Steel Trappings

HSGA Happenings

Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association Clarifies Scholarship Policy

November 28, 2017 • Addison ChingNews

The Hawaiian Steel Guitar Association (HSGA) recently enacted a board resolution that memorializes the association's commitment to their scholarship program. This program exists to benefit those who are interested in learning the Hawaiian steel guitar but need assistance to help pay for the cost of private lessons. The HSGA website now contains information about the scholarship application process and a link to download a scholarship application. To get to the scholarship information, go to the HSGA website at, and point your mouse on the "About HSGA" navigation link on the left side. This should open up a submenu. Navigate and click on the "Scholarship Fund" link to get to the scholarship information. The scholarship page can also be directly accessed at

HSGA Website Scholarship Page

The HSGA board resolution includes this citing:

WHEREAS, the HSGA Scholarship Fund's "primary financial goal is to provide scholarship assistance through donations and bequests to steel guitar students who demonstrate the ability and intent to become accomplished performers." See, (See the complete text of the resolution here.)

Potential donors to the HSGA can designate their contributions to be applied specifically to the scholarship fund and scholarship funds "shall only be used specific purpose to provide scholarship assistance to steel guitar students who demonstrate the ability and intent to become accomplished performers and such Scholarship funds shall not be used for any other purpose."

The process itself has not changed. Potential applicants are advised of scholarship requirements which include:

  • Scholarship awardees are limited to thirty lessons but the HSGA scholarship committee may approve additional lessons beyond the limit; and
  • Scholarship awardees shall provide a video of their progress to the HSGA scholarship committee.

Additional guidelines and requirements for applicants include:

  • Providing a detailed lesson plan developed by the applicant's instructor, outlining the proposed plan to teach the student how to play the steel guitar, listing the various skills and techniques to be taught and measurements of success to be used;
  • showing a commitment to learn and perform on the Hawaiian steel guitar; the applicant should be a current student with a highly skilled teacher but this requirement may be waived if the student demonstrates innate ability, is accomplished on other instruments, or is a self-taught player with or without knowledge of note-reading;
  • Documentation of total family income and assets may be requested of the applicant;
  • The applicant must sign a document agreeing to his or her term of the lessons and the lesson plan;
  • The student's tuition is determined by the HSGA Scholarship Committee to cover all or a portion of the teacher's fee for a maximum of ten lessons per series of lessons; and
  • Private one-on-one lessons are required, the monies awarded by HSGA will be paid directly to the teacher and the student is responsible for payment to the instructor of any portion not covered by the scholarship.

    Ed. note: "HSGA Happenings": is a feature that will appear from time to time when the HSGA provides information to Steel Trappings to be shared with its readership.



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HIMELE is a Hawai'i non-profit corporation that supports music enrichment and education for people of all ages. Our purpose is to educate, promote, and perpetuate Hawaiian music, Hawaiian culture and Hawaiian musical instruments.