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#1547142 - 10/30/10 07:10 PM making plans for federated music club festival
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
I am planning to enter students into the federated music club festival in spring. (This is a first for me...have not yet had kids participate in festival.) My group is "federated" and I plan to make a list of my students names, their level, and some choices for their performance pieces.

Two students are 5th graders who are not working much and limping along at level 1...and almost level 1 for the other. I am reluctant to bring up festival with these kids. For one thing, they would be in with much younger kids. And there may even be an age limit that they have already surpassed--not sure of the rules. OTOH, I could simply ask if they are interested and if they are not, then let it go, but at least give them a chance.

How do you approach festival? Do you ask kids if they're interested? Do you ask parents first? Do you just select kids who are enthusiastic about playing piano and leave out the ones who are unlikely to do the work? Do you enter all your students into festival (just dropping out those who have not memorized their pieces?)

I'll probably order music in November and get them started with their pieces in December. Any advice from those of you who enter kids into festival?

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#1547143 - 10/30/10 07:14 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
What is the date of your festival?
Ours is in April, and I assign the first piece before the holidays, and the 2nd one in January, giving them plenty of time to get them polished.

I use my gut to choose who will participate. I try to get everyone to participate in Guild Auditions, but only the focused students who are moving forward can handle something like our festival.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1547185 - 10/30/10 08:21 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Question for you two: one of my Guild colleagues is singing the praises of the Federation Festival and wants me to participate, but I cannot get a clear concept of the process. Can you share a bit about your experiences? How many pieces are required? Why wouldn't your students just use Guild repertoire?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1547214 - 10/30/10 09:17 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
I don't know if the system varies by state, but in Virginia Festival is a very light-touch event. Students play two pieces. One is from the required list and the other is their choice. The required list is a selection of works by "American" composers, which includes names like Rachmaninoff and Tcherepnin. I imagine a Guild repertoire could include one of the required pieces, so students could easily triangulate between the events.
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Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1547221 - 10/30/10 09:23 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Stanny, the group I am assigned to is scheduled for March 5th. Thanks for the time frame on how you assign pieces.

John, here is what I can tell you about our festivals. There are 2 required pieces. Each child plays a piece selected from the Festival Bulletin and a piece of their own choice. The pieces must be memorized. After performance each child receives an evaluation by a judge. Kids can work toward earning gold cups...a point system...with superior ratings worth more etc.

I have had no students yet go through festival or guild, so I really can't compare them. I observed last years festival and I was surprised to see how happy some of the kids looked as they returned to their seat after performance...it showed me that some kids really do like performing.



Edited by Ann in Kentucky (10/30/10 09:35 PM)
Edit Reason: corrected festival date

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#1547527 - 10/31/10 09:20 AM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Thanks for the replies. I've been on their web site but I don't get a clear picture of what's going on. I'm guessing that a "club" might be you and your students? Where do you go to perform? What if your town doesn't have any "clubs" listed on your state page? I feel like I'm missing something basic here. Thanks.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1547541 - 10/31/10 09:59 AM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Minaku Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/26/07
Posts: 1226
Loc: Atlanta
Festival is a light-touch event, I agree. Things like Guild and ABRSM are much more demanding and serious. But for an entry-level audition/competition it's nice. Students must play two pieces, one of which is from a graded syllabus and the other of which is the student's choice. They play the piece for a single judge, and the judge grades the pieces and comments on them.

There are five ratings for Federation. They are poor, fair, satisfactory, good, and superior. The rating you get is equivalent to a number of points from 1-5 with superior being worth the most at 5 points (sometimes you can get a superior+ but that isn't worth more points). At certain numbers of points you earn trophies - at 15 points, 30 points, 45, etc. Most kids only get 5 points per year so it takes them 3 years to get the initial gold cup trophy.

There are lots of different categories to compete in but the best way I know of to reach 90 points and get the huge President's Cup Trophy is to start young and double up on points using the piano solo and piano concerto events once the student hits junior high.

In the younger ages superiors are common because the teachers want their students to feel good about themselves, but I have had a student get a good rating before. Conversely, there is pressure on judges to give out good scores so that they'll be invited back to judge again.

Overall it shouldn't be a lot of stress but for those students who don't do anything BUT Federation, it and yearly recitals should be a big focus.

