It has been documented that the benefits that come with a concentration in music education positively affects study habits for young students. That is why the Student Essay Contest is an important part of the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival. It is the way the Friends of John Coltrane, Inc. connects Coltrane’s master musician and composer legacy to the community of young people seeking to continue a music education.
Students are asked to submit an essay explaining their music aspirations, affinities and needs. Winners receive a free instrument of their choosing. To date, we have awarded over 80 instruments to aspiring students at a retail value of over $125,000.
Brand new prize instruments are presented, on stage, to middle and high school students who write the winning essays. Each year, one of the festival headliners joins the students on stage to encourage them in their studies and give advice for developing a career in music.
The deadline to submit entries for this year’s contest is July 13, 2019. Students enrolled in North Carolina middle and high schools can submit a 150-250 word essay explaining what music in general, and jazz specifically, means in their lives; which instrument they would like to win and how a new instrument would help them achieve their goals.