Merit Scholars

CSMA Merit Scholarships are awarded to CSMA Private Lesson students who have shown a high level of commitment, talent and achievement in their CSMA studies.

About the Merit Scholarship Program

Students who participate in the Merit Scholarship Program develop the skills necessary to become high-level performers, including:

  • Training in stage presence and etiquette
  • Working and performing in ensembles
  • Learning how to rehearse effectively
  • Building a performance portfolio

These skills are built through ensemble coaching sessions with CSMA faculty, special workshops for Merit Scholars and most importantly, performances at high-profile events, at CSMA and in the community.

Merit Scholarship students and their families are regarded as the ambassadors of the CSMA Music School. They are role models for all of our music students and their families.

Merit Scholars have been accepted to some of the nation’s most prestigious music programs, including The Julliard School and Berklee College of Music.

How to Become a Merit Scholar

Each year, CSMA awards approximately 50 Merit Scholarships. Competitive auditions before a panel of judges are held annually in June.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship, a student must meet the following requirements:

  • Be an elementary, middle or high school student
  • Be a Private Lesson student at CSMA for a minimum of two full, consecutive semesters prior to the audition date in June
  • Be nominated by their CSMA Private Lesson teacher
  • Prepare and perform a formal audition, as directed by the student’s Private Lesson teacher
  • Write a personal statement

If a student is interested in the Merit Scholar Program, the first step is to talk to his/her Private Lesson teacher. 

Performances & Masterclasses

CSMA Merit Scholars perform regularly in community outreach concerts. Past venues have included:

  • Menlo Presbyterian Church
  • CSMA Gala/ Computer History Museum
  • The Forum at Rancho San Antonio Community Center
  • The Terraces at Los Altos
  • Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers Retirement Home
  • Hidden Villa

Masterclasses by critically-acclaimed musicians have included:

  • Liang Liang
  • Ning Feng
  • Tory Ross
  • Igudsman and Joo