Apply: The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award
**IMPORTANT NOTE: From the Top’s application is currently offline for a platform redesign until August 1. All applicants for From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award with previously incomplete applications will no longer have access to those after July 8, however you can start a new application beginning August 1.
In addition to performing on NPR’s From the Top, recipients receive up to $10,000 to help offset the costs of studying classical music at a high level. Each year, we choose approximately 20 exceptional pre-collegiate musicians ages 8-18 to receive the Award. Read the stories of past scholarship recipients here.
Who should apply?
Classical instrumentalists, vocalists, and composers (ages 8–18) who have not yet entered college
Applicants must demonstrate:
- Exceptional musical achievement
Applicants must have strong musical ability and a willingness to perform on our NPR show.
- Unmet financial need
Applicants must provide evidence of a family income insufficient to meet the costs of his/her musical pursuits (new instruments, music lessons, summer festival tuition, and travel, etc.). 90% of our past recipients come from families with an annual household Adjusted Gross Income of under $60,000. Other factors may apply (cost of living, medical expenses, dependents).
- Academic achievement
Applicants must possess strong scholastic achievement indicated by good grades, academic awards, and strong test scores.
- Strength of character
Applicants must demonstrate drive, initiative, maturity, leadership, and a commitment to giving back to one’s community.
- Up to $10,000 to apply toward instrument purchases, summer camp tuition, college audition travel expenses, private lessons, or other music-related needs
- Appearance on NPR’s From the Top
- Participation in From the Top’s Center for the Development of Arts Leadership Program.
Students may apply for the scholarship at any time, but applications will be reviewed in three cycles throughout the year according to the below deadlines. All recipients are notified on a rolling admissions basis in accordance with our 2019-2020 taping season.
2019–2020 Deadline I: September 30, 2019*
2019–2020 Deadline II: January 6, 2020
2019–2020 Deadline III: March 2, 2020
*High school seniors must apply by this date.
How to apply
- After reading this page and our Scholarship FAQs, visit the link at the bottom of the page to proceed to the online application.
- Applicants will be asked to upload at least two unedited, un-enhanced video or audio samples of their music.
- We require two recommendations – one from an academic teacher and one from a music teacher. You will be asked to provide contact information for them, and they will receive recommendation forms via the online application.
- After completing your online application, you must mail us a copy of your most recent tax forms, academic transcript, and standardized test scores (if applicable). Directions will be provided at the end of the online application.
- The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award is given in conjunction with a performance on NPR’s From the Top. In order to apply for the Young Artist Award, indicate that you are applying for either “NPR’s From the Top” or “Both” the radio show and Center for the Development of Arts Leaders. On the following page, you will select your application type as one of the following: soloist, composer, or small ensemble. You will then be asked if you are applying for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Select “yes.”
- It is free to apply for the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. There is no application fee.
- More detailed application instructions can be found below. If you have any questions, you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (617) 437-0707 x121.