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What are the ASMTA Festivals and State Auditions?

  • Arkansas State Music Teachers Association sponsors Regional Festivals, usually held in April, and State Auditions, held at the State Conference, which is usually the first Saturday in June.
  • They are open to all piano students of ASMTA member teachers.  
  • The Festivals and Auditions provide piano students with a positive goal of achievement, and a well-rounded musical education. 
  • This is NOT related to the national MTNA Competitions, which start as the MTNA State Competition in Arkansas.  State Winners in this competition go on to the Division Competitions, which will be video-only starting in 2018-19, and Division Winners go on to Nationals.  Arkansas is in the South Central Division, along with Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Students may enter both the MTNA Competitions and the ASMTA Festivals.   


  • Teachers, please renew your membership before you submit your students for entry in the Festival.  In fact, please renew now to take advantage of all the benefits and discounts MTNA has to offer.  
  • The Entry Fee for Festivals is now $20 (effective Spring 2015)
  • ASMTA MENTORS:  Teachers participating in Regional Festival and State Auditions for the first time may request help from the Chairs, or may be assigned an ASMTA Mentor, to provide guidance and answer any questions.  Please contact the ASMTA State President regarding being assigned a Mentor.
  • DETERMINING REGIONS:  There are six Regions in the state.  Regions are determined by the teacher’s address.  If you are unsure what Region your city or town is in, please consult this list of Regions, or contact Lisa Miller at  (insert link to “What Regional Festival Will My Students Perform In?”)
  • DATES/CHAIRPERSONS:  For a chairpersons and cities/towns for Region Festivals, click here.  
  • FORMS:  Click here for necessary Forms

PRIMARY A – Level 5 select ONE winner and ONE alternate for each 10 entered 

Levels 6 – 10 select ONE winner and ONE alternate for each 5 entered. 

Splitting levels between judges is not allowed at Region or State Auditions. This is necessary for a fair process. Note: All alternates from Levels 6-10 will be invited to participate at the State Level during Conference.

  • THREE COMPONENTS of Regional Festivals:

a.  Performance of 2 solo pieces for a judge.    

  • The Repertoire Guide is available to Members Only at , under “Competitions and Festivals;” “Repertoire Directory.”    

a. Repertoire must be selected from the online “Repertoire Directory” 

available to Members Only at, under “Competitions and Festivals;” “Repertoire Directory.”  


c. Students are allowed to perform solos and to test on the same level for TWO consecutive years, provided they have not been the State Audition winner of that level. 

d. Students on Levels 9 and 10 may select solos from either level.  

e. Students may enter for comments only. Fee is $20.  Students will receive a Rating Sheet with comments and a grade. They may be heard by any judge but are ineligible to win Region or State.  

f. Repertoire Solos may not be repeated from one year to the next. f. Downloaded (from Public Domain library, e.g. IMSLP) and ‘paid online’ music is acceptable. Xeroxed or copied music is not permissible. For further clarification on copyright issues, please visit MTNA website

b.  Written Theory Test.  Taken the same day as the Performance audition.

c.  Keyboard Theory Test, involving playing of Scales, Chords, etc., and Ear Training.  

The student takes this written and playing test the same day as the playing 

exam, with a teacher who is not his/her own.  Also referred to as “Musicianship 

Test.”  Individual exercises are currently being added to Piano Marvel and will be 

available soon on the ASMTA website.

