I am a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers, and I would like to see many of our students qualify for National Fraternity of Student Musicians Membership each year.
The Piano Guild is open to students of all ages and levels. The purpose of the auditions is to establish goals for the earliest beginner as well as the advanced student. These goals attempt to give music study some definite direction and provide a measurement for progress. As a result, a piano curriculum encompassing the best of piano literature and stressing American compositions has been standardized. All piano students have a yearly opportunity to attain these goals through non-competitive adjudication in the National Piano Playing Auditions. Auditions are private (student and judge only) with well-qualified musicians serving as judges. Students are judged on individual merit in the areas of accuracy, continuity, phrasing, pedaling, dynamics, rhythm, temp, tone, interpretation, style and technique.
Students may participate in Guild Auditions in many classifications; the pieces selected may be memorized or unmemorized, they may present a duet program, a jazz/pop program, an all Bach program, an all sonatina program, or a program in social music (consisting of hymns, patriotic and folk songs). A program is decided and agreed upon by the student, teacher and parent.
This year, students must appear before the Guild examiner in May of 2013 at the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale. Since Guild Auditions are generally considered a legitimate excuse for absence, parents may request permission from school authorities for their children to be absent to perform in the National Piano Playing Auditions if their assigned playing time is during school. I will be happy to provide an excuse note.
Every year a student enters Auditions, he/she will receive the following rewards:
A membership certificate, according to classification.
An NFSM Membership Pin in Bronze (Pledge, Local & District), Silver (State), or Gold (National or International.) Hobbyists also receive a bronze pin.
- A copy Analysis Chart and Report Card signed by the Guild examiner.
- The studentís name on his/her teacherís NFSM Certificate.
His/her name listed and photo published in Piano Guild Notes in the fifth, tenth, or fifteenth year as a National or International Winner.
Number of Pieces
1 memorized piece
2-3 memorized pieces
4-6 memorized pieces
7-9 memorized pieces
10 memorized pieces
15 memorized pieces
To encourage students who experience difficulty in memorizing, Guild has established a "Hobbyist" category. Participants in the category do NOT memorize their pieces.
Duet/Duo/Trio - 2 students or a teacher may perform in this category.
Jazz/Pop - Students in this classification may program anywhere from one to twenty memorized pieces or 1 to 8 pieces as a hobbyist (with music). All forms of jazz/pop can be programmed EXCEPT for fake books. Entry fees are according to number of pieces programmed, as in the regular auditions.
All Fees are Non-Refundable
FEES ARE DUE BY February 8, 2013 payable to Laura Wilkins Piano, because I must pay one single check to enroll all my students. Most beginning students program 2 pieces, and if they have been taking for 2 years or more, they could increase to 4 to 6 pieces, or even 7 to 9. Ten piece programs are only recommended for those students that are willing to practice a minimum of 30-45 minutes per day. Each program is tailored to the studentís level. Elementary A through Elementary F is equivalent to students studying in the method books; Elementary A would be music from the Alfred or Faber Primer or Pre-reader books, Elementary B would be Level 1, through Elementary F which would be Level 5. Once students are in Intermediate levels, they should be playing Bach minuets, sonatinas and early romantic pieces. Students in Intermediate C and above would be advanced/preparatory students.
How To Calculate Your Rating in Guild Auditions
The numbers of C and A Checks on a pupilís report card will determine his/her current years rating in the National Piano Playing Auditions, as follows:
Family Circle Current Rating
means the pupilís preparation shows he/she is not yet ready to appear in public, but that they should find pleasure in playing the piano daily, trying always to improve their technical facilities as the golfer does his/her stroke so as to be able to please a wider audience, outside his/her family group; More A than C Checks. Fair.
Room Circle Current Rating
means the pupilís preparation shows he/she is prepared to appear before his fellows in his room at school, who, being held for the most part, unaccomplished in music, are therefore not critical; 1 to 6 more Cís than Aís. Good to Good Plus.
School Circle Current Rating
means the pupilís preparation shows he is prepared to the extent that he could creditably represent his school or club in a musical program at his school. 7 to 10 more Cís than Aís. Excellent to Excellent Plus.
Citywide Circle Current Rating
means the pupilís preparation shows his/her playing sufficiently polished or outstanding to make him a possible selectee to represent his school in a citywide or countywide concert. 11 to 27 more Cís than Aís. Excellent Plus to Superior.
Top-Talent Circle Current Rating
means the pupilís preparation shows he/she is adequately equipped musically and technically to appear before any audience anywhere, even though newspaper critics may be in the audience to herald his/her faults and virtues to the world. 28 (or more) more Cís than Aís. Superior Plus