american indian musicians' scholarship
We come from very musical peoples, where music is more than just art. Music is medicine; it has healing properties. Music is law; it guides the way we relate to one another. Music is history; in it we know where we come from and who we are. We envision a future where Indigenous musical ideologies are strengthened and carried into the future by our own Indigenous musicians and scholars, that their knowledge and skills may build up and reinforce the sovereignty of their tribal nations.
We aim to provide assistance for American Indian students who are passionate about pursuing a post-secondary education in the musical field of their choice by providing:
• financial assistance in the form of scholarships towards tuition, books, room & board, accompanying, auditions, festivals, instrument purchases, and maintenance
• guidance for navigating colonial music spaces through providing literature and guides, mentorship opportunities, networking opportunities, application and audition tips, etc.
• opportunities and a space for Indigenous creatives to collaborate, create new repertoire, perform, present their research
• the tools to return to their communities to inspire and raise up a new generation of Indigenous musicians. Apply For The AIMS Scholarship
Yá’át’ééh, shik’éí dóó shidiné’é!
Shí éí Renata Yazzie yinishyé. Tó’aheedlíinii nishłį́, Kinyaa’áanii bashishchíín. Bit’ahnii dashicheii, Honagháanii dashinálí. My name is Renata Yazzie, and I’m a Diné pianist and musicologist currently finishing my graduate studies in Music at the University of New Mexico. I’m happy you’re here and either interested in pursuing an education in music if you aren’t already, or supporting someone who is!
I envisioned this scholarship back in the Fall of 2017 when I really began to understand just how difficult it is for Indigenous students studying music to get scholarships. I completed my undergraduate degree in Chemistry in Summer of 2017 and managed to secure a fair amount of scholarship money to cover my schooling. I tried applying to the same places - tribal funding, Native-based scholarship programs, etc. - for more funding for graduate school, but no one would fund me. Other Native students in the music program also expressed the same frustrations. Today, I am thankful that the American Indian Musicians’ Scholarship has found a provisional home with The Heartbeat Music Project (HMP). HMP provides tuition-free music education for grades K-12 on the Navajo Nation. HMP is fiscally sponsored by The Roadwork Center Inc., a 501©(3) organization with the mission of building multi-racial coalitions through women’s culture.
It is my hope that this scholarship will grow and bloom over the years into something that sustains Indigenous musicians from all over North America. Please reach out if you have any questions regarding the application or otherwise - we are here for you!
Other resources we can help with include identifying Indigenous art+music works to program in your recitals, admissions assistance, application proofreading, audition tips, and more - navigating these spaces of Western art music can be difficult and frustrating. Consider reaching out if you need some encouragement or advice!