COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS FOR MUSIC

There is a new movement afoot to get those seeking music scholarships a little respect.

One is never sure whether to think of them as high school band geeks or future Mick Jaggers.

But now, more than ever, there is increasing evidence that the brain certainly agrees with the study of music. In fact, students who take music courses—which, incidentally, lead to music scholarships—score higher on the SAT and get better grades.

It is unclear, of course, whether the smarter kids are drawn to music or if they are somehow made smarter and more disciplined by playing music. And where do music scholarships fit into all this?

We have our suspicions, but for now we will simply say that music is a very good thing indeed.

And how could it not be? Everybody adores music. One may like jazz while the other likes pop music, but it is all music.

Almost all music scholarships come from foundations or music colleges. Music scholarships are perhaps the most fiercely contested of all scholarships for a variety of reasons. Number one on the list is that music scholarships are worth some serious coin and often can fund a student’s entire education.

Music consumption continues to grow by leaps and bounds. One would think that this means that the music industry is reaping unprecedented profits. This is not true, however.

What is true is that the sale of CDs is way down thanks in large part to new technologies that allow music lovers to immediately download a favorite song rather than go buy that song along with ten others they won’t necessarily like.
The good part for the consumer is that they don’t have to listen to a bunch of horrible songs and pay ten times the price to listen to one song they like. Of course this hurts the profits of the music industry as a whole and robs the consumer of the opportunity to ever hear songs that don’t get consistent radio play.

Many in the music business decry this turn of events. They say it hurts the artistic integrity of music and makes it so that hit songs are often the only ones that get recorded.

Critics of that point of view will tell you that music is better for it and, by the way, unknown artists are getting more exposure than they ever did. They will point to artists like Ray LaMontagne, a virtual unknown who got no mainstream radio play, but became a star nevertheless because of internet exposure combined with satellite radio. His saving grace? He writes and sings great songs, but he may have never been known if not for the new media.

The music business can offer many financial challenges and many financial rewards. It is important for the student seeking music scholarships to be aware of both.

As part of the future of the music business you will come to embrace these new and emerging business models. With only 250,000 full-time musicians employed in the United States—virtually all of them in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and Las Vegas—those who understand and adapt to the new music realities will thrive.

 


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