Welcome to the Keyboard Festival 2021, a co-sponsored by Musical Collaborations and the New Jersey Chapter of the World Piano Teachers Association.
Keyboard Festival 2021 features two parts:
- Student Piano Adjudication - April 15 - May 15, 2021
- Keyboard Festival Week - June 20-25, 2021
Sign-up for more information!
Student Piano Adjudication
Welcome to the inaugural Keyboard Festival of NJ-WPTA and Musical Collaborations!
For 2021, the entire festival - student adjudication and Keyboard Festival Week - will be virtual. Piano students of all ages are invited to submit video recordings of their own solo piano performances in order to receive feedback from knowledgeable adjudicators. This is meant to be a positive, educational experience for each pianist regardless of level and experience. Adjudicator feedback works together with the ongoing student-teacher conversation to aid in the student's musical growth.
An adjudication is not a competition. An adjudication is an opportunity to receive feedback from professional musicians who are separate from the student's regular piano teacher. In addition, preparing for the adjudication - whether live or virtual - gives the student an additional goal and performance opportunity. The adjudication portion of the Keyboard Festival 2021 is timed to aid in each student's recital/performance preparation this spring.
April 15 - May 15 - Registration open for all pianists. During this window of time, video submissions will be accepted. Please pay close attention to the copyright requirements based on your specific piece and original score.
April 15 - May 31 - Adjudication period. During this time, adjudicators will view and respond to all video submissions.
June 1 - Announcement of students selected to participate in Student Recital during Keyboard Festival Week 2021.
June 15 - Deadline for Student Recital video submissions.
June 20-25 Keyboard Festival Week 2021
Guidelines for Student Video Submissions
In this pandemic time, nearly everyone has been involved with some form of video call or video recording. Your piano recording need not be professionally recorded! Even so, please use the following guidelines to aid in creating the best quality video possible.
1. DO: Use a tripod or phone/camera holder so that your your device is on a sturdy and flat surface. DON'T: Please do not enlist a family member to hold the phone/camera for you during your performance - this will inevitably cause an unsteady video and add unwanted noise into your video.
2. DO: Find a good camera angle that allows the adjudicators to see you as an audience member would see you. Try to find a good balance so your hands, instrument, and face are visible. DON'T: Please do not position the camera too close so that only hands are visible or too far away.
3. DO: Do a test video to ensure your lighting is good. DON'T: Please be sure you do not look too dim or too bright in the video.
4: DO: Find a time that is as quiet as possible (not only for distraction of the performer, but audience members, too!) DON'T: Please do not try to record while the dogs are barking or a family member is doing dishes audibly in the background. You might be surprised at how much your microphone picks up! Listen to your first take to see how it looks and sounds!
5: DO: Treat this pre-recorded performance like a live recital performance. This includes how you present yourself in the video!
6: (Optional) DO: Introduce yourself as you would to a real audience. Clearly state your first name and the name of your piece and composer's name. DON'T: Please do not mention your last name, school you attend, or any other personal information.
example: My name is Sarah and I will be playing Prelude No. 1 in C Major by Johann Sebastian Bach.
7. DO: Crop the beginning and end of your video to eliminate any excess, non-musical content (aside from the optional student introduction). The musical content of your video - starting from the optional spoken introduction must be done in one take. DON'T: IMPORTANT! No editing of the musical content will be permitted and will result in disqualification from participation in Keyboard Festival 2021.
Copyright is important! The creator of a work - copyright holder - has the right to grant or deny permission to use their work as they see fit.
For Keyboard Festival 2021, Hal Leonard and Kjos have both granted permission for student use of their copyrighted works. (See below for specific information related to this permission.)
Alfred Publishing requires that each student contact them directly at email@example.com. See a sample email request on our Keyboard Festival FAQ page.
Would you like to use the music of a publisher not mentioned here? Please contact us at for more information.
Information regarding publisher permission:
1. Student Recording
From the list of approved publishers, a video recording may be made solely for the purposes of this adjudication. The video must be shared in a non-public, secured way - such as an unlisted video on YouTube or a protected link via Google Drive. (Please make sure to select "anyone with the link can view" so that both our office and the adjudicators may have access.)
The recorded performance must use legally purchased sheet music and the printed score must be visible at least at the beginning of the recording, especially if a student is playing from memory.
The recording must be removed from the shared site once the adjudication is complete.
2. Digital copy of purchased score
From the list of approved publishers, a digital copy of the printed score (PDF) may be made for adjudication purposes. This does not replace the student's printed copy and permission to create a digital copy is not a means for avoiding the purchase of a product. All digital files must be deleted immediately following the performance.
Student Adjudication Registration
Registration is open to all pianists, regardless of age, from April 15, 2021 through May 15, 2021. The student's video submission must be submitted with the online registration form (available April 15, 2021). Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the copyright requirements prior to submitting the registration form. Student submissions must have a recording date of February 1, 2021 or later.
Length of Piece and Editing
The maximum length of the piece to be adjudicated is eight minutes.
The entire Keyboard Festival experience is designed to be educational. With that in mind, you are encouraged to crop the beginning and end of your video to eliminate any excess, non-musical content (aside from the optional student introduction). The musical content of your video must be done in one take. No editing of the musical content will be permitted and will result in disqualification from participation in Keyboard Festival 2021. (See all Recording Guidelines for additional information.)
There is a one piece maximum per registration per student. A student is welcome to submit additional registrations for additional pieces, however, any student selected to perform in the Keyboard Festival Week 2021 Student Recital has a maximum of one piece.
Student Adjudication Fee
The Student Adjudication Fee is $26. Student Adjudication Fees are final and are non-refundable.