The music industry is a fast-growing and very lucrative field. Every year it sees countless individuals jumpstarting exciting careers working as producers, audio engineers, mastering engineers, and studio musicians. It’s a vast ecosystem that has a virtual cornucopia of opportunities to offer the would-be professionals of tomorrow.
That being said, you need to get your foot in the door first. The way most people accomplish that is by going to school and receiving some training in the field they find so interesting. Which leads us to the next logical question: How do you go to school to become a music industry professional, if you aren’t wealthy?
How do you get the education you need if you’re from a lower-income household? How do you manage to make it work if you’re not from a privileged life? Well, there’s always loans, but that’s a real risk. So, the inevitable first recourse is scholarships.
Scholarships are awards given to people who have either proven that they are exceedingly gifted in a specific subject or have demonstrated quantifiable need. They are free money given toward your education based on your academic achievement, artistic abilities, athletic skills or other criteria that would benefit the institution at hand.
A scholarship can be a one-time gift, or can be renewable based on your continued performance. Yes, that’s right. Some scholarships pay for your entire tuition. The best part is that unlike student loans, scholarships do not have to be paid back. Ever. They’re just money given to you in order to facilitate your academic career.
By doing a bit of homework, you may be able to qualify for enough scholarship money to pay for some or all of your Recording Connection externship. To point you in the right direction, here are some places to look for scholarships.
There are lots of foundations and organizations out there with free money to help promising students fund their education. These programs each have their own set of criteria for who qualifies to receive these scholarships, based on such things as academic ability, financial status, geographical location, physical condition, and even the particular field you plan to enter.
Many of these foundations can be found by searching the Internet (scholarships.com is a great place to start). Look for scholarships that you might qualify for, and apply for them. To save time and energy, only apply when you meet the criteria, and follow the directions exactly.
Depending on where you live, certain states offer in-state tuition assistance in order to attempt to keep in-state students where they are. These academic institutions want to keep the best and brightest right where they are, in their home state, because it will increase the diversity and brand equity of their school. These scholarships are usually offered by the state in order to facilitate your academic career.
YOUR PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT
Many companies offer scholarship programs for their student employees as part of their benefit packages. Check with your employer to see if they have such a program, and how you might qualify for a scholarship. Many labor unions also have scholarship programs, so if you are a union worker, be sure to check there, as well.
PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS (FRIENDS/FAMILY)
A lot of people don’t consider that there may be someone among their friends and family who could afford to help with school costs, and would be willing to do so if asked. If there is someone you know among friends or relatives who believes in you and wants you to succeed, you might be able to receive a private scholarship from him/her simply by presenting your dreams and goals to them.