In March, we practiced jumping through hoops, otherwise known as crafting the grant application. In this highly competitive process, you don't want to give a funder any excuse to remove you from consideration. Taking care of all the nitty gritty details is so important, just as it is essential to speak the funder's language back to him/her. If the funder is interested in Creative Youth Development, it is incumbent on you to (accurately) frame your proposal for a music education program in those specific terms. If the funder cares about providing equitable access to high quality educational opportunities, than it is your job to address that goal in your narrative about providing after-school music lessons and workshops, and in those terms.
Below is a fictional Request for Proposals, a composite of numerous grant applications that Bryony Romer helped me create several years ago. To me, its specificity--paired with its occasional vagaries--accurately portrays the reality of my experience with grant-writing.
Courtesy of CMW's Josie Davis, here is a proposal narrative submitted by the Merrymeeting String Project. It is an excellent proposal: so clearly organized and purposeful in addressing the interests of the Carter Family Charitable Trust. Too bad that the Carter Family Trust review committee was specifically interested in funding new initiatives only in "urban" communities. However, looking at Brunswick as a relatively urban community in the context of the decidedly rural state of Maine, the committee (er, the rest of us) still managed to award her a grant in the end!
Sharing student project documentation and, more recently, my own.