I Want to ParticipateGreat! However, preparing for the ASMTA Regional Festival (“the festival”) takes a lot of work, on your part and mine! When students are participating at the intermediate and advanced levels, really anything beyond Level 2, I encourage families to switch to 45-minute lessons. Else, it becomes a struggle. If you’re doing this for the first time, I encourage you to read about the pros and cons of this festival in April and the earlier Sonatina Festival in November on this page.
When Does Preparation Start
In one sense, preparation is ongoing. Many of the skills that I teach all year are part of what is covered on exams. However, there are specific things by level that will need extra focus. We’ll typically start repertoire in January, which gives plenty of time to learn pieces for the April festival. Once we find what pieces you’ll play, we’ll look into preparation for the written theory and additional skills test on the piano that are required by the level of the repertoire chosen.
Much of the preparation that you will do for the theory portion will be with worksheets on your own time. However, most of the other elements have to be covered during lesson time. If you need extra lesson time to complete study for the requirements, I’m happy to provide it at the same rate you pay for lessons.
I also provide group preparation time, typically a session of about 2 hours on a Saturday, to run through pieces plus cover all of the other elements. It can help to do this together, since we can review what is required more thoroughly. If I decide to charge for this, the fee will be minimal and spread among participants.
This festival is not geared for all students. It’s for those students who want the challenge of playing for a judge, and also to study for the written theory exam and to practice the additional components at the piano, such as technique, keyboard harmony, ear training, and sight reading. Most students pursuing these exams at the intermediate and advanced levels should be enrolled for a weekly lesson of at least 45 minutes, else it will be difficult to prepare solely during lesson time.
At the beginner levels, which go from Primary A through Level 2, the requirements are quite simple and straightforward. It’s when students move to Level 3 and beyond that the requirements become more extensive. It does take some time outside of practicing repertoire to study enough to achieve the minimum passing score of 80% between the written theory and additional playing components. If you have any questions, please ask!