Music Educators Association of New Jersey

Serving teachers and students since 1927


The MEA has a long history of community philanthropy related to music education. The MEA contributes to local colleges, supporting their music programs in a variety of ways. In addition, special scholarships are awarded to qualified students of MEA members from the Mary Jean Nelson Scholarship Fund. Each year the Mary Jean Nelson Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance for deserving music students to attend summer music camps or festivals and to help music majors who are attending colleges, universities or conservatories. "Music Major" is a broad term that today encompasses, among other studies, piano performance, collaborative piano, composition, music technology, education/pedagogy and music therapy. MEA also provides the Allegro Scholarship which covers fees for participation in MEA events.

A recent recipient of an MEA-MJN college scholarship wrote, "I was ecstatic upon hearing that I received this award and am extremely grateful... to purchase textbooks to help further my knowledge in my passions of music and programming... pursuing a career in program development for a music software company." Another student who was awarded a Camp Scholarship wrote, "I used my scholarship to attend the High School Piano Camp at Westminster Choir College. Though it was only a one-week camp, I was able to polish my solo piece with the help of some amazing teachers, and put together a piano quartet in time for the final performance in Bristol Chapel. It was a memorable experience and I hope to return next year!"

The MEA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations to the MEA-MJN Scholarship Fund are fully tax-deductible. The scholarship fund relies solely on generous individual donations, matching contributions from employers, and music sales at the monthly MEA General Meetings (when they are held in person). Making a contribution to this fund is a meaningful way to honor a person with congratulations (birthday, anniversary, graduation, etc.), get well wishes, or in memoriam. An announcement of your tribute, including your personal message, will be sent to the honoree. Please donate generously so that MEA can maintain and expand this supportive program!

Information for the Allegro, College, or Camp Scholarships can be found on the corresponding application forms. You can view all details and download the application forms by going to Forms/Downloads on the main menu. Online application forms are available from the teacher's Member Homepage. Please note that the deadline for submission is May 1.

Charlene Step and Sondra Tammam
Scholarship Committee Co-Chairs


Donate to MEA

The Music Educators Association of New Jersey is comprised of nearly 300 piano teachers across the state. MEA supports music opportunities through activities such as auditions, recitals, competitions, master classes, composition festivals and scholarship awards. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to these worthwhile efforts by clicking the 'Donate' button below. You may also download a donation form here.


2024 MEA-MJN Camp Scholarships Awarded

Seven outstanding students have been awarded MEA-MJN Camp Scholarships this year. All of them have won high-level competitions in piano, most have mastered more than one instrument, and all of them excel academically. They live music, breathe music, and as one applicant expressed it, “Music is not just something I do — it is a vital part of my identity, guiding me on a journey of self-discovery and growth with each note I play, each rhythm I feel and every melody I create.”

Students of Mansoon Kim:

Student of Charlene Step:

Student of Beatrice Long:

Students of Gloria Chu:

We are extremely proud of these musicians and their achievements, and are thrilled to be able to award these scholarships. Congratulations to all — and to their MEA teachers who have nurtured and inspired them!



About Mary Jean Nelson

The Fund was named for one of the MEA's former outstanding teachers, Mary Jean Nelson. Born in 1926 in Logan, Utah, Mary Jean took to the piano at an early age. By 14 she was already performing at church functions and teaching piano to other children. After graduating from Utah State University in 1948, where she received the Outstanding Graduating Student Award, she was admitted to the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Mary Jean opened a piano studio in Morristown, NJ, after she and her husband and two children moved there in 1960. She was an active soloist and accompanist in the area, performing with various chamber groups, soloists and choral ensembles. She was also a judge in MEA competitions, and a recipient of the Annual MEA Teaching Award. The Fund was named in her honor shortly after her sudden death in July, 2000.