VSA Arts Young Soloists Disability Scholarship

The VSA ARTS INTERNATIONAL YOUNG SOLOISTS DISABILITY SCHOLARSHIP AWARD, presented by VSA Arts – a non-profit organization in Washington D.C – is an endeavor to recognize and facilitate outstanding young musicians with disabilities internationally. The main aim of the annual award is to acknowledge the artistic achievements, assist & induce these artists to achieve a successful career. These are unknown scholarships for disabled students.

The VSA Arts International Young Soloists competition was started in 1984 to showcases the talent of artists with disabilities, to identify and associate four talented musicians annually – two from the United States and two from around the globe. Musicians performing with any type of music, vocal or instrumental, including – Rock, Jazz, Classical, Folk, Metal, Latin, Country, Regge and many more are recognize for the award.
The disability scholarship award provides the opportunity to the selected and gifted artists to perform at the John F Kennedy centre for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. The reward includes prize money of USD $5000 to support & help them achieve success in future.

• Any Individual Musicians or singers, who play musical instruments, compose or arrange music, do vocal performance, with a disability, can be nominated (self nomination as well) for the award. Disability (as per the Americans with Disability Act) would be a physical or mental impairment that would largely restrict a person from doing major life activities normally – it would mean the person suffers from one or more body system disorders which can be physical or mental).

• For US citizens the age limit is 25 or under and Non-US citizens with age 30 or under are eligible.

• Even Music bands with two to eight members, playing any type of music, can nominate themselves for the award. However one of the ensembles must have a disability to fit the criteria. Age limit would apply for all the members.

• Musicians have to submit the application forms with one page narration including biographical information and the reason for him/her to be the recipient of the award. The information needs to be related to the talent and not disability. Each application should consist of a recording of three recent performances.

• Normally the completed applications from US applicants should reach the organization by November 15 and International applications by December 01. For US applicants they have to submit their entries in the respective state affiliates. All the entries received by the state affiliates are considered for national competition. The winners are announced annually in February. The applications forms are available for the individuals and ensembles in various languages at the website.

Selection Process
The VSA ARTS INTERNATIONAL YOUNG SOLOISTS AWARD advisory committee has been formed for the selection process. The committee includes music professionals, teachers & educators from across various musical areas. The process normally is conducted during January each year.
Each applicant has to provide one recording of the recent performance in CD, DVD, VHS or audiotape format with the application. These recordings are evaluated by the advisory committee in the areas of technique, tone, rhythm, interpretation and intonation (if applicable).

As the tag line of the organization says “creating a society where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts” – The VSA ARTS INTERNATIONAL YOUNG SOLOISTS DISABILITY SCHOLARSHIP AWARD is one means to recognize and honor such talented musicians from across the globe. Any queries related to the award can also be emailed to soloists@vsarts.org.



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6 Responses

  1. Carlot Dorve says:

    helo i am carlot a one-arm-man i play trumpet.
    i have a rehearsal on the internet especially on youtube.
    you can type :Carlot dorve trumpet you will see me.
    my first objective is to study music and become a great trumpet player all over the world.

  2. admin says:

    I viewed your youtub video and you are awesome. You can apply at just about any college that you want to study music and inquire into their ‘disability scholarship’ programs. Contact the ‘financial aids office’ at any college you would like to go to, and discuss your options for seeking a scholarship, grant or some type of financial aid to pay for your schooling. You can do this over the phone too. People don’t realize how easy this is. Call the college (on the phone) and ask to speak to the ‘financial aids office for someone who is familar with fiancial aid for students with disabilities. You also want to see if you can get both a music scholarship along with a disability scholarship together. Make sure you tell them about the youtube video and tell them to view it. If you do this at a number of colleges you will end up with monies to pay for college. Be persistent and don’t stop calling as many collges as possible in which you are interested in attending. Some colleges may have already used up their alotment of disability/music scholarship monies for that year already so they won’t have any to give to you, but when you run accross a college who has some you can hit the scholarship jackpot for both a music and disability scholarship. Let your fingers do the walking for you at first (call them on the phone). Then, the colleges that sound promising set a time to visit the financial aids counselor in person to fully cover their programs for you.
    Also do a scholarship search.

  3. Carlot Dorve says:

    Please help for a scholarship.

  4. Julie Gregory says:

    My son is disabled with an autonomic dysfunction. He has trouble eating, and maintaining his heart rate & blood pressure. With life style changes and lots of medication, he is able to attend school. He writes and performs his own music (vocals & guitar) and plans to get a degree in the recording industry, with a dual emphasis on audio engineering & song writing. HOW can he apply for this scholarship? Please provide more information.


  5. admin says:


    go to the 2011 VSA International Young Soloists Award to find out the details on applying!

  6. Julie Gregory says:

    I showed this opportunity to my son. He is very excited.

    Thank you!


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