Are you ready to get in step?
Compared to what you might be accustomed to seeing in college athletics, the process of landing a scholarship for marching band can simply be confusing. That’s primarily because:
• Some schools actively recruit for marching band but many more don’t
• Not every school provides the opportunity to earn a marching band scholarship, and finally…
• You’re usually required to actually make the band before you can earn a scholarship
In spite of those three factors, there are still three things every musician who aspires to earn a marching band scholarship needs. Take care of these and you’ll have a leg up on not only making a college marching band but also landing some scholarship money as well.
Have A Solid Base Of Experience
A minimum of three or four years of experience in your high school’s marching band is something many band directors look for when considering high school musicians. Remember that every opportunity you have to participate in your high school marching band is also an opportunity to make an impression with talent scouts, college band directors, and even college admissions personnel. Further, the time you put in with your high school marching band will also notably demonstrate your full-on commitment to scholarship committees.
Beyond participating in your high school’s marching band, look for opportunities to attend summer band camps. You’ll not only gain more experience, but if the camp happens to be at a school you’re interested in attending, you’ll be able to get a feel for the campus and perhaps even make an impression on the school’s band director as well.
Find A School That Offers Marching Band Scholarships
Consider that some of the most prominent college marching bands, such as Ohio State, Notre Dame, and USC, don’t offer marching band scholarships. For other schools where marching band scholarships might be available, some require you to major in music while others don’t.
As a general rule, look for the schools that fit you best, then determine what, if any, marching band scholarships might be offered. Consider things like the area you want to study, tuition fees, the climate, major university or small college, the size of the campus and the surrounding area, and on- and off-campus housing options.
With all that said, no matter how important a marching band scholarship is to you, it’s more important to find a school that has something to offer you academically and socially. If a particular school interests you and offers marching band scholarships, go for it. But remember that, in the grand scheme of things, time spent in a college marching band will ultimately be only a small part of your university experience, so the availability of a marching band scholarship shouldn’t be the only factor at play when you choose a college or university.
Have An Awesome Audition
Remember, as mentioned above, that most colleges require students to be members of the school’s marching band before they can be eligible for any related marching band scholarships. So clearly, acing the audition and making the band is an important key to earning a scholarship.
So, to ensure your addition gets you in the band, start by practicing, practicing, and then practicing some more. The audition process is different for every school and, in many cases, the requirements are based on your instrument. Further, a band audition will require you to play your part in that school’s fight song. Knowing the part and how to play your instrument is the first step to a successful audition.
Then, get to know the band and its style. If you’ve attended a band camp at a school, then apply what you learned in that time. If you’re not as familiar with a band, check Youtube and the band’s web page to get a feel for that particular marching band.
Now that you know what you need to earn a marching band scholarship, get to work. Build up your experience, find the school that interests you, and then ace your audition!