5 Tips: Get a Music Scholarship

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Even though the newspaper says the economy is turning around, that doesn’t mean each one of us isn’t pinching our pennies and living on a budget. So when you make the decision to pursue a career in music you should familiarize yourself with the best ways to get a music scholarship. There are a lot of great options out there for scholarships but you should put your best foot forward and give yourself the greatest chance to make sure you get a scholarship.  In this blog post we will give you 5 tips to help you secure a music scholarship. We want you — “In class, not mowing grass!”


The most important and possibly overlooked path to getting a music scholarship is fully researching the music schools to which you will apply. Choosing to pursue an education in music is one of the biggest decisions you are going to make; can you believe some people don’t properly look at the school before applying? Believe it or not, some schools say right on their website that they don’t offer any financial aid or the school doesn’t provide scholarship info! A good indicator is if they have a financial aid director on staff and/or a page dedicated to scholarships and financial aid. LAMA, for instance, has all of the above!


Often times a music school will have to choose from many different applicants, and certain areas hold more weight. LAMA’s own Vice President and resident sight-reading drumming master Mike Packer was recently interviewed and said that transcripts and recorded performances hold the most weight. Fellow musicians, make sure that your high school transcripts and any other schooling you have had are turned in on time. If you are still in high school, keep this in mind when you have to choose between going to a party and getting an A on an exam. Quality music schools will require you to submit a recorded performance showcasing your musical ability. Like your transcripts, the recorded performance holds more weight. If you flub a note, redo it! Let your soul shine through your playing to differentiate you from other applicants who are just phoning it in.

TIP: google LA Music Academy Scholarship videos to see what others have been working on.


Almost as overlooked as researching your school is the production quality of your recorded performance. When the school actually gets down to listening to your demo and they have to choose between your demo and someone else’s, in which the performance quality is the same, they will side with the better production quality! Just because you have a Mac with Protools or Garage Band on it doesn’t mean that you are the next Rick Rubin. Reach out to a friend with some trusted skills and equipment who can record something nice! It might even be worth it in the long run to spend a little bit of money, if the reward could mean a scholarship. Don’t be shy either, you could be surprised to find out how willing the biggest recording studio in town might be to do a little “pro-bono” recording work if you properly explain it’s for a scholarship. If you decide to record it on your Mac, make sure your software is in order!


Often times you will be asked to write an essay or answer essay questions to help the school learn more about you as a person. Hopefully the school you want to apply to will have a financial aid person on staff who you can give you advice (LAMA for instance has a fulltime Director). A common mistake in essay writing is using passive voice. Instead, you should write in the active voice, which makes your writing stronger. For example, instead of writing, “The song writing competition at Guitar Center was won by me,” you would want to write, “I won the song writing competition at Guitar Center.”


When scholarship directors read your application, they are looking for applicants who are the most career oriented. They want to award scholarships to those who show the most potential in becoming future leaders in the music industry. This is why it is crucial to explain your future career goals: WHY do you NEED this scholarship? What are YOU GOING TO DO with a career in music? Be specific! Show your passion and dreams by describing how you plan to be a session drummer, or a music teacher, or touring the world with your band! (For more ideas on possible careers make sure to check out our Careers series of blog posts!). Would you give money to a friend who didn’t have a good reason for needing it? Our point exactly!

There you go future music grads! 5 tips to hopefully give you that competitive edge to get a music scholarship and make your dreams of music a reality. Make sure to have a friend or parent look over everything before you submit, they might catch something you didn’t think of. So when the time comes to start looking for scholarships, be patient and don’t get discouraged because those scholarships will mean fewer student loans!

-LAMA Staff

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11 responses to “5 Tips: Get a Music Scholarship”

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  5. Daphne Leshay says :

    I am a musician pursuing a degree in music. Was looking for a way on getting a scholarship in music, but after reading the tips, it narrowed down my search and made my process alot easier. Thanks a million.

  6. samuel temmy says :

    i wnt to be a stundent

    • LAMA says :

      Hi Samuel! Hope all is well! If you are interested in more information about attending LAMA, we encourage you to contact Scott or Elle in our admissions department and they will be happy to help assist you. 1-626-568-8850 or email (admissions at lama.edu) 🙂

  7. Violet says :

    hello. i am an african and i was wondering if i can get a music scholarship?!. abroad.

    • LAMA says :

      Hi Violet! Please contact our admissions department at 1-626-568-8850 and we’ll be happy to answer any and all questions you may have! Talk soon! 🙂 -LAMA Admissions

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