Music Scholarship FAQs

What if I’ve already gotten my financial aid package? Can I still audition?

Yes! We can still add music scholarships even if you have already received a financial aid package*. The financial aid office will prepare a new package for you.

*Students that receive a full tuition award cannot layer on additional scholarships. Those students can still visit and audition, however, as our audition and visit days are a great way to interact with our faculty and see if Simpson is the right fit for you!

Where do auditions take place?

Simpson Music Scholarship Auditions take place in Lekberg Hall in the Amy Robertson Music Center of Simpson College, Indianola, Iowa, unless otherwise specified. Click here for directions to the college, and a campus map.

What are you looking for in my performance?

Our music faculty are listening for a demonstration of your current level of musicianship, potential to develop further, and ability to succeed in a demanding college environment.

What type of music should I prepare?

Please click here for current repertoire guidelines.

Do you charge an accompanist fee?

Simpson does not charge an accompanist fee for your music scholarship audition, nor do we request your music ahead of time. If you need an accompanist, please indicate that on your audition registration. At your audition, please provide either original music, or photocopies placed in a binder, for our staff accompanist.

What should I wear?

We recommend clothing that makes you feel confident and comfortable. For our event days, some students choose to attend classes and information sessions in casual clothing, then change into something a bit more performance-oriented for their auditions.

Should I audition in more than one area?

For those students that, for example, sing and play piano, it is entirely up to you whether you audition on one or both. The primary goal of your audition is to demonstrate a high level of musicianship, and that can be done on one instrument or voice. If you wish to demonstrate mastery in a second area, you are welcome to, but we may have to limit the amount of time performing in each area so that your audition does not run over the allotted time.

Can my family attend my audition?

Yes, with your permission. Each performer chooses whether or not to allow accompanying family or friends to attend their audition. We do not allow visiting guests to attend any audition except that of the student they arrived with.

What should I bring to my audition?

You, of course! Plus your instrument if you are an instrumentalist, music for the accompanist (originals or copies placed in a 3-ring binder), and a music resume if you have one (this would include things such as years of study, teacher or studio names, awards, auditioned roles, or competitions). If you do not have a music resume, we provide space on your audition form to write in important information.

How do I submit a recorded audition?

We do strongly encourage in-person recordings, and suggest reviewing Simpson’s Fly-In program if you may be traveling more than 300 miles to campus. We can accept recorded auditions in special circumstances. Please fill out our audition registration and indicate you would like to submit a recorded audition. Links to recorded files can be sent to Crystal Burns via e-mail. It is also helpful if you submit a music resume, including things such as years of study, teacher or studio names, awards, auditioned roles, or competitions. On your recording, please introduce yourself and your pieces, as you would if auditioning in person.

Does this count as my audition for ensembles at Simpson?

No. Students attending Simpson will audition in the fall, just before classes start, for ensemble placement and/or opera roles. Any Simpson student is eligible for any ensemble or role, regardless of major.

When will I find out if I’ve been awarded a scholarship?

One to two weeks following your audition, you will receive a letter from the Department of Music informing you if you have been awarded a scholarship. If your financial aid materials are all on file in the financial aid office, you will also receive a financial aid package with the details of your award.

What are the scholarship amounts?

We offer two different types of scholarships, a Music Activity award for non-majors, and a Music Major award. All scholarships are awarded in yearly amounts, but are automatically renewable for 4 years.

Music Activity awards, for non-music majors, include two parts, a regular award amount, and an optional lesson grant. The awards are between $500-$1000 per year ($2000-$4000 for 4 years), and the lesson grants are $850 per year (up to $3400 over 4 years).  The lesson grant covers the lesson and accompanist fees for those students wishing to take private music lessons.

Standard Music Major awards typically range from $2500-$4500 per year (or $10,000 to $18,000 over 4 years). A limited number of special endowed awards may be available for exceptionally gifted performers.

Do I have to take music lessons to keep my scholarship?

Music Majors are required to take lessons as part of their degree program. Music Activity students (non-majors) do not have to take private lessons, but are encouraged to do so, and the lessons would be at no cost with a lesson grant.

Do I have to be part of an ensemble to keep my scholarship?

Yes. Music Majors have ensemble requirements as part of their degree program. Music Activity students (non-majors) are required to participate in at least one ensemble to maintain their scholarship.

Do you have music fees?

Yes. Fees for private lessons and accompanists are located on the Simpson College Tuition and Fees Page. If you indicate an interest in a music major, your expected music fees will automatically be included in your Simpson financial aid package. This is a voluntary step that Simpson takes to ensure transparency in comparing costs. We encourage you to ask about fees at any other institutions you may be considering.

Music activity students’ fees would typically be covered by the private lesson grant portion of their music award.

What is the scholarship deadline?

For students entering college in the fall of 2018, the audition deadline is February 16th, 2018.

Who can I contact if I have more questions?

Please contact Crystal Burns via e-mail or by phone at 515-808-1432. Texts welcome as well.