Assistance To Music Teachers

Application Submission Deadline:  Ongoing

Decision Notification:  Ongoing

Annual Update Form:  August 15

Introduction & Purpose

Theodore Presser was committed to the support of music teachers, mindful of his own early struggles in the profession and with a sense of gratitude for the thousands of teachers who were the primary customers of his music publication business.

In 1906, he established the Presser Home for Retired Music Teachers in Philadelphia. When it was no longer practical to maintain an independent facility, The Foundation created the Assistance to Music Teachers Committee to carry on its basic mission of financial support for retired teachers with financial need.

Typically, the Committee provides modest financial assistance and/or help with the cost of medical insurance. Awards are made to individuals living in the United States whose primary occupation was as a teacher of music. In order to be considered for Assistance, applicants must be nominated by a music institution for consideration.

Nominating institutions should have first-hand knowledge of the applicant’s professional accomplishments and personal circumstances, either directly as current or former employers, or through professional or community contacts. The later might include institutions that know the applicant through competitions, master classes or ensembles sponsored by the institution that the applicant’s students may have participated in over the years, or through regional professional associations or organizations.


Consistent with our Social Justice Statement and Values, the Foundation seeks to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in our processes, practices, and decisions.

Additionally, applicants:

1. Must have had a significant career as a music teacher, as evidenced by the sponsoring institution and additional letters of support from qualified professionals.

2. Should generally be of retirement age and in serious financial distress; that is, to have significant financial need not able to be satisfied by his or her assets nor by those of other family members.

Nominating Process

A sponsoring institution should contact The Presser Foundation directly by telephone (267.519.5350) or by email ( to obtain information on eligibility and the nominating process. Sponsoring institutions will need to submit a completed application on behalf of the referred music teacher and include contact information for three other references pertaining to the individual’s career in music.  The application includes both professional and financial details (i.e. a federal tax return) and will need to be completed in collaboration with the individual.  The Presser Foundation reviews such applications on an ongoing basis.

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