Page 88 - Classical Singer magazine 2019 Fall University Issue
P. 88

Paying that Chunk of Change
When researching, keep track
of what awards you are eligible for. Some independent scholarships are speci cally for music students, some are o ered to a speci c minority group, others simply require that you be from a speci c state—and there are also sports-related and grade- related awards.
Here are some examples of the music-related outside funding opportunities that exist:
• National Association of Teachers of Singing regional and national competition prizes
• State music educators’ association scholarships
• National Federation of Music Clubs scholarships (awards from $500 to $3,000)
• The Eloise Klersey Basler Vocal Music Scholarship (awards up to $5,000 annually)
• The Glenn Miller Birthplace Society scholarship competition
• The Associated Male Choruses of America scholarships
• The John Lennon Scholarships for contemporary musicians
• Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Performing Arts Scholarship (awards $3,000)
You can also get creative about fundraising for your own education. After all, you are a performer . . . so perform! Organize a bene t recital for your education. Invite friends, family,
88 Classical Singer | September/October 2019
and members of your community to attend and ask for donations. You may be surprised at how much money you can raise from an event like this.
Patrons are becoming a thing of the past, but now would be a good time to reach out if you have someone like a family friend or great aunt
who has taken an interest in your career! It is best to ask a patron to fund something speci c, such as your music scores and textbooks or one year of room and board. People are typically more willing to give when they know exactly what their money is going toward.
Some people even create online crowd-funding campaigns (such
as GoFundMe) for their college educations. While this can be a great way to create your own scholarship, be thoughtful in setting up the campaign, ensuring that you are giving compelling reasons for potential donors to contribute.
Working While in School
Find out if there are assistantships or TA-ships available at the college/ university that can help o set the cost of your tuition. It is usually a good idea to accept these positions when o ered, as they will be more convenient than having an o -campus job. There are plenty of other on- campus jobs that can help o set tuition, including working in the library, at security stations, as a tour
guide for the school, in food service, and more. Some of these jobs enable you to get your schoolwork done while working, which is a huge bonus.
While having a job during school is a great way to cover a portion of your tuition costs and have some spending money, it is important to determine how much time you can realistically commit to a job, especially if you have to factor in commute time. You don’t want to lose half of your available practice hours to a minimum-wage job if you can help it (though for some, this is the reality and unavoidable).
Taking the Plunge
When you have thoroughly investigated all your options, set your debt cap, and successfully completed your auditions, all that is left is to wait for the results to roll in. From there, you will be well equipped to make an informed decision about where to go and how to pay for it. If none of the options available to you meets your criteria, seriously consider waiting another year to try again. It is certainly better to wait for the right  t than to be saddled with excessive debt for most of your adult life. Remember, you are the consumer, and at the end of the day, you make the calls.
Dana Lynne V arga is a sought-after soprano, voice teacher, and career coach as well as the founder and artistic director
of M assOpera. S he was the 2016  rst
place winner of the Classical Singer Vocal Competition Young Artist/Emerging Professional Division. V arga is currently on the voice and opera faculty of the
Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, M assachusetts. S he regularly presents vocal masterclasses as well as classes on business and entrepreneurship for singers all over the East Coast. Please visit and

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