Variable Music Departmental Scholarships

What they are

Variable Music Departmental Scholarships (VMDS) are part of an initiative to encourage greater participation in music courses among music majors and non-music majors, and to allow instructors an opportunity to recognize and reward exceptional students.

VMDS do not require an audition. They are awarded once each long semester. Applications for a VMDS are due by no later than the seventh day of classes for a semester. The deadline for spring 2012 is September 2nd.

If you want to apply only for a VMDS, you can simply fill out steps 1-3 of the application process by September 2nd.

If you want to apply for both a VMDS and other music scholarships, fill out all steps of the application process, and indicate accordingly on the GC Music Scholarship Application.

How the award is calculated

VMDS awards are calculated according to participation in classes, faculty recommendation, whether the student is a music major, and the overall number of students applying. The calculation is based on a “points” system. The more points you score, the more money you can receive. You can receive points for the following:

  • You will receive one point each for enrolling in any MUSI (Music), MUEN (Ensemble), MUSB (Music Business), or MUSC (Commercial Music) class, with two exceptions: music theory and eartraining classes count as one point together, and Music Appreciation (MUSI 1306) does not score points.
  • You will receive one point for being a music major.
  • You will receive two points for participating in any MUAP class (private lessons).
  • Additional points can be accrued through music faculty recommendations.

Example 1: Joe, a music major, is enrolled in a typical semester of courses. He is in private guitar lessons, piano class, the guitar ensemble, Music Theory I, Eartraining and Sightsinging I, an English class, and a math class. He would receive 1 point for being a music major, 2 points for being in private guitar lessons, and 1 point each for being in piano class, guitar ensemble, and (as a group) theory and eartraining. His total is 6 points.

Example 2: Jennifer, a non-music major, is taking violin lessons and joins the string ensemble. That’s one MUAP class for 2 points, and one MUEN class for 1 point, for a total of 3 points.

How much is a point worth?

Once all of the applications have been received by the deadline (September 2nd), the allotted VMDS scholarship budget will be divided by the total number of points scored. This will determine the value of an individual point, which will allow the calculation of the overall award. For example, if the VMDS budget (which can vary from semester to semester) was $4000 for a semester, and a total of 50 points was scored for all students who applied that semester, one point would be worth $80. ($4000/50 points = $80 per point). In this case, Jim, above, would receive $480 (6 x 80), and Jennifer would receive $240 (3 x 80).

  • A point will be worth no less than $50. This means that there is a finite number of points possible to be scored in any given semester (based upon that semester’s VMDS budget). Therefore, applicants will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis until that limit has been reached.
  • A student can receive a maximum of $800 in total music scholarship awards.

For more information, contact James Dering.