The Abrons Arts Center Sammy Cahn Scholarship

Individual Scholarships for Private Music Lessons

Tita Cahn, Bob Dylan, and Sammy Cahn circa 1982 (Source: Songwriters Hall of Fame)

With a generous gift from Tita Cahn, Abrons Arts Center is pleased to offer an annual scholarship to six youth to support their study of music.  The Sammy Cahn Scholarship provides six students who demonstrate a commitment to advancing their musical craft in an instrument of their choice (including voice) with one year of free, weekly private music lessons with a professional instructor.  

Born on the Lower East Side and a former student of Abrons Arts Center/Henry Street Settlement, Sammy Cahn (June 18, 1913 – January 15, 1993) was an American lyricist, composer, and musician.  He is best known for his romantic lyrics to films and Broadway songs, as well as stand-alone songs for multiple recording companies. He and his collaborators had a series of hit recordings with Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Doris Day and many others. He won the Academy Award four times for his songs, including the popular song “Three Coins in the Fountain”.  In memory of Mr. Cahn and in honor of his historic connection to Henry Street Settlement, Mr. Cahn’s widow, Tita Cahn, has generously provided support to emerging Abrons musicians since 2009 via Abrons’ Center Education Program.


Private lessons are 30-minutes long and held weekly at the Abrons Arts Center with a professional instructor.
2019-20 music lessons are scheduled as follows:

  • Fall semester (September – December) includes up to 13 weekly private lessons.  
  • Spring semester (February – June) includes up to 18 weekly privates lessons.  

*Students will schedule specific lesson times with Abrons staff in collaboration with teaching faculty.



Students interested in applying for the Sammy Cahn Scholarship must meet the following criteria:

  • Be between the ages of 8 and 18 at the time of application
  • Have studied their instrument for at least two years as part of Abrons’ group or individual classes
  • Express a dedication to their craft by committing and an agreement for continued solo practice of their instrument for at least three hours per week.




  • August 16 2019: Completed application due
  • September 6: Awards announced
  • September 16: Tita Cahn fall sessions begin
  • December 17: 7pm : Fall end-of-semester concerts


  • February 3: Tita Cahn spring sessions begin
  • April 1: Letter of thanks and updated bio due
  • June 2: 7pm: Spring end-of semester concerts
  • June 27: End of semester



Scholarship recipients will be selected by Abrons’s Education staff and teaching faculty. Students will be evaluated based on the articulated goals described in their application, expressed level of commitment to their instrument and a clear sense of growth that this opportunity can provide at this time. Financial need may be considered in some cases. Note: Please inform your instructor if you plan to apply for the program because staff may inquire with your teacher about your candidacy.




The application must include a written statement addressed to Tita Cahn of approximately 250 words describing their interest in music, how a scholarship for private lessons will aid in their studies, and an expressed commitment to their craft. If selected, the student must attend 31 private lessons throughout the year with the Abrons teacher of his/her choice. At the conclusion of the spring semester students must write a letter of thanks addressed to Tita Cahn, provide an updated Bio and picture to be turned in to Abrons Arts Center by April 1, 2020.

All eligible students must fill out an application.

Deadline: August 16, 2019