Support the Conservatory

The Omaha Conservatory of Music builds musical community through education and performance. The Conservatory provides private and group lessons in the orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, voice, and composition, to over 700 musicians of all ages. Its faculty is eager and exceptionally well-prepared to prepare a new generation of musicians, music educators, and music lovers. This outstanding group of artist-educators encourages students to contribute to — and participate in — the rich musical community of the Omaha area through solo and group performances, masterclasses, and educational workshops.

You can help the Omaha Conservatory of Music lay the groundwork for its third decade of service by making a gift today. Your tax-deductible contribution will help support OCM’s many programs and extend music’s power to inspire and to invigorate many of Omaha’s previously underserved communities.

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In order to better serve the musical needs of Omaha and the surrounding communities, OCM is seeking between $17 million and $20 million to establish a restricted fund that will provide operational and maintenance support for the future of the property at 7023 Cass Street in Omaha (the former Temple Israel property) as a permanent home for the Conservatory. 

The building, centrally located in an area that is culturally active and experiencing substantial revitalization, accommodates a diverse student body that needs access to the school from all parts of the city.  

Want to help? Click the "Donate Now" button at the top of this page.

OCM welcomes gifts through wills, life insurance plans, securities, trusts, real estate and other non-cash vehicles. Our Board Chair, Dr. Jasper, has named Omaha Conservatory of Music in his estate plans and encourages others whose lives have been touched by OCM to do the same.

"OCM is a tremendous force for good in the lives of our students, in our city, and in our region. What better way to designate a portion of your estate?” — Dr. David Jasper

A variety of giving techniques and financial vehicles may be used, depending on the method of giving that is best for you. You may name the Omaha Conservatory of Music as a beneficiary in your will, living trust, retirement plan, or insurance contract; contribute a residence; or give through one of the charitable trusts that provide income to both you and OCM.

You may choose to be celebrated publicly or remain anonymous, and designate your gift to a specific program area, or to the area of greatest need as determined by OCM. With your inclusion of OCM in the vehicles outlined above, you can add your name to the forthcoming OCM Legacy Society Honor Roll and become a founding member of the OCM Legacy Society (founded 2015). To learn more, please contact us at 402.932.4978 or

The OCM Legacy Society was created to encourage special contributors, volunteers, and patrons to create their own personal legacies at the Omaha Conservatory of Music by making important charitable gifts through their estate plans.

Gifts of time and expertise are no less valuable than gifts of money.

There are many ways of helping the Conservatory with your time, experience, and knowledge. Please contact Diane Owens, OCM's Event and Student Services Manager, at 402-932-4978, ext. 202; or email her at to learn about opportunities and to discuss your interest.

When we say “keep tuition affordable,” what we mean is that the income from tuition only covers 70 percent of the cost of educating and providing performance opportunities to our on-campus students. The additional 30 percent is funded by philanthropy.

Donations to our Annual Appeal go directly to this 30 percent.

Even with the across-the-board tuition discount enabled by private donations to OCM, many students need further assistance. OCM is receiving record-high enrollment—and therefore record-high demand for tuition assistance (financial aid). Tuition assistance is awarded to students on a first-come-first-served basis in an amount approved by our Board of Directors. OCM staff then works diligently throughout the school year to raise money to cover this board-approved budget goal.

Donors to the Annual Appeal must indicate if they would like to contribute specifically to tuition assistance in the “memo” section of their check or online donation.

Help the Conservatory make Omaha a more confident, educated, musical, cooperative, healthier, productive, and inclusive community.

The benefits of your gift to the Omaha Conservatory of Music extend far beyond its walls.

Here is what the research shows the kind of music education taught at OCM will produce in Omaha:


When music education is delivered at the highest level, participation has been found to catalyze students’ musical, social, and personal growth. (Adderly, Kennedy, and Berz, 2003; Fritz, 2002; et. al.)

Ensemble participation can help students develop a sense of achievement, confidence, and intrinsic motivation. (Hallam & Prince, 2000; et. al.) 

Costa-Giomi (1999) and Harland et al. (2000) found participation in school music ensembles to increase students’ sense of identity and self-esteem, the latter being the “…secret heart of learning.” (Dryden, Vos, 1999; et. al.)


