Find Scores of Music Scholarships for College

Music-related college money is available for everything from opera singing to radio broadcast.

french horns
french horns

Summer is in full swing, and if you're like many musicians and music lovers, you're probably spending your days jamming with your friends and filling your evenings hitting up the major music festivals in your area.

If your passion is pushing you toward a career in music, you're in luck: There are plenty of scholarship opportunities available for music majors in college, including some that we featured on this blog in fall 2011. 

We recommend you put down that French horn for a few minutes to do some researching; to give you a head start, here are a handful of excellent music scholarship opportunities.

The National Federation of Music Clubs (NFMC) awards multiple scholarships every year, including: the $600 NFMC Ernest A Bluhm Flute Award; the NFMC Elizabeth Paris French Horn Award, worth $1,300; the NFMC Gretchen E. Van Roy Music Education Scholarship, which awards $1,150 to students pursuing a career in music education; and the Irma Carey-Wilson Music Therapy Award, worth $275, for those interested in studying music therapy. For information on these scholarships and others, visit the NFMC website.

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If you are a budding opera singer, check out the Loren L. Zachary Society for the Performing Arts and its National Vocal Competition for Young Opera Singers. Founded in 1972 by the late Loren L. Zachary and Nedra Zachary, the National Vocal Competition for Young Opera Singers is one of the most prestigious and valuable singing competitions in the world.

Singers from the United States or Canada, who are prepared to pursue a professional operatic stage career, are encouraged to audition. You must be present for all phases of the competition; regional auditions take place in Los Angeles and New York, with five finalists from each region competing at the Grand Finals Concert in Los Angeles.

All this work could pay off if you receive the top award, worth $10,000. Each finalist receives a minimum of $1,000.

[Read about a music school that does not charge tuition.]

If you can't make it to Los Angeles or New York but are still interested in scholarships for opera singers, check out the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship. The Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship Foundation has given more than $400,000 to students pursuing operatic careers since its inception in 1988, with more than $15,000 awarded annually.

U.S. citizens ages 21 to 36 may audition at one of three locations this fall: Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill.; the University of Texas—Austin; or in Providence, R.I. A final competition will be held in Rhode Island in December.

Are you more interested in listening to music than making music? A career in the radio or music industry might be just up your alley.

Since 1979, the nonprofit Conclave "has been awarding scholarships to deserving students desiring an education inside the radio and music industries," according to its website. This year, the nonprofit distributed six scholarships worth more than $90,000.

[Learn how to find the net price of college.]

Finally, as always, we encourage you to check out the scholarships available to music students at the colleges and universities to which you're thinking of applying, as well as scholarship opportunities that are specific to your state.

Whether you're pursuing music as a future career, an extracurricular activity, or just because you're passionate about it, there's scholarship help out there for you.

Michelle Showalter joined Scholarship America in 2007 and is an alumna of Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.