CSMA Scholarships

Arts for All Need-Based Scholarships

Accessibility for all to arts education has always been the very heart of our mission. To help make learning at CSMA accessible to everyone, we offer scholarships to qualified students on the basis of financial need.

Scholarships may be used for all types of education programs offered at CSMA and are valid for four academic terms (one year). Awards are determined on a sliding-scale basis, and are given in the form of a percentage discount on member tuition rates. No funds are paid directly to students.

Awards may be used by any members of qualified households to enroll in CSMA classes, ensembles, camps, and private instruction. Scholarships are limited to two areas of study per person, per term. Each person may take up to two classes/ensembles/camps OR private instruction with one teacher plus one class/ensemble/camp per term.

The scholarship application consists of two parts:

  1. Application form
  2. Required supporting documents

It is the responsibility of the applicant to complete and return all of the above items to CSMA at least two weeks prior to intended enrollment in programs. Applications submitted without supporting documentation of all sources of income (sections 2 and 3 of the application) will not be considered. Applicants who can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s income tax return, must include that person’s income information, income documentation, and a copy of their tax return.

All information will be kept strictly confidential.

Completed forms and supporting documents should be returned to:

Scholarship Committee
Community School of Music and Arts
330 East MLK / State Street
Ithaca, NY 14850

The need-based scholarship program includes a general fund, and named scholarships established in memory of individuals to support studies in areas they were passionate about. Our scholarship committee selects recipients of named scholarships from among all applicants meeting the designated criteria.

Named Scholarships

Gloria Perry Gerstman Memorial Piano Scholarship

for private instruction students in piano 

Our mother, nee Gloria Perry Gerstman (1926-2006), brought joy and a love of music into our home through her consummate musicianship and pure love of playing the piano. We especially remember those warm summer nights when we would drift off to sleep to the gentle sounds of her fingers at the keyboard. She left us a deep appreciation of the restorative and sustaining power of music, and through this scholarship fund in her name, we want to help convey this gift to others.

Sara Schaffzin and Joann Schaffzin Boegeman

Alessandro Vico Memorial Scholarship

for private instruction students age 16 and under in piano or percussion

The Alessandro Vico Scholarship was established August 12, 2003 in memory of “Al” Vico. Al was an imaginative, ambitious individual who did things his own way. His musical talent was full of this resourcefulness and was reflected in every instrument he played, including french horn, piano and drums. Unfortunately, his spirit was taken to a higher place before he could realize his dreams. He would be honored to know that he has helped to plant a musical seed in the hands and spirit of a similar individual on their way to the gift of music.

John and Vera Vico

Louise Beth Yavelow Furnas Scholarship

for elementary school age, private instruction students in music

Louise Beth Yavelow spent many happy and fulfilling years pursuing her profession of music teaching in the Ithaca public schools, at Fall Creek Elementary and later at Cayuga Heights Elementary School. She truly enjoyed the many hundreds of children she taught from 1981 to 2015.

Louise attended Cornell University from 1968-1970 and later received degrees in music education at Boston University, Ithaca College, and Kodály Institute of Kecskemét, Hungary. Louise loved taking care of and being with her family and teaching the children at school. For her, these activities were both her work and her source of joy. She believed strongly and passionately in the value of arts education.

John T. Nolan Memorial Scholarship

for music students

Diversity and Inclusion

The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) is committed to creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment that is welcoming for all. 

We recognize that the arts uniquely empower the exploration and understanding of identity, and that artistic expression of diverse cultures and communities strengthens the vibrancy of our organization at every level. 

Our mission supports education, production, presentation, and enjoyment of the arts by diverse communities, groups, and individuals, inclusive of all regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, language, age, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, mental and physical ability, class, and religion. 

In conducting all CSMA business and programs, we will consistently work to develop and maintain: 

  • an organization-wide understanding of the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion; 
  • an organizational culture that supports, reflects, and promotes equitable and inclusive behaviors and practices; 
  • recruitment and retention policies that foster diversity of our Board of Trustees, staff, faculty, and volunteers; 
  • policies and procedures that ensure fair treatment, access, and opportunity at CSMA, and that prohibit acts of discrimination, bias, and harassment; 
  • program offerings that include a plurality of cultures in content and artistic genres; 
  • a welcoming environment and facility that offers a sense of belonging and respect for diverse identities and communities, and encourages participation by all in our programs.

Individuals with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations by contacting CSMA’s office.

Tuition Assistance

Need-based scholarships

To make CSMA as accessible as possible to everyone, we offer a limited number of scholarships to qualified students on the basis of financial need, awarded as tuition discounts. Scholarships may be used for all types of education programs at CSMA and are valid for one year from application. Click here or contact the office for details and application forms.

Senior and veteran discounts

Veterans and students age 62 and older receive a 20% discount on all class and ensemble tuition fees; these discounts cannot be used for private instruction. No application is needed; simply provide proof of age or veteran status.

Member discounts

CSMA members receive a 25% discount on all class and ensemble tuition fees. 

Learn more about membership >>

Photo, Video, and Recording Release

By registering yourself or your child for programs, you give CSMA permission to take photographs, recordings, or videos of you/your child as you/they participate in CSMA activities; and to use such images, recordings, and content for purposes related to CSMA’s mission, including marketing.

This permission is given without expectation of payment or other compensation at any time, and the released material shall be the property of the Community School of Music and Arts. This consent includes, but is not limited to: (a) Permission to photograph, film, interview, record, or make a video of you/your child; and (b) Permission to use, reuse, modify, or publish photographs, films, tapes, digital files, recordings, and any derivative works, in part or in whole, and in any format or media, including the internet, for purposes related to CSMA’s mission.

To opt out of the Photo, Video and Recording Release at any time, please contact the CSMA office.

Child Safety

To ensure your child’s safety, please pick them up promptly after their class, camp, or lesson. Children are under CSMA supervision only during the time of programs they are enrolled in. Neither teachers nor administrative staff is responsible for supervising children who are visiting or waiting on the premises outside of their instruction time.

Personal Belongings

CSMA is not responsible for personal belongings left unattended. You are responsible for your belongings at all times, and we advise keeping valuables with you if you move about the building. Belongings left unattended risk theft, and those unattended for more than 15 minutes may be removed to the nearest lost and found.

Inclement Weather

On weekdays, if the Ithaca City School District schools are declared closed in the morning, CSMA will be closed and classes, lessons, and ensembles will be canceled for the entire day. CSMA will announce any delayed openings, or other changes if weather becomes questionable later in the day.

Please check the following resources for updates, and on weekends:

  1. CSMA website (this site)
  2. Visit the CSMA Facebook page >>
  3. HSC listserve posts

In addition, CSMA will attempt to contact students directly about weather-related cancellations and changes.



Monday -Thursday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Find Us

330 E Martin Luther King Jr / State St.
Ithaca, NY 14850

CSMA’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Muse Level Corporate Sponsor

Muse Level Corporate Sponsor