So, you want to audition for a Music Scholarship?
Read these thoughts by past scholarship judges!


Music Scholarships are a vehicle and an incentive for improvement

Audition Preparation provides one clue as to who will meet or exceed expectations

But it's not just the music or musical background, it's Leadership, Effort, and Attitude

Definition of Scholarship:

Knowledge resulting from study and research in a particular field.


A music scholarship should provide you the means of improving your personal knowledge and skill. The money awarded should allow you to take some private lessons or perhaps not take that job so you have the time to practice your voice or instrument.


 A scholarship award, therefore, means that you are recognized as having the potential for improvement NOT that you are already where you ought to be.

In the early years, if a student showed enough interest to prepare a piece, that was good enough.  Not any more. Now the quality of performance and difficulty level of the music matters.


"Quality" includes level of difficulty, content of the piece and how well-suited it is to the voice or instrument.


The faculty will attempt to determine the effort that went into preparing for the audition. They also attempt to determine whether your preparation is an indicator of what kind of scholarship student you will be.


Your past effort, attitude, and performance in SDSM&T ensembles will also be a factor in making awards.  Expect those faculty who are NOT your ensemle instructor to be checking on your attendance, attitude, and participation in the ensembles. 

Leadership has been described as a process in which one person enlists the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. No matter how good an individual musician is, he/she cannot perform in an ensemble alone. It requires others to have a good experience. And the better those others are, the better the experience becomes.


If you want a music scholarship solely for the money, you need to ask yourself some questions.

  • Does the welfare of the music program come before your personal desires?

  • Are you capable of making those around you better?

  • Do you understand the difference between being a leader and setting a good example?

  • Will your commitment disappear after the scholarship year is over?

  • What kind of music program would you like to see at SDSM&T?

Making the SDSM&T music program stronger requires student leaders who are better than average musicians, but also who want great musical challenges and experiences for themselves and for those around them. A scholarship is an investment by the Music program. It is a job. You get paid for this; prepaid, in fact, for performance and accomplishment of the goals you and your director set.


  • Dedication to the overall music program.

  • Doing things to make the program better now.

  • Doing things to make the program excellent after you are gone.

What is Leadership?

Great leaders can completely change the culture of a program.  Awarding scholarship dollars to someone who will be a positive influence is the best use for the money given over the years by SDSM&T music supporters.