AFTM Scholarships

Each year the Austin Friends of Traditional Music makes available a scholarship to promising musicians and dancers who wish to further their studies of old time music and dance.

Youth Scholarship

The Austin Friends of Traditional Music (AFTM) is offering to pay tuition, housing, and meals for attendance at the Swannanoa Gathering Old Time Week This is a one-week training opportunity for traditional musicians.

Alternatively, an applicant may select on-line musical training from the recommended list of providers on our website, or may propose an alternative training opportunity for board approval. The musical training may be for any instrument (or voice) but must be traditional in nature.

Scholarship amount

The amount of financial assistance is limited to $1,070 for the Swannanoa Gathering Old Time Week, or $200 per scholarship for on-line training. The board may decide to provide less than the maximum assistance. The scholarship will consist of a one-time tuition payment on behalf of the selected applicant(s). If the scholarship amount is insufficient to pay the total required tuition, any remainder of the tuition cost and any other costs associated with the training are the sole responsibility of the selected applicant.

Scolarship requirements

To be considered for a scholarship the applicant must be an AFTM member and provide:

  • the name and address of the applicant,
  • the training entity’s name and contact information,
  • the amount of tuition requested,
  • a brief written explanation of the applicant’s current musical skill level, why the applicant wants to take the on-line musical training, and how the training would benefit the applicant.

AFTM memberships can be initiated or renewed online at our JoinIt page.

Application information may be e-mailed to

Review and selection

The AFTM board will review all applications and may choose one or more applicants who have provided the information and met the requirements stated herein. The board will consider the applicant’s written explanation, other items required in the application and any other factors the board considers germane. The board may request further information from any applicant to help in its decision or may request an applicant’s appearance at a board meeting. Applicant selection, if any, will be made by majority board vote and shall be final.

Post training report

Scholarship recipients will be asked to deliver a report to the board on their impression of the quality of the training received, other matters related to the training, and to answer questions about their experience.

For more information or to ask questions about the scholarship, contact or talk to any board member.

Return to Resources Page.

Past Recipients

Mira Dickey (2020)


Mira started violin lessons at age four, but did not sustain a passion for classical music and stopped playing the violin at age seventeen. A few years later, she became intrigued by old time music. She took up Mandolin and old-time Fiddle using the skills she had developed as a child. 

Later she discovered the Hardanger fiddle, a Norgegian instument, and in her words, "I fell completely in love with the sound of it, it was enchanting to me!”  She attended monthly Scandinavian dances and began to learn Norwegian music by ear and to study the Hardanger with on-line instruction. Mira travelled to Norway and spent a year studying Norwegian music, dance and culture. 

Mira is a long time friend of AFTM and if you have come to any of our jams and festivals over the last few years you are almost certain to have met Mira. She introduced many of us to the haunting sounds of traditional Norgegian tunes through her performances and workshops at Midwinter Festival.

She will use her scholarship award to continue her study of Scandinavian music through video lessons on the Folk Music Academy website:

Celebrindal Roberts (2020)


As the recipient of our annual scholarship for young students of Traditional Music, Celebrindal studied clawhammer banjo under Evie Ladin thorough the Peghead Nation online courses.

Celebrindal started her musical life at 8 years of age, studying classical violin and went on to play viola 
professionally in orchestras, chamber music, and theatre. She loves the culture of traditional music and has taken up bluegrass fiddle and mandolin. Her next goal is to progress in clawhammer banjo.

Get to know Celebrindal: see her Reel Times Interview, just posted on YouTube and be sure to checkout her YouTube channel.

Zephyr Yellman (2019)

Alexa Bender (2018)

Tim Auld  (2017)

Britt Irick (2016)

Rose Griffith (2016)

Mira Dickey (2016)

April Eason (2015)

Ian Stewart (2015)

Matt Harmon (2015)

Josh Moore (2013)


More about Josh and Isaiah...

Isaiah Sibi-Hackney (2013)


More about Josh and Isaiah...

Eliana Salinas (2012)


A letter from Eliana....

Bren Koch (2012)


A letter form Bren...

Sara Cottingham (2011)


Sara Goes to Swannanoa...