Why does the Westminster Music Scholarship exist?
The scholarship exists as a way of developing the skills of young people in providing music in the life of their parish and the wider Church.
Who is it for?
It is for a young person (or a small group of young people) who are already fairly skilled vocally or instrumentally, and who are involved at a reasonable level of commitment in their parish or school.
How will it work?
The young person selected to receive the scholarship will be offered free sessions with Edwin Fawcett (Catholic composer, recording artist and music minister – see www.edwinfawcett.com) on a regular basis for a year (three school terms). Because we receive a range of applications, the details are still to be finalised. But they will be worked out in a way that is convenient for the young person, Edwin and the Westminster Youth Ministry team.
What will the sessions involve?
In the early sessions, together with Edwin, the young scholars will work out an individual plan for developing their skills, with specific targets. These targets need not be set in stone but will be free to evolve as the sessions continue, tailored to the scholars’ needs and capabilities. As a music minister with experience in a wide variety of contexts, Edwin can offer help with anything from how to write or arrange a song to strumming patterns on guitar, from vocal technique to leadership skills and confidence building, from improvisation on piano to leading times of praise and worship, and more.
Where will sessions take place?
The successful young applicants will travel to the Diocese of Westminster’s Centre for Youth Ministry in Euston for their sessions with Edwin.
What are the requirements for applying?
Applicants must be aged 14-25 and should write a short statement which answers the following questions:
- What is your current involvement in church music (where, what, how often and who with)?
- Do you have any other relevant experience (for example, music/grade exams and qualifications, or performance experience outside church contexts)?
- What does being involved in church music mean to you? Why is it important to you?
- Where do you see the need for growth and development in your own skills? How could you become better at what you do?
- Where do you see further opportunities for being involved in making music, in your parish or school?
- What do you hope to get out of the experience if your application is successful?
Applicants must also:
- Include their contact details (email and phone as bare minimum)
- Include a short statement of recommendation from their parish priest/youth group leader/music teacher
- Feel free to include other supporting materials (photos, recordings, links to videos etc)
How will the successful applications be chosen?
A panel made up of Edwin Fawcett and members of the Westminster Youth Ministry team will select young people for the scholarship based on several criteria. Most important will be passion and enthusiasm for making music in church/liturgical settings, a recognition of where improvement is needed, and dedication and commitment to the process. The panel will be able to get a good feel for these things from the applications and statements of recommendation they receive.
The panel will also want to see where real opportunities exist for using the skills the young applicants are developing. Of course, current level of ability and experience will play a part in the decision, as they can’t be separated from who a person is. But this is NOT a talent contest where the most skilled person “wins”. So please be encouraged to apply!
How do I apply?
Please send the statement described above by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Centre for Youth Ministry, 20 Phoenix Road, Euston, London, NW1 1TA no later than Friday 4 December 2015. You will be notified about whether your application is successful by Friday 18 December 2015.