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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
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
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
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.