  • DETERMINING STUDENT’S LEVEL:  To determine a student’s level, the teacher should search for pieces the student is currently playing, or for other pieces known to be at the same level, and see which level they are listed in.  The levels are Primary A, Primary B, and 1 through 10.  For example, if a student is playing Musette in D by Bach, one can type “Musette” under “Title,” and all the Musettes by different composers will appear.  The teacher can then select “Musette BWV Anhang 126” by Bach, and find that it is in Level 3, under Period A, for Baroque and Classical.  Then the teacher will need to find one more repertoire piece from Level 3 for the Festival, which can be in either Period B, Romantic, or Period C, Contemporary.  
  • AGE RULES:  The following rules were passed by the Repertoire Committee on August 17, 2007. These age rules are not suggestions, they are firm. The ages apply when we start a new school year in September of each year. PRIMARY A must be no older than 8 by September 1 of the Current Festival Year.  PRIMARY B must be no older than 9 by September 1 of the Current Festival Year.  LEVEL 1 must be no older than 12 by September 1 of the Current Festival Year 
  • STYLE PERIODS FOR LOWER LEVELS:  For Levels Primary A, Primary B, and 1, there are no separate Periods by style or time period.  The teacher may select any two pieces for the student from the list at these levels, in contrasting style and tempo.
  • COMMENTS SHEETS:  All participating students receive written comment sheets.
  • PLANNING AHEAD:  It is recommended that teachers choose and assign pieces for the Festival no later than mid-autumn, to allow students ample preparation and comfort in performance.
  • RATINGS:  Any number of students may receive a “1” rating, but only Winners and Alternates receive a “1+.”  
  • THEORY GUIDELINES for each level of Written Theory, Keyboard Theory, and Ear Training may be found here.  
  • FURTHER THEORY RESOURCES:  Members may also access further Theory and Ear Training Resources on the ASMTA Website, which includes Dr. Susan Tusing’s Music Review Lessons. 
  • REPERTOIRE GUIDE UPDATES/CORRECTIONS:  The online Repertoire Guide is updated annually in early August to reflect pieces to be utilized for the coming school year.  Please send corrections or repertoire suggestions to the Repertoire Guide Committee, Lauren Schack Clark or Sharon Ard   
  • TEACHERS MUST BE ACTIVE MEMBERS:  Participants must currently be studying with an active member in good standing of Arkansas State Music Teachers’ Association. Students must be in school grades Pre-school through K-12, or be home-schooled. 
  • RESIDENCE:  Students must enter Festival in the Region in which their teacher resides. No exceptions. 
  • STUDENT FEES:  Student Fees are non-refundable, for any reason. Students will not be entered until fee is paid. 
  • TEACHER DUES:  Teacher’s dues to ASMTA and MTNA must be paid before his/her Region Festival.
  • TEACHER CONFERENCE FEES:  Teacher’s Conference Fee of $35 must be paid before Conference, whether or not the teacher attends. TEST LEVELS AND STATE HONOR ROLL: All Tests and Repertoire Solos must be entered on the same level, except for Transfer Students. Written Theory Honor Roll – students scoring 90% and above will be listed on the roll and receive a Certificate from ASMTA. Musicianship Honor Roll – students scoring 90% and above will be listed on the roll and receive a Certificate from ASMTA. 
  • PERFECT SCORE: Students graded SUPERIOR (I) on Repertoire and who score 100% on ALL tests will receive an award from ASMTA for Perfect Score. Bonus test points may be used to aid the student to score 100%. 
  • TRANSFER STUDENTS: Transfer students may enter tests TWO levels below Repertoire, but no lower than two levels. Students are considered Transfer Students for TWO consecutive years with the same teacher. If students have previously participated in ASMTA Festival with a different teacher, they may not enter at a lower level with the new teacher. 
  • REGION WINNERS: Must score at least 160 points on combined test scores. PRIMARY A – Level 5 students will audition for Winners Recital Levels 7 – 10 students will audition for the Master Class Recital 
  • ASMTA AWARDS: ASMTA will purchase and present the following for Region Festivals: Participation Certificates Theory Honor Roll Certificates Musicianship Certificates Perfect Score Awards Any other awards presented at Region Festivals is the financial responsibility of that region and cannot be reimbursed by ASMTA. Regions are allowed $10 per judge toward cost of judge’s lunch on Festival Day.  
  • CHOOSING JUDGES:  Region Chairs:  Please remember to choose judges from close to your Region, to maintain a reasonable mileage expense.


  • Winners of Regional Festivals compete in the State Competitions.  For Levels 6 through 10, all Alternates also compete in the State Auditions. 
  • State Auditions involve the Performance component only, with no further Theory or Musicianship tests.  
  • Levels A – 5: Students play TWO solos Levels 6 – 10: Students play ONE solo, selected by Region Judge.
  • State Winners in levels A, B, and 1 through 6 perform in an Honors Recital the afternoon of the audition day.  State Winners in Levels 7 through 10 perform in a Master Class with a Guest Artist Pianist the afternoon of the audition day. 
  • All State Entrants receive Comments Sheets.
  • All State Winners receive a Trophy.


For additional questions about Festivals, please contact:

Lisa Miller, Festival Chair, 870-261-4208,

Region Chairs:  Click here for listing of cities and towns in each Region.  

For questions regarding accessing and navigating the Repertoire Directory, please contact 

Alline Phillips,

For Repertoire Guide Requests and Editing, Please contact:

Dr. Lauren Schack Clark, Co-Chair, Repertoire Committee,


Sharon Ard, Co-Chair, Repertoire Committee,