NYSSMA stands for New York State School Music Association. This association of music educators and administrators runs a solo music festival throughout New York state every spring. 2-day festivals are held at local high schools. You may request a specific day and time, but these are not guaranteed.
At NYSSMA, your child will be required to perform 3 scales, a pre-approved piece of music they have practiced, and 2 lines of "sight-reading"- music they've never seen before. There are 6 levels of difficulty, 1 being the easiest. Most 5th graders are at level 2. A judge (a music teacher they don't know) will write an evaluation about their playing and give them a grade based upon their technique and style.
Levels 1 & 2: MEMORIZE 3 scales, play a piece, and sight-reading
Levels 3 & 4: MEMORIZE 7 scales, play a piece, and sight-reading
Students will receive the assessment sheet back from the judge within 2 weeks. It will have comments and a grade. 28 is the highest grade you can get, 0 is the lowest. Most students receive between a 21 and a 28. Students receiving a grade above 15 will also receive a medal at their school's Award Assembly in the Spring. Students receiving a grade below 15 will not receive a medal.
Your child will receive the judge’s evaluation sheet back from me in about a week to read the judge's comments. Depending on how well they perform on their level, I may submit their name to local music organizations such as SCMEA (Suffolk County Music Educator's Association) or LISFA (Long Island String Festival) to participate for the next year (See the box above).
I have already explained all of the above to your child. We have been working on four scales all year, (D, G, A, and C) and I will help your child choose an appropriate piece of music to perform for the NYSSMA Festival. Students may NOT use photocopied music for the judge- just to practice. I have many originals of the pieces which I will bring to NYSSMA to save money, but please be sure your child checks with me to be sure I have two copies- one for them to play, and one for the judge to read. You may have to purchase your own book if I do not have enough.
Participation is voluntary- it is understandable if your child does not want to play for a "judge". Participation also means extra practicing- playing the scales and song for you would help them get used to performing in front of others. A private teacher is highly recommended to help your child maximize their potential.
To sign up, please check to see that the yellow form is filled out and a check is made out to the Hauppauge Music Department. Please return it to me or my school mailbox before the deadline on the form so that I may get it processed on time. Best of Luck!
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