Edit: Every teacher sending students to Federation has a "junior music club" (basically, a name for your studio). Every junior music club must be part of a senior music club, and they pay dues. If there is no senior music club in your area you will either have to form one or be a single junior music club. The nice thing about being a senior club is that you can gather other teachers' junior music clubs around you and have a little group.

Federation Festivals can be held anywhere as long as you can have judges and rooms for the students to play in.


Edited by Minaku (10/31/10 10:03 AM)
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#1547568 - 10/31/10 10:39 AM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
In our area two judges are used, and the student gets written feedback from them. The 'Festival' in our area encompasses more than piano, though piano predominates, and the Williamsburg venue draws from several counties around us.

We also have a state Federation competition. The state is broken into three regions and each region selects three students from each of three graded divisions. Each division comprises a number of the Federation levels, so kids at somewhat different musical levels do compete against each other. The nine top players in each division square off at the annual Federation convention in a judged competition.
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Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1547620 - 10/31/10 12:03 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
John, I see there is not a club listed for Olympia Washington. Are you close to any others? I would guess that a club in a nearby city would allow you to participate in their club. Each club is generally identified by their location i.e. Lexington Federated Music Club.

Each local club has dues which are used to rent space for festival and other events and pay for judges time (and used for scholarships etc). All the work is done by members who volunteer their time.

Since you've got kids participating in guild, I see no reason to also get them in NFMC festival.

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#1547623 - 10/31/10 12:09 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Just an update. I've got my student list for festival now. Decided to enter kids ages 6-9, so it's about half the students. I'll just let parents know how much to bring to pay for sheet music, just like I let them know what to pay for other materials.

I ordered all the music from sheetmusicplus.com but paid $9.99 in shipping. (Too much for 7 pieces of music.) But I felt it would be hit or miss and likely not getting all the pieces if I went to my local store.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (10/31/10 12:09 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling

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#1547717 - 10/31/10 03:13 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
Our festival I do is not Federated, but our state MNTA competition. The students play two pieces from their approved list, take a music theory written test and also an ear training and musicianship test.

For me, Guild is much more laid back, not being a competition.
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1547764 - 10/31/10 04:27 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Stanny]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I don't really participate in the festival (formerly called the Gold Cup Festival, now the Junior Festival, I think), but have recently. The purpose is to promote the teaching of American music. The NFMC publishes a bulletin of pieces and all the rules/guidelines for the festivals. These pieces are all by American composers. It is published every 3 years and costs about $6. Students must choose one piece from this list, plus another piece of their choice, as Ann said. The theory component is optional, and the tests are very simple from what I have seen.

The festivals are actually run by the state-level NFMC clubs, though many times you have to pick up the forms at a local club meeting. Here we have to join the local club by October 1st in order to "federate" our classes (studios). The deadline for that is November 1st. It is $20 minimum to "federate" up to 20 students, and then it is $1 per student above that. In January, when the individual students register for the event, there is a small separate fee (around $12 I think) for each child.

Students who participate earn points depending on the judge's rating (e.g. Superior = 5, Excellent = 4 . . . ) and upon earning 15 points or whatever it is these days, the student will earn a Gold Cup trophy. As the student progresses through the years, the cups awarded are progressively larger, up to the "Presidential" Gold Cup, which is really enormous, and only a small number students achieve that (we had one in Lexington a few years ago). It's a big deal in the Junior Notes magazine!

You can order the bulletin from Prima Music here: http://www.primamusic.com/nfmc2011.asp?WebID=&NavImage=h_Festivals.gif

Just check the box that says "I would like to purchase a copy . . . " The NFMC is very strict (secret?) about the repertoire list, so you have to actually have the bulletin to know what pieces are included. Even the local stores have to purchase the book to stock their shelves for the event.

[If it was up to me, I'd be giving them away just to promote the American music, but that's another topic entirely I suppose!]

Hope this helps! When I've had my students participate, it was with the knowledge that in about three months they would play the same pieces as part of their Guild Auditions. This worked out just fine.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1547766 - 10/31/10 04:32 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10385
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Stanny,

I'm confused. Federation auditions are not competitions. You play before a judge (or two). They give you a rating and some feedback. You accumulate points for chachkas that go on your shelf (the gold cups). You are out of the room in less than ten minutes. And judging is usually very generous and gentle.

