Merit scholarships

Students are considered for merit awards during the audition performance, interview and portfolio evaluation sections of the application process. There is no separate application for merit awards.

Merit awards criteria

  • Assessment of audition performance, portfolio or writing sample
  • Interview, when required
  • Academic achievement

Awards are renewable. Extension periods vary by degree program. Students sign a contract to maintain renewal eligibility.

Requirements for renewal

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Appropriate progress toward degree map
  • Full-time enrollment (minimum of 12 credits for undergraduates, nine credits for graduates)
  • Academic dishonesty will result in the loss of scholarship
  • Participation in ensembles, determined by the chair of the designated department, and company performances

Notification

Recipients will receive acceptance contracts by email in late March. The Conservatory adheres to the National Association of Schools of Music's code of ethics for awarding and accepting binding dates.

Conservatory students may also qualify for other UMKC scholarships.

60
Percentage of Conservatory students who receive a Conservatory scholarship or assistantship

Graduate assistantships and fellowships

Graduate teaching assistant, graduate assistant and fellowship contracts cover one academic year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year for master's degree students and up to three years for doctoral students.

Qualifications

  • Admitted to a degree program and demonstrate reasonable progress toward completion of that degree
  • Enrolled in a minimum of nine credit hours per semester
  • Maintain status as a student in good standing with a 3.0 GPA
  • Fulfill the duties assigned in relation to quality of work and attendance

Stipends 

Stipends are paid in nine equal monthly installments on the last day of the month from September to May.

2020-2021 academic year

  • $5,700 for master’s-level graduate assistants and graduate teaching assistants
  • $6,650 for doctoral-level graduate assistants and graduate teaching assistants
  • $8,000 for the first year and $6,000 for the second year for Lyric Opera of Kansas City Young Artists
  • $8,000 for Brass Quintet, String Quartet and Woodwind Quintet Fellows
  • $6,000 for Doctoral Fellows
  • $10,000 for Concertmaster

Fee remissions

In addition, assistantship positions provide varying amounts of remission of in-state or nonresident tuition charges but do not cover university ancillary fees, including the Conservatory course fee and any incidental fees related to lessons, technology fees and activities fees.

All graduate teaching assistantship and graduate assistantship duties, awards, stipends and supervisors are subject to change.
58
Number of graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships and fellowships awarded by the Conservatory

Fellowships and graduate assistantships for the 2019-2020 academic year

These positions require approximately 10 hours per week of service, unless otherwise stated.

* Denotes positions available in Fall 2020.

 

The Conservatory Academy, which offers performing arts instruction and programs to those in the Kansas City-area community, also hires graduate students in the areas of Keyboard, Voice, Instrumental Studies, Theory and Composition. Contact the Academy at 816-235-5448.

Questions about graduate assistantships and fellowships? Email Conservatory Admissions.

Two accompanying assistantships involve accompanying dance classes for the dance division. Applicants should be familiar with dance-appropriate repertoire consisting of simple melodies that can be repeated in even phrases, most often in multiples of 2, 4 or 8 measure phrases in various time signatures — 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 — such as polonaise, polka, marches, waltzes and adagios, as well as improvisation. The classes run from 60 to 90 minutes. Previous experience is preferred.

There are two accompanying assistantships that involve accompanying dance classes for the dance division. Applicants should be familiar with dance-appropriate repertoire consisting of simple melodies that can be repeated in even phrases, most often in multiples of 2-, 4- or 8-measure phrases in various time signatures — 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 — such as polonaise, polka, marches, waltzes and adagios, as well as improvisation. The classes run from 60 to 90 minutes. Previous experience is preferred.

Accompany rehearsals with the choral ensembles and the choirs for performances throughout the year, as assigned. Prior experience in accompanying, excellent sight-reading and score-reading skills and ability to follow a conductor are required.

There are two accompanying assistantships for opera. One graduate assistant will be assigned to play for opera workshop and serve as the music director for the scenes program. The other graduate assistant will be assigned to accompany opera main stage rehearsals, including chorus rehearsals. Schedule varies according to production needs. Prior experience in accompanying, knowledge of standard repertoire, sight-reading capability and ability to follow a conductor is required.

There are four collaborative piano graduate assistantships: two in the vocal area and two in the instrumental area. Students will accompany lessons, studio classes and recitals, as well as rehearse with assigned partners. Prior experience in accompanying or collaborative piano and excellent sight-reading skills are required. The evaluating faculty request that applicants supply repertoire lists or printed programs as validation of prior experience.

Assists the faculty with classes, as needed. Duties vary depending on the needs of the department and may include team-teaching the freshman composition class (Cons. 133-4/a/b), teaching sophomore or junior private composition and possibly leading orchestration and instrumentation as a teacher of record.

Will teach and assist with classes in Composition, Computer Music and Orchestration. Other possible duties may include maintenance and troubleshooting in the computer music studios, lab proctoring or scheduling for the composition seminars.

Manages studio maintenance, installation of hardware and software and occasionally gives instructional tutorials on studio use. Also teaches Conservatory 235 (F) and 236 (Sp) Techniques of Electronic Music courses as teacher of record.

Sits as Concertmaster for all services of the Conservatory Orchestra and performs in the Chamber Orchestra as Concertmaster or on another part, as requested by the conductor. Responsible for bowings in a timely manner.

Assist Choral faculty with running the Choral program, including conducting ensembles, teaching conducting to undergraduates, managing the choral library and helping with Choral department events and concerts.

