Scholarship Criteria

Scholarship awards vary in amount and are granted based on three criteria:

  1. Strength of the audition (or portfolio for Music Composition applicants): Audition strength is determined by audition ratings and comments by faculty.
  2. Needs of the school: In order to maintain the correct balance of music and theatre students, the programmatic needs of CCPA are considered.
  3. Financial resources of the student: While CCPA does not have the resources to meet all demonstrated or perceived financial need, this will be taken into consideration when determining awards. Financial need is demonstrated through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) for US Citizens and Permanent Residents or through financial statements required for a student visa for international students.

CCPA scholarship funding is automatically renewed annually in the same amount provided a student is registered full-time and meets all the requirements within their conservatory's Scholarship Agreement.

Each applicant is considered for scholarship on an individual basis, and scholarship awards are never discussed with other applicants. It is also expected, and considered your responsibility, to not discuss your award with other students/applicants.

Master of Music students in violin, viola, cello, double bass, or harp who are regular members of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago are eligible to participate in the Civic Fellowship program. Civic Fellows receive a CCPA scholarship that, when added to their Civic stipend, will be equivalent to full-tuition at CCPA.

Graduate Music Student Assistantships

Graduate Assistantship positions are awarded to qualified Master of Music students in order to provide both professional work experience and an additional way to earn money to put towards the cost of attendance. Duties commence the week prior to the start of classes and therefore all Assistants must be on campus in mid-August each year.

These awards include a scholarship and work stipend, the total of which is equivalent to approximately 78% of tuition. Notification of an offer of a position will be made at the time admission decisions are released. There are positions that will open up during a student's second year of attendance.

To apply, applicants must submit:

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. Assistantship position preferences, up to 3, in rank order

Selected applicants will be contacted for an interview/evaluation with the faculty to be held on their audition date and/or a phone interview after the audition. Students submitting a recorded audition may not be eligible for some assistantships as a live interview is necessary for some positions. Assistantships are awarded for 1 year; graduate assistants will be evaluated at the end of the first year and may be invited to return with the approval of the faculty.

Positions are available in:

  • Musicianship: Musicianship (written and aural theory) assistants are assigned to full-time members of the musicianship faculty and are expected to work an average of 8-10 hours per week. Duties include attending class, grading assignments, assisting faculty with planning and organizational activities, and assisting students during regular office hours. Duties may also include classroom teaching and proctoring exams. Musicianship assistants are expected to be present to assist with orientation week activities (assessment and classes) that occur one week prior to the beginning of classes in the fall semester. The awards are based on an in-person audition that includes: sight-singing, sight-reading at the piano, harmonic and formal analysis, and voice-leading error detection.
  • Music History: The responsibilities are to provide instructional and clerical support for faculty teaching the undergraduate music-history survey classes. Duties may include: conducting review sessions, grading of tests and assignments, keeping grade and attendance records, meeting with individual students for outside help, holding regular office hours, attending class meetings, preparation of class materials, monitoring of online course materials, and meeting regularly with faculty. There may also be the opportunity to teach a class meeting, under the direct supervision of faculty. Total commitment will average 10–12 hours per week. Graduate teaching assistants are also required to be available during kick-off week before the start of Fall semester classes, for training and to assist with diagnostic testing and other orientation activities. The ideal candidate will be dependable and responsible, have a strong command of music history content, possess strong writing and analytical skills, and be an effective oral communicator.
  • Large Ensembles (Orchestra/Wind Ensemble): The graduate assistants for the large ensembles report directly to the ensemble operations manager. An average of 12 hours of work per week is required, including the following responsibilities: part preparation; music inventory and library maintenance; management of rehearsal and concert set-up and tear down; preparation of assignment postings; maintenance of recording archive database. Other related duties may be assigned. Familiarity with rehearsal protocols for large instrumental ensembles is essential; experience as a librarian is desirable.
  • Music Composition: The Composition Assistant will work an average of 8-10 hours per week. Duties include recording all Composition Program performances and producing and distributing CDs for all participants; maintaining the electro-acoustic studios and assisting student users; programming, stage managing and supervising all Composition Program recitals and workshops; and assisting the Composition faculty with special and ongoing projects. The successful candidate must be familiar with Microsoft Word.
  • Opera: The Opera Assistant will work an average of 8-10 hours per week and reports directly to the Assistant Professor of Voice and Opera. Duties include directly assisting voice and opera professors in all opera program activities and serving as a liaison with the Performance Activities Office on each production. The successful candidate will be proficient in Microsoft Office and able to function effectively as a point of contact between student singers and faculty. An interview with Voice program faculty is required.
  • Choir: The Choir Assistantship is only available to current CCPA Master of Music students. The Choir Assistant reports directly to the Head of Choral Activities. An average of 8-10 hours of work per week is required, including the following responsibilities: music inventory and library maintenance; management of attendance at rehearsals and other required services; serving as a liaison with the Performance Activities Office on attendance, assignment, and production matters for all choral program events; stage management of choral performances; assisting the faculty on special and ongoing projects and functioning as an effective point of contact between student singers and faculty. An interview with the Head of Choral Activities is required
  • Collaborative Piano: The collaborative piano assistant is assigned by the Head of the Piano Program to members of the applied faculty and will work an average of 8-10 hours per week. Duties include rehearsals, attending weekly lessons and performances both on and off campus. Duties may also include the accompanying of Choral Ensembles. Assignments will be made based upon the needs of the Music Conservatory, but will consist of both instrumental and vocal collaborative work, mostly at the graduate level. Extensive accompanying experience is required for this position. The award is based upon a review of the assistantship application and a live audition that includes sight-reading as well as prepared collaboration, to be coordinated with the formal audition for admission to the Conservatory.