School Guidelines

Prior Music School Guidelines 

How does a school qualify to participate in the scholarship program?

Schools should complete and submit their application along with a copy of their current business license, or other third-party document that shows how long they have been in business. To participate, music programs must have been in business at least one year, unless they are part of an established music franchise.

We will review the school’s website and conduct an interview with the school manager and owner before approving their participation. We will also do a general online search.

Once participation is approved, the school will be added to the list of Participating Schools on our website, and they will receive a New School Welcome Kit with brochures, flyers, a Scholarship Program booklet and other tools.

How does the scholarship program work?

Students who wish to receive a scholarship to your school must submit a completed application to the Ovation Music Fund prior to our review dates. We conduct scholarship reviews three times per year and our application deadlines are November 1, March 1 and July 1.  Scholarships are generally awarded for 4 month terms, and commence in January/February, May/June or September/October.

When we receive an application from a child who wants to attend your school, we will contact you to see if you know them and consider them a good scholarship candidate. We also need to find out which of your private lesson/group programs they would participate in. If you have not met them yet, we will send them through for a tour and a free trial lesson so that you can evaluate their skill level and determine which program they should be in.

How are scholarships paid?

Once a scholarship is awarded it is paid monthly, directly to the school. Participating schools are expected to give scholarship students a discounted tuition rate equal to 90% of their current tuition rate. For example, if a school normally charges $300 per month for tuition, then the scholarship rate would be $270.

The maximum amount of financial aid granted is 100% of tuition, and the lowest amount awarded is 25%. The award amount is based on a family’s household income, number of dependents and regional cost of living index. If a partial scholarship is awarded, the parents are responsible for paying the balance. For example – using the scholarship rate of $270 per month – if a child is awarded a 75% scholarship, then Ovation Music Fund would pay $202.50, and the parents would pay $67.50 per month.

Schools invoice Ovation Music Fund at the beginning of each month for all scholarship students. The invoice should contain the student’s name, start date, end date (their scholarship term length), and tuition amount (an invoice template is provided). Invoices should be emailed to us on the first of the month, and they will be paid within 10 days of receipt.

Qualified schools must know:

Participating schools are asked to report on the status of each student receiving scholarship tuition. If a student leaves the school, the school is required to report that to the us immediately. Failure to do so will result in the school losing the ability to participate in the scholarship program.

If a student leaves the program before the end of the scholarship term, the funds that were budgeted go back into the fund to assist other low income children in that community.

Scholarship students are required to follow the guidelines for receiving scholarship funding, including:

  • Students must demonstrate commitment to learning to play their instrument and be a contributing member of the student body.  They are expected to strictly adhere to the code of conduct for the school they attend.
  • Students are expected to attend all lessons and rehearsals, and come to their classes prepared.
  • Parents are asked to volunteer up to six hours per month at the school, at the school’s discretion. Parents are also asked to support Ovation, by following, liking and sharing our social media.
  • Scholarship parents are responsible for paying their share of tuition directly to the school per the terms of their enrollment agreement with the student, but in general, tuition is paid monthly. (If a parent defaults or is late on their portion of the tuition payment, it is not the responsibility of the Ovation Music Fund.)


How often do scholarships need to be renewed?

Financial aid must be renewed every four months prior to the deadlines of March 1, July 1 and November 1.  To renew, parents must complete a new application with a new parent letter, student essay and proof of income.

If a student leaves the program before the end of their scholarship term, and later wishes to reapply, they may do so, but they must go through the application process again.

Applications should be submitted from the parents to the Ovation Music Fund. We will not accept completed scholarship applications which are forward to us by schools.

Scholarship Terms

  • Reviews take place every 4 months, in March, July and November.
  • Scholarships will be awarded for an average of 4 months. 
  • Students must submit their applications by the first of March, July or November to be considered for the 4 month scholarship term that follows.


Fundraising Efforts and Legal Compliance

Participating schools mobilize the parents, merchants and local musicians in their communities to come together and fundraise to support music education for ALL kids. With music education being cut from public schools, your music school may be the only way that a child in your neighborhood can receive music lessons. Local fundraisers let the community know that you have a scholarship program for kids in need. Local merchants and businesses like to support scholarship efforts by donating goods, services and money to causes that help children succeed. This is an opportunity for you to connect with your community in a broader way, and be recognized as caring about the underserved youth in your area.

Community fundraisers that raise money for the Ovation Music Fund must comply with all federal and state fundraising regulations. Please review the regulations for charity fundraisers on your State Attorney General’s website. You are the host of the charity event, and responsible for legal compliance. Please note that raffles are illegal in many states.

Please carry the proper event liability insurance.
Please do a recap of income and expenses for your event, and provide us a copy of that document.
Charity funds raised at your event – along with the income and expenses recap – must be sent to us within 20 days of each event.

While in the planning stages of a fundraiser, organizers must submit their overall fundraiser concept, and run flyers and press releases by us for approval prior to publishing. We will provide you with our logo and legal language that must be included in all fundraiser marketing materials.

Ovation Music Fund is a 501(c)(3) public charity, and donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. We provide a third party review process that takes you out of the awkward position of asking for details about a potential customer’s financial circumstances. We issue donation receipts for tax purposes, register with the Federal and State governments, process applications, track billing, issue payments, complete any IRS requested audits, file the proper tax returns, and all other administrative functions.

We also do fundraising to cover the cost of running the scholarship program. Participating schools are required to support our efforts as follows:

1) Follow us on social media. Here are the links to our social media sites:


2) Share our social media posts
3) Post your approved benefit show flyers, and photos and videos from your fundraising events to our pages, or tag us in your posts

Facebook: OvationMusicFund
Twitter: @OvationMusicFun
Instagram: OvationMusicFund
Linkedin: OvationMusicFund

100% of the money that you raise will be earmarked for scholarships for low income children in your community. If money raised is not used after one or two years, it may be used to help children in other areas. But we will give you ample opportunity to find scholarship students in your area, and we may even be able to assist. To date, no community-raised funds have gone unused.

We frequently do nationwide programs to raise money to run the scholarship program. Examples include online auctions, the Youth Songwriting Program with Carnegie Hall, and the Ultimate Guitar Cruise. Participating schools must support those efforts by spreading the word about our fundraisers to their client base, including displaying flyers, brochures and other marketing collateral at their school, and distributing information via email and on social media.

Together, we can create a thriving scholarship program for your school!

Please note that a School Business License, or other 3rd party proof of time in business, will either need to be attached as a pdf, or faxed, emailed or mailed separately.

NOTE: We are no longer accepting applications from new music schools.