Writing a Grant

New! View this sample grant that was successful in helping a school purchase an MIE system.

Grant applications take many forms and it would be impossible to attempt to address each of those forms. What we shall try to do is to give some guidelines (derived from successful grant writers) as to the type of material to use for writing a successful grant. Also, we don't intend for you to simply copy these things word for word into your grant application. You must massage and apply some of these to your own situations, grade levels, community etc. The items below are mean as guides to some of the approaches that have been successful in the past. Use them, modify them to your own needs.

One successful grant writer penned these four points:

  1. Be sure you write in a language that non-music people can understand. Make sure the introduction is easily understood and gives a clear description of the project.
  2. Be sure objectives are measurable.
  3. Include and make sure your outcomes address National and State Standards
  4. You must prove that you have an educational need.
  5. Make sure your research is up to date and supports your project.

Most grants require an introduction. Here is where you should spell out WHAT it is you are seeking to buy and what it will do for your students and staff

Keywords: music literacy, music skills; progress (improvement) in math & reading; flexible, individualized, interactive curriculum; computer handles all lesson plans, attendance records, quiz scores as well as playing music.

Work the components list into your proposal (see all the stuff that's included!!!)

Don't be afraid to reference other appropriate (contemporary) data from other research studies (look at www.amc-music.com, www.menc.org, www.musica.uci.edu for research studies)

Tell the grant people about your school (especially include any data about Title 1 students, socio-economic background of the community, which and how many students would benefit from this program, don't forget the possibilities of adult education, choirs, etc. if you plan on using it in that manner also).

Expected Results - Students
Be specific! Here's where you might wish to reference Standards (spell them out!) Other keywords: hands-on experiences; opportunity to explore, to create through aural, visual and tactile experiences; enhanced motivation; assessment provided by the software to monitor student progress and understanding; individual music literacy; success for each and every student regardless of level of proficiency.

Expected Results -- Staff
Be specific, again! Keywords: enhanced, integrated curriculum; higher standards for music; improved assessment; increased accountability; decreased behavioral problems; improved classroom management; ability to monitor students in "real time"; note increases in self esteem, attendance etc.

Evidence of Need
Here is where you might put data about current achievement scores in your school/district.

Perhaps you've done a survey in your area of parents and/or students on whether they would like to learn to play an instrument.

LIST your State Standards and National Standards and how Music In Education will address EACH of them!

Quote and annotate
the research studies you've found that support the use of music, keyboard instruction, technology etc. Perhaps relate these studies to your objectives (which will be listed later). Feel free to use pages of these in your proposal.

Goals and Objectives
Sample general goal : "The Music In Education System will facilitate an effective means to meet the National Standards for Music, the (insert your state) State Standards and actively involve students, while improving regular classroom math and reading skills."

Next, enumerate your objectives -- be specific. Relate them to the research quotes you used earlier, perhaps. For each objective, perhaps use a sub-section titled "Evaluation" and enumerate how that objective will be evaluated and measured.

For example, if one of your objectives was:

"At the end of one school year of instruction on Music In Education, all 2nd (or your classes) grade students will show an increase of 30 percentile points or better on the Music In Education assessment software that measures achievement in recognition of pitch, chord, melody and rhythm. Baseline and re-evaluation data will be documented."

Your evaluation might be:

"Music In Education baseline assessment scores of (choose a month & year) will be measured and compared to (one calendar year from then)."

You might even have an entire section on a schedule of planned activities (perhaps by month) of what you will do after receiving the system, including setting it up, notifying parents of the new program, administering standardized test for "baseline" testing etc, etc. etc. Include any other uses for the system such as adult education or whatever. Project this monthly schedule over perhaps a full year!

Once again, these are designed merely as guides to use when filing out grant applications. We hope they prove useful.

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