Indeed, there are Federation competitions as I mentioned. Heck, I played in one when I was in high school. But they are not the basic annual audition. They are an extra that is separate from the audition.

The Guild audition was every bit as stressful. Sitting with a judge who works methodically through exercises and a long repertoire (a dozen pieces for more advanced students) can be quite a serious stress generator for young students.
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#1547820 - 10/31/10 05:35 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Yea, my students tell me Guild is stressful, but the smiles on their faces afterwords tells me that it was worth all the work - on both our parts.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1548063 - 10/31/10 11:01 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
DanLaura Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 695
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
The one big piano thing here in Pocatello, ID is Festival. We had 400 students play last year from our relatively small community. Nearly all of the piano teachers here (including all of the serious ones) belong to NFMC and participate. I invite all my students to participate, and simply inform the parents of the pieces they need to buy and when they need to pay their fees. My students love doing it, and I love having them work hard to prepare for it. I do a Festival Preview recital and try to make a big deal out of it.

I will admit that I am not always crazy about the required pieces, although it is a small trade-off for such a motivating experience for my students. Another drawback is that the teachers judge each others students, and sometimes award a Superior that should have been an Excellent, or an Excellent that should have been a Superior. The judging is not consistent from one teacher to the next, no matter how many meetings we have to discuss judging. Other than that, I personally have found Festival to be a great experience for my students.

There are a handful of teachers here that belong to MTNA, and we do a program we "buy" from MTAC called Certificate of Merit. It includes performance, technique, sight reading, ear training, and theory. I only invite a handful of students to do it because it is more demanding than Festival. But, the students benefit greatly from being more rigorously evaluated.
Laura
_________________________
Dan and Laura Larson
Fazioli and Ibach grands
Larson Piano Studio
http://www.stoneformsart.com/

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#1548230 - 11/01/10 08:56 AM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Stanny ~ Our festivals are not competitive. They are held in a recital-format, grouped by level. The rating sheets are confidential, and from what I've seen the students enjoy it and it is a chance to play for a judge in a public venue. But I agree that Guild is a little less stressful for students who are nervous playing for an audience.

Laura ~ Your festival is judged by the participating teachers? We have always hired out-of-town teachers to keep it more objective. I agree it would be far too awkward to be judging one another's students . . . not necessarily competitive for the students, but certainly for the teachers. I agree that the required selections can, um, leave something to be desired . . ? . . . but on occasion there's a real gem. Of course, that's when every kid in that division plays it, making for a long day, LOL!

Ann ~ I don't believe there are age limits beyond the Pre-Primary Class (which is limited to 8 and under). Overall, the age limit is 19. You can choose what class to enter your students in, based on their individual playing abilities. After the first year, they would just move up to the next class. I think they can "skip up" but would not be allowed to move back down to a previous class. Also, remember that in Elementary I and above, the choice piece needs to be by a non-American composer.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1548264 - 11/01/10 10:07 AM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Adrienne,
I had not caught the rule about the choice piece must be by a non-American composer. I see the rule now in the Festival Bulletin. Thanks for the heads up! Thanks also for clarification about age limits.

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#1548449 - 11/01/10 01:51 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
So, the first step is to join. Then what? Do I take my students somewhere to perform or do I have to contract with somebody to come here and judge? Will the national organization send you a membership guide (I hope) or do I need to order the materials?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1548457 - 11/01/10 02:08 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
John ~ Which of the senior clubs is nearest Olympia? You might want to contact the state organization's president to find out what festival area your students would be in. The Washington state contact info is on this page: http://nfmc-music.org/State%20Pages/Washington/washington.htm

You might also order the bulletin to see what the repertoire requirements are, and to get a better sense of all the festivals available to junior club members.

Oh, also: students of teachers who "federate" their studios are considered junior members -- it's a little confusing, because a student can also register as a "special senior member" in the case that the teacher does not participate in festival . . . If you have students who want to participate this school year, but you have missed the deadline to "federate," then that might be the route you have to take. That's what my students did the very first time I entered them... crazy. The bulletin is available directly through NFMC, or from Prima Music and probably some other piano music sites.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1548460 - 11/01/10 02:14 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Thanks. Yes, the teacher who runs the Puyallup club (the closest one on the list that I can see)is the one encouraging me to join. Does that mean I would take my students there to perform?

