Many educators believe that the importance of music is an important component in the quality of youth education. Unfortunately, funding for in-school and after-school youth music programs is steadily declining. The good news is that numerous private and government-funded programs exist to offer financial assistance and grants to band and music programs for kids and adults.
Marching bands that perform at sporting events are usually dressed in matching band uniforms. Such formal uniforms can be quite expensive, and sometimes more expensive than typical school music programs can afford. Depending on where you live, your organization may be eligible to receive a grant from nonprofit organizations to buy band uniforms. If your band is based anywhere in the U.S., you may be eligible to receive uniform grants from the Mockingbird Foundation, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to raising funds to enhance music education nationwide.
High School Band Grants
High school bands and music projects are in a prime position to receive financial assistance from a number of nonprofit music education organizations. Muzak offers grant awards to dozens of teen music education programs nationwide through its "Heart and Soul" Foundation and "Music Matters" grant program. In 2011, grants ranged between $1,000 and $12,000. The well-known guitar manufacturer Fender awards anywhere from $500 to $5,000 to high school music programs in 20 states. The grants can be applied toward enhancing and creating music projects, instruction or purchasing instruments.
Government Music Grants
No matter how poor the economy, or how large the national deficit, several government agencies still provide financial assistance to music-oriented education programs across the country. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) hosts several programs, including the "Learning in the Arts" youth music education grant program. It awards anywhere from $5,000 to $150,000 to independent school districts and higher education facilities. The U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement supports music education through its "Arts in Education" program, which distributes funds to high schools that wish to establish youth music and band programs that do not yet exist.
Special Music Projects
If you need funding for a specific type of music program or extraordinary project, many organizations offer financial assistance for special music projects. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) concentrates on supporting the mathematical education of primary grade students. However, it offers a special "Using Music to Teach Mathematics" program that awards grants of up to $3,000 to math teachers who plan to use music to teach arithmetic and sequential learning. The Grammy Foundation allocates funding to organizations performing scientific research on the affects of music in animals and humans, and for the restoration and archiving of historical compositions, recordings and antique musical instruments.
Michelle Renee is a professional trainer and quality assurance consultant in the career, education and customer service industries, with two decades of experience in food/beverage and event coordinating management. Renee has been published by Lumino and Career Flight as well as various food, education and business publications.