Vera Piano Scholarship

Gifted Music School is proud to have received a generous grant from GMS Co-founder, Dr. Vera Oussetskaia-Watanabe. Please read the scholarship description to ascertain eligibility. To apply, please submit this form and supporting documentation electronically to by July 15, 2023.

Applicants may be asked to submit a piano performance video and/or come to a live audition.



General Information

Dr. Vera Oussetskaia-Watanabe will award the Vera Piano Scholarship to one GMS piano student for weekly private piano lessons. The scholarship is for one student, for one year, to cover private study with Dr. Watanabe. The scholarship is renewable, and will be subject to a semi- annual review.  This scholarship will cover only the cost of one weekly 1h, or 90m or 2h lesson (depending on the age and level of the student). At the discretion of the scholarship committee, the scholarship may be awarded to a current student to add a second lesson every week, which would effectively reduce their current private tuition by 50%.


Qualifications and Rubric

A.  Studying piano is the primary focus of study for the student. Piano will take precedence over other activities.
B.  Minimum 4h of daily practicing is required. Strongest applicants will demonstrate a level of playing that will reflect and/or suggest this level of consistent work for an appreciable period of time.
C.  Achievements already in evidence that would suggest a path to a possible performance career in piano.
D.  Students who have a demonstrated history of working these hours will be given higher consideration for this award.
E.  The ability to fix issues mentioned in lesson comments, demonstrate a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and try new ideas, and to be consistently prepared for each lesson is a prerequisite.
F.  Consistent work ethic that will allow the student to learn, assimilate, and memorize repertoire quickly.
G.  Every year, learn, memorize, and perform a program consisting of:
                       1. Baroque piece (Prelude & Fugue at a minimum)
                       2. Entire classical Sonata (three or four movements, depending on the Sonata)
                       3. Romantic work
                       4. Chopin Etude
                       5. Any Etude by another composer
                       6. Impressionistic or contemporary work
                       7. Entire Concerto (or one movement, depending on the age of the student)
H.  Punctuality: come to lessons on time.
I.  Be available to receive lessons at the hours the lessons are available.
J.  Student/parents are expected to have a respectful attitude toward the teacher, and be supportive of studio classmates.
K.  Parent/guardian is required to be present at lessons, to take thorough notes of comments.


Scholarship Details

  • The scholarship can be used to add an additional lesson per week if the student is already enrolled in weekly lessons with Dr. Watanabe.

  • In certain cases: studying with 2 teachers (if you are already studying with a different primary teacher, and they are supportive of this agreement) could be permitted. This will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • The scholarship is renewable. Each renewal request will be reviewed by the scholarship committee, and evaluated with this rubric as a reference. Preference will be given to a student who can have 2 lessons per week, as that allows for a more serious training.


Application Process

  • Complete the Vera Piano Scholarship Application

  • Prepare the supporting documentation:

    • A personal statement describing the following:

      1. How you meet each of the selection criteria (address each point)

      2. Explain your musical background, including past teachers, and what your long-term career goals are

      3. What your previous experience at GMS has meant to you (if applicable)

      The personal statement should consist of several paragraphs. This is an opportunity to let the scholarship committee get to know you and the impact this award might have on you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

    • Please attach a recommendation letter from a current or past teacher.

    • Please also include a separate list of accomplishments in piano, music, or any other area that you’d like to highlight to the scholarship committee.

  • E-mail your completed application form and supporting documentation to by July 15, 2023.


Have Questions?

Please direct any questions to