Festivals & Theory Exam Information

State Theory Test

The state music theory exam is designed for music students in grades 1-12. Students take the exam that corresponds to their current school grade level, or to their current piano level if a later beginner. This exam is highly encouraged, though not required; it's a great way to keep students on track in their theory learning from year to year! Plus, everyone likes earning medals! :) The Theory Exam is held at Concordia University every spring.

Tests are administered by local teachers from ADMTA in a formal classroom atmosphere. Students who make a score of 90 or higher will receive a medal (98-101 Gold, 94-97 Silver, 90-93 Bronze). Additional awards are given to graduating high school seniors, including the Mansfield Gold Medal Theory Award for students who have earned medals every year in grades 4-12; the Loving Gold Medal Theory Award for students who have earned 12 gold medals; a 12-Year Plaque for seniors who earned medals every year for 12 years; and a 12-Year Participation Certificate for passing 12 grade levels.



A festival is a non-competitive event in which students play music in the designated style for a judge. Students perform pieces privately for a judge. Students receive comments and a rating from the judge, a ribbon and a certificate. Ratings are Superior, Excellent or Very Good. The judge may also indicate plus (+) or minus (-), providing a total of at least 7 possible ratings. Students who receive Superior Plus ratings are invited to play one piece at the Honors Recital which is open to the public and held on the UT campus.  All festivals are held at the UT Music Building.  

Students are evaluated on the following criteria: Accuracy of Memory, Technique, Pedal, Rhythm, Articulation, Dynamics, Voicing, Balance of Texture, Phrasing and Interpretation.

See the Calendar of Events for 2017-18 here.

Please cut & paste this link of the UT music building to your browser to get map & parking information.   http://www.utexas.edu/maps/main/buildings/mrh.html


General Information for Festivals:

1.       Students should arrive at least 25 minutes early to find their room number. (I will let you know your room number and judge number.)

2.       A monitor will be outside of the room.  Please check in with him/her upon arriving.

3.       Parents, please help students remember to bring their original music.  The judges will not accept copies. Digital sheet music is now accepted as long as it has proof of copyright and ownership.

4.       The measures in the music must be numbered.  I will help the students with that at their lesson if necessary. 

5.       Students, enjoy your performance as you share your beautiful music with the judge.  You have worked hard to prepare, now just have fun!

6.       Students will be notified of their rating within 1-2 days of the festival. Students receiving a Superior Plus rating will be invited to preform in the Honors Recital.