The very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. (The Center for the Arts in the Basic Curriculum, New York, 1989)

A research team exploring the link between music and intelligence reported that music training is far superior to computer instruction in dramatically enhancing children’s abstract reasoning skills, the skills necessary for learning math and science. (Shaw, Rauscher, Levine, Wright, Dennis and Newcomb, 1997)

Physician and biologist Lewis Thomas studied the undergraduate majors of medical school applicants. He found that 66% of music majors who applied to medical school were admitted, the highest percentage of any group. Only 44% of biochemistry majors were admitted. (Phi Delta Kappan, 1994)

In an analysis of U.S. Department of Education data on more than 25,000 secondary school students (NELS:88, National Education Longitudinal Survey), researchers found that students who report consistent high levels of involvement in instrumental music over the middle and high school years show “significantly higher levels of mathematics proficiency by grade 12.” This observation holds regardless of students’ socio-economic status, and differences in those who are involved with instrumental music vs. those who are not is more significant over time. (The Imagination Project at UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, 1999)


On average, 74 percent of orchestra ticket buyers have played a musical instrument or performed vocal music as students. (Knight Foundation Report on Orchestra Segmentation, 2002) 


An Auburn University study found significant increases in overall self-concept of at-risk children participating in an arts program that included music, movement, dramatics and art, as measured by the Piers-Harris Children’s Self-Concept Scale. (Barry, 1992)


Students learn to work both as individuals, as well as active contributors to a group outcome, thus developing a strong sense of belonging. One aspect of this is knowing when to speak and when to listen, and paying attention when focus is elsewhere (learning by observation). (Kokosatki, 2007; et. al.) 


Overall, music making contributes to perceived good health, quality of life, and mental well-being. (Coffman & Adamek, 1999; Kahn, 1998; Vanderark et al., 1983; Wise et al., 1992)

The results show how music contributes to positive ageing by providing ways for people to maintain positive self-esteem, feel competent, independent, and avoid feelings of isolation or loneliness, as well as maintaining their self-identity, and strengthening their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Since physical and mental activity and social connectedness contribute to health, this will also save society money. (Hays, Minichiello, 2005)

Music ensembles can provide senior citizens with a venue to make friends, while intergenerational music activities between children, teenagers, and senior citizens have particular social value. (Bowers, 1998; Darrow et al., 1994; Leitner, 1982)

Choral singing seems to have positive emotional, social, physical, and creative outcomes. (Bailey, Davidson, 2002, 2003; Beck et al., 2000; Clift, Hancox, 2001; Hinkle, 1988; Irish, 1993)


Creativity has become a new core competency in the US economy, an education that develops it is crucial for all students. (Jones, 2003)

Other major national reports on the arts have emphasized their importance in developing a range of transferable skills including those related to creativity and critical thinking. (NACCCE, 1999)

The arts create jobs, increase the local tax base, boost tourism, spur growth in related businesses (hotels, restaurants, printing, etc.) and improve the overall quality of life for our cities and towns. On a national level, nonprofit arts institutions and organizations generate an estimated $37 billion in economic activity and return $3.4 billion in federal income taxes to the U.S. Treasury each year. (American Arts Alliance Fact Sheet, October 1996)


Ensemble participation can help dispel prejudicial myths and cultural stereotypes through shared elemental experiences with students from other cultures. (Jones, 2004)

Students can find, in music, a mechanism for directly experiencing what they have in common (feelings, striving, etc.) is far more and more power than the differences they have been taught that separate them from others. (ArtsLab, 2004)

Participating schools were found to benefit from the music program through improved interethnic relation.  Incidents of harassment were reduced and immigrant children with improved self-image were found to find easier acceptance. (Skyllstad, 2000)


FOUNDER • Full operational cost of two faculty member seminars 


BENEFACTOR • Cost of a full seminar for one faculty member


TRUSTEE • Average financial aid for one faculty member


PATRON • For annual faculty instrument maintenance


SPONSOR • Cost for two piano tunings


DONOR • Cost for one piano tuning

Omaha Conservatory of Music graciously accepts donations of used instruments in working condition (i.e., no repairs are needed), if we have a need for them.

If you are interested in donating an instrument, please contact us at


We certainly wouldn't be where we are today if not for the generosity of those who believe in and support our mission. 

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