Summer break is right around the corner and for a lot of students, that means a summer job. Parents encourage the experience, the money their student can save for college, and the time out of the house. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that teens earn an average of a little more than $1200 on a summer job. That’s not bad money, but if you save every bit of it toward your college education, that $1200 is only about 3% of a single year’s tuition at a private school.1 If you are or have a student musician, the summer could be much more financially rewarding.
College music department recruiters view the potential music major’s summer activities just as strongly and, in some cases, more strongly as they do academic year activities. Why? Because they want to see that the student has created an independent plan for musical advancement beyond prescribed academic activities. We spoke with a music department recruiter for a major Midwestern college and learned what they look for.
- Attend a summer music camp on a college campus. 2 The more weeks you go, the stronger your application looks. Every week of camp is worth about $1,600 in potential scholarships.
- Attend Master Classes 3 for your instrument or voice part on a college campus and/or at a summer music camp. Each class can be worth $700 in potential scholarships.
- Take private lessons during the summer. Learn two new solos and six etudes. Each summer lesson can be worth $125 in potential scholarships. If you perform at a summer recital with three solos (including one concerto piece) you can add another $1,200 in scholarship potential.
Your scholarship potential if you plan one summer to look like this:
- Three weeks of music camp for $4,800
- Four Master Classes for $2,800
- Eight private lessons plus recital for $2,200
could be $9,800 in scholarship funding, or 28% of private college tuition per year. If you plan this schedule for multiple summers, your scholarship-earning capability grows, too. Even better, our friend, the Midwestern recruiter, said that the budding music major with a fully planned summer of enriching music experiences has a stronger resume than the average music student. That means you have a much greater ability to earn scholarships.
So, a well-planned summer filled with music experiences can help you get accepted to a music program AND get scholarships! Even though each experience has a financial cost, each can be a wise investment of money and time.
Dr. Randall Bayne, CEO
1. From collegedata.com
2. Your high school camp (especially marching band camp) does not count as music camp.
3. Master Classes must be a full-day experience.