Scholarships and Grants

We have raised over $85,000 since our scholarship program began in 1993, helping more than 650 area children study the arts. Our scholarship program is funded through fundraising activities and private donors.

Need Scholarships

Need/income-based scholarships provide financial assistance to students 18 years of age and younger unable to pay the full fee for private lessons, classes or ensembles. These scholarships are awarded in the fall and spring. Partial scholarships are allocated by the scholarship advisory board based on need, demonstrated interest and available funds.

To apply, fill out a need scholarship application form at the beginning of the fall or spring semester. Your application must include:

  • Financial information
  • A recommendation from a teacher (a music teacher, if possible)
  • A program registration form (billing arrangements will be made at a later date)

Need Scholarship Application

Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

Talent Scholarships

Each year, we award six $250 scholarships to talented musicians who demonstrate a high level of skill and musicianship. The scholarships are awarded to two students in each of the following categories:

  • Elementary (grades three-five)
  • Junior (grades six-eight)
  • Senior (grades nine-12)

All instruments are welcome. Applicants must be enrolled in private lessons or an ensemble at the Community School of the Arts. Applicants who take lessons on two instruments may audition on both. They must submit two application forms and pay the application fee twice.

To apply to audition, fill out a talent scholarship application form.

Talent Scholarship 2024 applications are due Dec. 15 and auditions are scheduled to begin 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 20.

The 2024 Talent Scholarship auditions will be held in person in the Recital Hall.

Talent Scholarship Application

If you receive a talent scholarship award, you will perform in our annual Honors Recital. Check our calendar for recital dates. Winners may not compete for another talent scholarship for two years (two full cycles) after receiving the award.


We partner with local and national organizations, whose assistance allows us to enrich our programs and expand their reach.

Farny R. Wurlitzer Grant

For the last several years we have been awarded grant support from the DeKalb County Community Foundation's Farny R. Wurlitzer Fund. These grants help provide need-based scholarships to students enrolling in our lessons, classes and ensembles.

We are grateful for this partnership. It is through this type of collaboration that we can make a difference in our community.

National Endowment for the Arts Grants

We received grants in 2011, 2012 and 2013 from the National Endowment for the Arts, through the Arts Education in American Communities program. This is an invitational grant for $10,000 with a $10,000 matching grant from NIU. This grant program supports our work by helping us bring talented artists and teachers to DeKalb to enhance the community.