Education in Music Award Guidelines

Created in 2008 by the CMS Beyond Fifty Campaign, the Education in Music Award is a stipend that recognizes established and ongoing, imaginative and effective programs of engagement by higher education music faculty members that advance education in music with local or area organizations (e.g., schools, civic associations, faith organizations). Additionally, for the 2023-2024 Award, a second stipend will recognize programs by higher education music faculty members who have implemented programs of engagement on an international scale. 

For the 2023-2024 academic year, each of the two awards (local/area engagement and international collaboration) will include a $500 stipend.

  • Local/area engagement: $500 
  • International collaboration: $500



All individual higher education music faculty, groups of faculty, and music units (e.g., conservatories, departments, schools) are eligible to apply for The Education in Music Award.

  • Applicants must be members of The College Music Society. To join CMS, please click here. If you are unsure of your membership status, inquiries may be addressed to [email protected].
  • Established and ongoing programs are welcome to apply for the Award. New programs are encouraged to apply for a Community Engagement Seed Grant Award


Project Narratives

Because the selection of proposals is based upon submitted materials, it is important to write a project narrative that can be understood and evaluated fairly. The purpose of the narrative is to convey to the review committee the type of interactions that are occurring in the community setting and how your specific project is innovative and exemplifies the principles of effective and meaningful community engagement in music. 

The narrative—no more than three pages, single spaced, in at least an 11-point font, and with 1" margins—should address the following:

1. Program, Goals, and Objectives - Describe the program and its goals and objectives. When was this program created? What is it about this program that is innovative?

2. Community or International Needs and Benefits - Describe the needs that this program helps to fulfill. Who are the stakeholders in the program? What are the roles of the music faculty member(s) and the community partners in this program, and how do all stakeholders benefit? Are music students involved in the program? Include any data that can help the review committee understand the scope, depth, and reach of the program.

3. Sustainability - How has this program been sustained and supported to this point? What is the total budget of the program and how is this budget being spent? Are there any dollar or in-kind matches, either one-time or continuing? How will this program be sustained in the future?

4. Applicant's Background/History - What makes the faculty member qualified to engage in this program? Describe any past engagement experiences that relate to the program.

5. Evaluation Method - What evidence exists that the program is meeting its goals? How do you measure the success of the program and its impact on the community?

6. Project Timeline Identifying Key Activities - Describe how the program has unfolded over time and how it is projected to develop in the future. How might receiving the Education in Music Award support and further the success of the program?



The complete proposal consists of the following:

(1) Your Project Narrative

(2) A short biography of 250 words or less for each participant.

(3) Any letters of support from students, parents, teachers, community members, or other stakeholders that would strengthen the application.

All applications are due August 1, 2023. The 2023-2024 awards will be announced by September 1, 2023.


Submitting your Application

The College Music Society's submission process is powered by Submittable. To submit an application, please (1) log in to the CMS members-only website using your user name and password and then (2) click the 'Submit' button below. You will be directed to Submittable to complete your proposal. If you don't already have a Submittable account, you will be prompted to establish one. (Click here for help using Submittable and to view a list of Frequently Asked Questions.)


Follow-up to project activities

Prior to June 1 of the calendar year following the disbursement of the award, recipients will submit a brief (2-3 page) report of the project’s activities and outcomes and a high resolution photo taken during the project. These materials will be placed on the CMS and CMS Fund sites to document the work.

You must be a CMS member to submit a proposal.
Please log in and the 'Submit' button will appear in this location. Or, click here to join CMS.