditions and professional judging beyond typical exams and the interview process. Fortunately, the Internet has made it easier to submit these performances. Now, a student in Utah can apply to the Royal College of Music in London and have as much chance for consideration as the student that lives in London.

A musician will be expected to excel at their craft and prove they can manage the institute’s stringent curriculum, adding to its academic reputation. When choosing a school and a scholarship, take into account the more popular the instrument, the greater the competition.

There are thousands of drummers, guitarists and wind instrument players, many with exceptional talent. If you chose to be one of those competitors, be a well-rounded artist. Unless you are applying to a specific program, be ready to impress as much with rock as classical and jazz. If you are applying to a specific program, be prepared to be tested beyond your imagination. And avoid taking rejections personally. Always strive to be the best.

Best Instruments for Getting a Music Scholarship


harp instrument

It’s one of the most delicate instruments in the world and one of the most difficult to produce beautiful sounds with. Dating as far back as 3000 BC, it is considered the oldest instrument in history. It will take years to master its intricacy, but any student that does has given themselves an edge with music scholarships.

Noted Harpists: Synne Øverland Knudsen, Mayim Bialik, Harpo Marx, Alice Coltrane


It has been said the stranger – or rarer – the instrument, the greater one’s chances for a scholarship. The oboe is key to orchestral woodwind sections and is a phenomenal solo instrument. It is a simple, graceful and gentle tool. The right artist can convey a range of emotions with the oboe, including anger, heroism, and threat.

Noted Oboists: Mitch Miller, Yusef Lateef, Jeremy Irons, Andy Mackay



It’s a far more popular instrument than you might imagine (just look at any marching band), but being able to play well requires a dedicated and forceful talent. If you think not, listen to anyone playing without accompaniment. If a student plays the tuba, make sure they have studied the concertos written specifically for the instrument.

Noted Tuba Players: John Williams, Velvet Brown, Heiko Triebener, Herbie Flowers

Bottom Line

Despite the above information, every student should follow their heart. Without that personal connection to an instrument and the created sound, no application reviewer will see what’s really needed in a musician. And that’s passion.

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  1. Some interesting observations. All kids need to be exposed to music.

  2. These are great instruments but really hard to play. My son is trying to play the harp but it is so difficult.

  3. Great post! I love music. My sister received a music scholarship as a percussionist. She ended up switching her degree but I can still see the passion in her eyes when she hears drums.

    • That’s awesome for your sister! I’m sure she still has a love for it deep down. You have to be pretty good to get a scholarship.

  4. This is such great information! My daughter started college last month and this information is so hard to find. Thanks for making it a bit easier 🙂

  5. Tami Qualls says:

    My kiddos gave the trombone a try in band. Unfortunately neither one of them followed through. Maybe that was a good thing according to what you’ve shared.

    • Yeah, some of those instruments just kind of don’t amount to much. At least they gave it a shot though!

  6. Elizabeth O. says:

    Awesome instruments. Yes, at some point our parents will encourage us to learn how to play an instrument or two and if we’re really interested, we’re definitely going to push through with the lessons until we grow up. It’s awesome to know that these have scholarships.

    • It’s always good to push our kids to get out of their comfort zones. It sometimes shows them things they never knew they loved. Yes, scholarships can be handy!

  7. Great info. I love to see youngsters encouraged to pursue the arts.

  8. One of my dreams for my son is to play any musical instrument such as piano. I hope he grows as a music lover.

  9. Karlaroundtheworld | Karla says:

    Interesting list, I’m pretty familiar with these orchestral instruments though I can barely hear the differences depending on what’s being played. That said, this list should prove to be useful and a bit of a motivation booster for those who excel at these instruments but for the others, I’d say it’s not going to be pretty changing instruments just for the sake of going with a scholarship. Like you said, follow your heart!

    • Yes, just because there are scholarships available doesn’t mean you should change your path of passion.

  10. I’m amazed these are the instruments, I was so curious to see. I do love listening to harp music. One that I’m surprised to not see is the organ. There are fewer and fewer organists out there!

    • Now that I think about it, you’re right! Many kids learn instruments while in school and the organ isn’t usually an instrument that’s offered.

  11. I guess I never had thought about this. But I always wanted to learn to play the harp. Not going back to school, though.

  12. This is new to me, my kids are grown now. This is a good way because most kids are into some type of music

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