Serves as the assistant conductor to assist the music director with the Fall Opera, including conducting piano rehearsals, pit setup, marking music and attending auditions. Functions as either conductor or assistant conductor of the Spring Opera, recruiting the orchestra for this production. Assists the orchestra stage manager for onstage commitments. Weekly time commitment varies.

Assists with rehearsals, setup and librarian duties. Also regularly conducts the Kansas City Youth Wind Ensemble and assists with instrumental conducting classes.

Helps with classes, such as taking attendance records; teaches a limited number of classes when the instructor cannot attend class; helps with research, working closely with Interlibrary Loan in keeping up with orders and computer searches; assists in work with international affairs, conferences and publications. Students will appear as an instructor of record.

Responsible for five hours minimum of weekly rehearsal in addition to individual preparation. One hour of this time each week will be devoted to a coaching session with a faculty member. Other hours will be scheduled by the group no later than the first day of each semester. The quintet will be responsible for a variety of performances each semester, including full recitals, outreach concerts, noon recitals, children’s concerts and competitions. 

*Trumpet and Tuba positions available in Fall 2020

Required to rehearse for a minimum of four hours per week and receives a weekly coaching session from a member of the string faculty. Also functions as members of the UMKC orchestra, as needed by the director of orchestras. The graduate String Quartet presents at least one full recital per academic year on campus, and may also perform off campus as representatives of the Conservatory. 

*TBD

Responsible for five hours minimum of weekly rehearsal in addition to individual preparation. One hour of this time each week will be devoted to a coaching session with a faculty member. Other hours will be scheduled by the group no later than the first day of each semester. The quintet is responsible for a variety of performances each semester, including full recitals, outreach concerts, noon recitals, children’s concerts and competition. 

*Bassoon, clarinet, flute and oboe positions available in Fall 2020

Conducts Jazz Ensemble and Combo rehearsals, supervised and unsupervised, as needed, as well as maintains the jazz chart library and database. Other duties include rehearsal setup, jazz bulletin board maintenance and assistance with logistics related to concert and recital performances and guest artist appearances.

Sets up the classroom and stage, takes attendance and records grades for a class of approximately 100 students. In addition, provides tutoring and may be asked to teach an occasional class. May assist theory faculty with research, clerical work and computer searches. The position generally requires 8-10 hours per week.

Participates in the development and administration of various scholarly research projects. May also teach or assist with methods classes, conducting courses, student teaching and field experience.

Assists with the undergraduate Musicology curriculum, teaching classes and working on research projects and conferences. Other duties as assigned.

Teaches a freshman ear training class in the fall, which continues in the spring, and possibly a music fundamentals class in the spring.

Assists with online undergraduate Theory curriculum.

Plays with the Northland Symphony for 5-6 hours per week, with the remaining 4-5 hours spent at the Conservatory teaching applied lessons and performing various clerical duties for the trumpet studio.

Serves as the Orchestra librarian and performs in Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra and occasionally in the Wind Ensemble. Responsibilities also include approximately two hours per week of clerical work such as copying, library work and bowings for the ensemble.

Responsible for setup, teardown and all equipment related to the Conservatory Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, including Opera setup. Also is responsible for all librarian work, including copying bowings with assistance, distributing parts, returning music, taking attendance and copying.

Maintains the percussion instrument collection through tuning, repair and upkeep, serves as the librarian for the percussion ensembles, teaches secondary students (and in some cases primary majors), as required, conducts the Percussion Ensemble on occasion, coaches sectionals for the large ensembles, acts as a liaison between the percussion studio and the large ensemble directors, performs various clerical duties for the percussion studio, maintains an inventory and security system for the percussion instruments and offers supplemental expertise in the graduate teaching assistants areas of interest.

Responsible for teaching class piano and applied piano lessons. Divides weekly commitment of 10 hours between class piano sections (two hours for each section), applied lessons (half an hour or an hour per student, depending on enrollment) and a one-hour seminar that meets weekly to discuss course curriculum, classroom procedures and teaching strategies. Must possess knowledge of basic keyboard skills, adequate verbal skills and demonstrate an ability to teach effectively in both a classroom and studio setting. New graduate teaching assistants are required to enroll in group piano pedagogy the first semester it is offered after their appointment begins.

Records, masters and archives concerts and recitals, duplicates and labels CDs and DVDs, engineers recording sessions for students and faculty members and installs and operates sound reinforcement systems. Must have a basic understanding of audio technology and acoustics and prior experience with recording equipment and software.

Assists with private lesson instruction, Saxophone Quartet coaching, studio classes, technique classes and saxophone ensemble, as well as non-music major private instruction.

The Lyric Opera Apprentice Artist Program prepares exceptional young singers for a professional operatic career while they are enrolled in a master’s, doctoral, Performer’s Certificate or Artist’s Certificate degree program at the Conservatory. Apprentice Artists have the opportunity to perform in two fully staged opera productions per year, along with workshop programs, premieres and outreach activities.

Requires an audition with the Conservatory Voice faculty and Lyric Opera, enrollment in at least six hours per semester and other criteria. Call 816-235-2900 for details.

*Mezzo-soprano position available in Fall 2020

Responsible for teaching private, applied voice lessons.Those receiving lessons may include undergraduates and graduates as well as UMKC non-music majors. One graduate teaching assistant will also teach a three credit-hour course (CONS 101 Voice Class) each semester on the fundamentals of voice production, breathing, diction, song literature and vocal pedagogy, as well as applied voice lessons to fulfill the 10 hours of responsibilities per week.

Applicants for these positions must include a resume of all teaching experiences. Voice class and studio applicants must email their resumes to Prof. Ray Feener.