John Lennon Scholarships

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  • Partially Funded
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The John Lennon Scholarships are an annual competition open to student songwriters and composers of contemporary musical genres including alternative, pop, rock, indie, electronica, R&B, and experimental. Over the past eighteen years, more than $360,000 in scholarships has been awarded to talented young musicians from colleges and universities throughout the United States, making this award one of the nation’s most esteemed accolades for emerging songwriters. Established in 1997 by Yoko Ono in conjunction with the BMI Foundation, this scholarship program honors the memory of one of the preeminent songwriters of the 20th century: John Lennon

Through the generosity of Ono and Gibson Musical Instruments, three scholarships totaling $20,000 are presented annually for the best original songs submitted to the competition. Applicants must be U.S. college students between the ages of 17 and 24. Works are judged by a prestigious panel of music publishers, songwriters, and executives that in past years has included Tony-winning theater composers Maury Yeston and Frank Wildhorn, prominent jazz specialist Suzan Jenkins, accomplished songwriters Teron Beal, Jeff Cohen, Benny Blanco, and Charles Fox, and Grammy-winning record producers Russ Titelman and the late Arif Mardin. Broadcast Music Inc.’s Assistant VP of Writer-Publisher Relations, Samantha Cox, oversees the competition


Eligibility requirements:

  • Current student or alumnus/alumna at a U.S. college or university
  • Between the ages of 17 and 24 as of time of submission
  • No rights to the submitted work may have been assigned to a major music publisher or to a major record label
  • Is not a prior BMI Foundation John Lennon Scholarship winner (excluding Honorable Mentions)


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Three scholarships totaling $20,000

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