Family & Friends
Many participants tell us that family members could afford to help but they didn’t want to ask! If you cannot ask them, whom can you ask? Do not hesitate! Explore your immediate family as a source of revenue first. Within the family circle and among their friends, there are people who know you, who have watched you grow up and develop your talent and who will support your career. Remember, the training of singers starts later than most professions and the internship is long. Produce outstanding results and they will support you.
Please note: Your immediate family [consult IRS rules for exact definition] cannot make tax-deductible donations for your benefit.
Contact persons who have expressed an interest in you and your career in the past. Now is the time to ask them for help in your career development!
- Do your homework. Borrow yearbooks from organizations that support music in your area to identify possible donors. Look at the list of contributors in regional opera, symphony and other programs of musical events. Volunteer at one of their offices to make contacts with people who love music. The development directors (fundraisers) at these organizations might be able to direct you to likely sources and provide addresses.
- Other sources are community foundations, service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.), music clubs and women’s organizations in your area.
Many singers, pianists and instrumentalists have raised money by presenting benefit concerts. These may take place at the church where you sing or play, at private homes of friends and interested supporters, and at clubs or other venues. Here’s how you can do the same:
- Look for a support group (friends, family, patrons, music clubs, opera guilds, and other interested parties) to help prepare mailing lists, print programs, handle publicity and other time-consuming work needed to ensure the success of the event.
- Your job is to prepare a superb concert!
- When a non-profit organization sponsors your benefit concert, funds donated directly to that organization can be forwarded to AIMS. Alternatively, explain in your recital program or in a brochure that outlines your goals, that individuals can make tax-deductible donations payable to AIMS Scholarship Fund designated for your account. Encourage people to send in their donations immediately. Provide an envelope addressed to the AIMS office in Kansas City and an enclosure card specifying their name, address and your name as the recipient of their donation. We acknowledge all donations. Be sure to include the date for receipt of funds (payment of AIMS fees is due May 15) to lend an air of urgency to your project!
- Contact AIMS to request copies of the “The AIMS in Graz” brochure and copies of our poster to use in a display.
- The biggest payoff at your event may be the discovery of a patron who is interested in your project or who has friends who can help. Yes, there are still angels in this world. Start planning today!
AIMS offers scholarships to winners and, in some cases, runners up of a number of singing competitions.
Metropolitan Opera and Classical Singer Competition Winners may receive full tuition scholarship.
National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competitions
- Current First-Place Division Winners at NATS Regional Competitions: Scholarships ranging from $900 – $2,000 in the following Divisions at the Regional level:
- Third-year Undergraduate men and women
- Graduate men and women
- Fourth-year Undergraduate men and women
- Post-Graduate men and women (in some Regions)
- Current NATSAA Competition winner
Other Competitions: (Awards vary) Current winners of the
- Metropolitan Opera
- Classical Singer Competition
- Opera/Columbus Competition
- Baltimore Opera Competition
- National Opera Association Competition
- Orpheus National Music Competition for Vocalists (Murfreesboro, TN)
- The Opera Foundation of Australia
- The Dallas Opera Guild Career Development Competition
- Some Miss America competitors
If you are a winner of a competition not named here, call AIMS to ask to be considered for a scholarship.
AIMS may award scholarships to the second or third place winner if the first place winner cannot accept. For more information about these awards, email the AIMS office and state which award and level you won. Be prepared to provide documentation of your win.
Other Funding Sources
Metropolitan Opera Competition Winners may petition the governing council to request funds to help offset airfare/travel costs to Austria.
Fulbright Recipients: The AIMS “German for Musicians” course can meet your language study requirements before the start of your academic year. It should be possible to use your travel grant for travel to Graz.
Faculty Enrichment Grants: Teachers desiring to study at AIMS in Graz are encouraged to seek continuing education funds from their institutions.
Foundations, Grants & Competitions:
- The Foundation Directory: (Available in most libraries) Published by The Foundation Center (79 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003, (800) 424-9836), this is the basic source for information on Foundations that make grants to individuals. Check the index for specific subjects and other relevant information. Always start with foundations in your local area. They seek local people to support. You might fit their profile.
- Career Guide for Singers, published by OPERA America (777 14th St., NW, Suite 520, Washington, DC 20005-3287, (202) 347-9262 phone, (202) 393-0735 fax, lists grants and competitions.
- New York Opera Newsletter. Published eleven times yearly [P.O. Box 278, Maplewood, NJ 07040, phone (973) 378-9549, fax (973)-378-2372]; see section entitled “Competitions” for a list that includes all of the U.S.
- Financial Resources for International Study: A Guide for US Nationals published by IIE Books, Institute of International Education, P.O. Box 371, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0371, $39.95 plus S&H.
- The Scholarship Book (Fifth Edition) – “The Complete Guide to Private-Sector Scholarships, Grants, and Loans for Undergraduates”, published by Prentice Hall Publishers, Career & Personal Development, Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632 or Prentice Hall, Order Processing Dept., P.O. Box 11071, Des Moines, IA 50381-1071.