Could you explain what you mean by "federate?" Thanks.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1548461 - 11/01/10 02:16 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
John, our group was started many years ago and most of the members are octogenarians. I could talk to someone at the next meeting and find out how they got organized. I would think it would be helpful to have at least 5 teachers who are interested...and then broaden the base to include all music lovers.

Our group has monthly meetings and features a performance each time. Someone hosts it in their home or we meet at a church choir room. A couple of people co-host by bringing refreshments. We publish a "year book" and many teachers of a variety of instruments join (pay membership fee of $37) just to be listed in the year book which is a handy reference for contact info for locating teachers. Others join to get to participate in recitals and festivals hosted by the group. We have about 60 members and about 20 show up for meetings.

Anyway, I would say it is a movement...and needs a group interested in bringing a local group to life. Your group will make decisions about who to hire as judges and what resources you have for recitals and festivals.

I'm not sure what help the national organization provides, but thought I'd go ahead and post what I do know.

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#1548471 - 11/01/10 02:30 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Very enlightening. Thanks.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1548498 - 11/01/10 03:25 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: John v.d.Brook]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Thanks. Yes, the teacher who runs the Puyallup club (the closest one on the list that I can see)is the one encouraging me to join. Does that mean I would take my students there to perform?

Could you explain what you mean by "federate?" Thanks.


The Puyallup Club should have a festivals chairman who takes care of scheduling and arranging for a judge. It's probable that your students will perform in the festival right along with those of the other teachers in that club. You would just have to sign your class up first, and then in January or so depending on your area festival rules, you will fill out an application for each student, with the repertoire choices and timings listed. After that, you will get a schedule for the festival day from your area chairman and bring your students to the festival there. Or you could see about starting a club in Olympia. I'm not sure what the charter requirements are. Finding a close-by festival seems to be the easiest way to start.

Federate = provide a list of your likely participating students and pay around $20. This triplicate form is mailed by you to the area chair, the 2nd copy and ~$20 goes to the festival treasurer, and the 3rd copy goes to the state festival chair; you get this form from your area chair, BTW.

The Area Chairman really does most of the work, coordinating the schedule, collecting the forms, and contracting the judge. You will probably be asked to volunteer on the day of the event, to help with student crowd control, run books and rating sheets, or even grade theory exams depending on how your festival is run.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1548502 - 11/01/10 03:31 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Thanks!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1548547 - 11/01/10 04:25 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: MsAdrienne]
DanLaura Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 695
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
Adrienne-
We live in SE Idaho-lots of farm country-and are a pretty small community with other small communities spread out over many miles. The logistics of getting enough out of town judges to hear 400 kids is nearly impossible. Luckily I only recognize 2 other teachers handwriting (one is my duet partner), so I don't ever know whose students I'm judging.

I'm glad they change bulletins every 3 years, because I've had enough "With a Yo Ho Ho" and "Sea Voyage" to last a lifetime!

Laura
_________________________
Dan and Laura Larson
Fazioli and Ibach grands
Larson Piano Studio
http://www.stoneformsart.com/

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#1548773 - 11/01/10 08:32 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Laura ~ Yes! A couple years ago it was "Rainbow Fish" over and over and over . . .

Also, I see what you mean about the judging. That would make it difficult. Does your group separate the students into multiple festivals so that your own students are not participating at the event you are judging? I guess I am thinking the group might stagger the events, especially with 400 students.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1548861 - 11/01/10 10:37 PM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: MsAdrienne]
DanLaura Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 695
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
Adrienne-
We have a separate concerto event, but do all the solos on one long, giant Saturday. We have a floating judge in case one of our own students is assigned to our room. We also have an early judging night for students who have schedule conflicts. That's done on a first come, first served basis, with an extra $10 fee.
_________________________
Dan and Laura Larson
Fazioli and Ibach grands
Larson Piano Studio
http://www.stoneformsart.com/

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#1548950 - 11/02/10 12:46 AM Re: making plans for federated music club festival [Re: Overexposed]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7393
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Thanks everyone. It sounds like this may be a perfect stepping stone for the teachers here who are "not quite ready" to enroll students in Guild or Adjudications. And it could provide the community, especially the senior community (which is very large here), with contact with young students.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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