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Important Dates and Deadlines | Evaluations (non-competitive)

March 31, 2024

  • Evaluations Registration + Payment Deadline

April 21, 2024

  • In-Person Evaluations: Repertoire + Applied Skills

  • Virtual Evaluations: Live Zoom Session with Evaluator + Repertoire & Score Submission Deadline

    • Live Session includes Applied Skills (Creative Skills, Chat with Evaluator, optional Project Exhibition)

    • Repertoire YouTube links + PDF score submitted via link above

    • Although not required, students are encouraged to submit videos early so evaluators will get to know you a little bit before the Live Session!​

  • Artist Competition: Repertoire & Score Submission Deadline

April 13-28, 2024

  • ALL Evaluations: Written Exam testing period (online)

Important Dates and Deadlines | Artist Competition

April 21, 2024

  • Artist Competition Registration + Video Submission Deadline

Cash prizes available to 1st place winners of each age division!

Results and certificates sent in late May.



Evaluations (Virtual) | Zoom (Live Session) + YouTube Video Submissions (Repertoire)

Evaluations (In-Person) | Valley Christian Conservatory

Artist Competition (Virtual) | YouTube Video Submission


Please see Syllabus for fee chart.

MusicIN Evaluations are comprehensive evaluations available both in-person and virtually.  It covers topics and offers special opportunities not seen in most traditional evaluations.  Available for all instruments and voice.

  • Open Repertoire Selection: Three (3) pieces of student's choice from any genre
    (including arrangements/transcriptions, lead sheets, Classical/Pop/Jazz/Anime/Movie Music, etc.!)

  • Creative Skills: One (1) "creative" work -- an improvisation, self-composed composition, playing from a lead sheet

  • Communication Skills: A short Chat with Evaluator, including a chance for students to ask a question to evaluator

  • Project Exhibition (optional): Give students a chance to showcase skills that combine music with other interests

  • Written Exam: 50 points - Sections include Analysis (two pieces), Music History + Around the World, Ear Training, Critical Thinking Short Answer

MusicIN Artist Competition is a competition for versatile performers including creative and communication skills.  Open to all instruments and voice.  Held virtually.  There are two divisions: Junior (ages 13 and under) and Senior (ages 14-22).  See syllabus above for full details.  Age determination date: April 23, 2023.

  • Versatility in Styles: Two pieces -- one fully-notated piece and one creative piece (a creative element such as improvisation, arranging, composition)

  • Communication Skills: Competitors are encouraged to share Program Notes about each piece before performing

Written feedback is provided for all contestants.

Questions?  Please contact the Chair, Grant Kondo.

Evaluators & Adjudicators

Sample Written Examinations

Students fill out the exam using the printable PDF, then submit answers via an online form.

Elementary (Levels 1-2)

Early Intermediate (Levels 3-4)

Late Intermediate (Levels 5-6)

Early Advanced (Levels 7-8)

Advanced (Levels 9-10)

Resources for Creative Skills

Authors Listed in Alphabetical Order

Books on Arranging

Randy Felts - Reharmonization Techniques

Forrest Kinney - Quick Chord Course

Forrest Kinney - Puzzle Play Series

Forrest Kinney - Chord Play Series

Jerald Simon - 100 Left Hand Patterns: Play the Same Song 100 Different Ways

Books on Improvisation

Chung & Thurmond - Improvisation at the Piano for the Classically Trained Pianist

Forrest Kinney - Create First! Series

Forrest Kinney - Pattern Play Series

John Mortensen - The Pianist's Guide to Historic Improvisation

David Reed - Improvise for Real


Books on Jazz Piano

Eric Baumgartner - Jazz Piano Basics Series

Mark Davis - Jazz Piano Method

Mark Levine - The Jazz Piano Book

Ray Santisi - Berklee Jazz Piano

Jeremy Siskind - Jazz Piano Fundamentals

Jeremy Siskind - Playing Solo Jazz Piano

Books on Composition

Alan Belkin - Musical Composition: Craft and Art

Ben Ereddia - Dragon Quest: A Music Composition Adventure

Carol Klose - Piano Teacher's Guide to Creative Composition

Vincent Persichetti - 20th Century Harmony

Wynn-Anne Rossi - Creative Composition Toolbox Series

Stephen Stone - Music Theory and Composition: A Practical Approach

Books on Composition for Media

Richard Davis - Complete Guide to Film Scoring

Andy Hill - Scoring the Screen: The Secret Language of Film Music

Ben Newhouse - Creative Strategies in Film Scoring

Winifred Phillips - A Composer's Guide to Game Music

Lalo Schifrin - Music Composition for Film and Television

Songwriting Resources

Ed Bell - The Art of Songwriting

Hooktheory - Chord and Melody Metrics

Scarlet Keys - The Craft of Songwriting: Music, Meaning, & Emotion

Pat Pattison - Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form & Structure

Method Books

Fisher & Knerr - Piano Safari

Kreader et al. - Scales, Patterns, and Improvs Series

Online Resources / People / YouTube Channels

Paula Dreyer

Forrest Kinney

Hook Theory & Theory Tab


John Mortensen

Adam Neely

Open Studio Jazz

Tiffany Poon

Jeremy Siskind

Nahre Sol

Bradley Sowash

Tim Topham

Leila Viss

Expand Your Repertoire!

A Seat at the Piano  ::  Inclusion in Piano Repertoire

Boulanger Initiative  ::  Women Composers

Ebony Music  ::  Piano Music by Black Composers

Hymnary  ::  Worship Music

IMSLP  ::  Western Classical Music

Institute for Composer Diversity

Kapralova Society  ::  Women Composers

Music by Black Composers

North American Indigenous Music Resources

Piano Literature for Teaching & Performance by Jane Magrath

Piano Music She Wrote

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