The Metro Music Makers Guide to the Federation Festival

Federation music festival trophies
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If you’re new to Metro Music Makers, or you have a student who has never participated in the Federation Festival with us before, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about. This guide contains everything you need to know and a few bonus tips for making sure your student has an excellent experience.

What Is The Federation Festival?

The Federation Festival is an annual event where students are evaluated by a judge in a non-competitive environment. This program was created by the National Federation of Music Clubs, which creates the standards for each year’s event.

What Would My Student Need to Do at Federation?

Each student memorizes and performs two pieces that they play for a judge at the event in a closed room. One piece must be chosen from a list created by the NFMC and the other piece is chosen by the teacher and student. The choice piece must be the same level of difficulty as the required piece.

How Are Students Scored?

Students are scored on a point scale from 1 (Needs Improvement) to 5 (Superior). The judge also fills out a comment sheet with notes on the student’s performance. The student will receive their score and their judge’s sheet immediately after they audition, so no nervous waiting required! Each year, we keep record of every student’s scores and track their total number of points for every year they have participated. Once they reach 15 points, they receive a cup (see the image above), and at every following 15-point interval they can earn larger and larger cups with their names engraved on them! We have found that earning cups keeps our students very motivated to participate year after year, and the good news is, even if they don’t earn a Superior rating, their points are still adding up towards earning cups, even if it takes them a little more time to do so. Points are earned separately for each event, so students can earn cups for each instrument they audition on (or for the theory event, if they choose to take this test), but the points earned in each category count towards separate cups and cannot be combined.

What Are the Benefits of Participating in Federation?

– Students learn how to prepare for and participate in auditions, judged or otherwise, in a formal setting.

– Your student (and you!) will receive valuable feedback on their progress and skill level from an experienced judge.

– Working towards earning cups and adding up points helps teach students the value of setting and working towards long-term goals.

– Participating, earning high scores, and earning cups can look great on a future college resume. It gives music students a clear way to demonstrate their skill level with a national standard, and non-music majors can use their Federation history and scores to show that they are well-rounded, goal-oriented and disciplined.

What is the cost?

Participation in each event costs $25. This registration fee is non-refundable, and will simply be added to your February invoice. If your student participates in multiple events (say voice and piano, or piano and theory), you will need to register and pay the $25 fee for each event.

How Can I Be Sure My Student Will Be Successful? What if He/She Doesn’t Do Well?

The first thing you should know is that the judges who audition students at the Federation Festival are trained to score students and provide feedback in a positive and constructive way, and even if your student struggles, they won’t receive demoralizing feedback or extremely harsh scoring from judges. They will make suggestions for improvement in a way that won’t discourage your student, and they’ll note what your student did do well. The next thing you should know is that the one and only key to success in this event is to be prepared. If your student works hard to prepare for this event, they will succeed. If for some reason, your student is not completely prepared or doesn’t do as well as they hoped in the audition, they will still receive points toward earning cups, and they’ll get some very helpful and specific suggestions from the judges about what to work on for the following year!

When and Where Is The 2015 Federation Festival?

This year, the event will take place on March 14th from 9am until around 3pm at Piano Works in Duluth, GA.  Each student will be assigned a specific audition time when they register. If you have specific time conflicts on that date, you will be able to notify your teacher and we will do our best to assign you a time that works for you. If you are unavailable for the entire day of March 14th, but want to participate, please contact us and we will attempt to find your student a spot at another Federation event in the area.

Remember: Your teacher is your best resource for all things Federation. He or She will be able to help your student select pieces and prepare, as well as answer any questions you might have about how auditions work, what to expect, etc.

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