Rules Governing All MSMTA Events

The following rules apply to all MSMTA events. Participating teachers, students and parents Must be Familiar with and Abide by These Rules, as well as the Rules that Apply Specifically to Each Event. Thoughtful adherence will not only ease the burden of the event chairs but will preclude any misunderstanding and/or the disappointment of having students disqualified from participation.

A student is not considered enrolled in an event unless the application is complete, legible and on time. Otherwise, the application(s) will be returned and deadlines will still be strictly enforced.

All MSMTA events are open to the public with the exception of the High School Piano Examinations.


  1. Except in the case of the High School Piano Examinations, presenting teachers must be members in good standing of both MTNA and MSMTA at the time of the event deadline.
  2. Students must have studied with the presenting teacher for at least six of the last nine months preceding the event. (In cases of illness, sabbatical or former teacher's move out of the area, an exception will be made if the new teacher presents authorization from the previous teacher.)
  3. All music MUST have measures numbered for ease of judging and pertinent comments.
  4. To avoid any possible perception of unfairness, the following rules apply to all competitive events:
    1. Teachers may not sit with, nor identify in any way with, their students in the presence of judges.
    2. Students, parents and teachers must not engage the judge in conversation until all decisions have been announced.
    3. Only the chair(s) may know the identity of the teachers and their respective students in any competitive event. No written record of these names may be publicly displayed or open to sight at any time before or during a competition. Paperwork given to judges must not contain a student's or teacher's name, and monitors will refer to competitors only by their program number.
    4. The chair(s), or others involved in registering students, will not serve as a judge in any event in the competition.
    5. No judge may critique a competitive recital in which his own students are participants.
    6. The criterion for judging at all MSMTA events is a polished artistic performance of whatever piece is being performed.
    7. The judge(s) shall make decisions with no input from the monitors or others in the audience.
    8. For all competitive events, tardiness is strictly enforced (events with awards and monetary prizes).
    9. All judges' decisions ARE FINAL!!
  5. It is the teacher's responsibility to ensure that students and parents are apprised of all the rules and decorum applicable to the event. Matters such as proper performance attire, stage presence, and recital etiquette should be discussed prior to participation.
  6. Teachers entering students in any event must agree to assist with the event if called on by the chair. Failure to do so will result in the disqualification of the student entries. Teachers are only allowed to supply a substitute at 2 events to satisfy the work requirement in any teaching year. They must help with all other events in which they enter students. Chairs can double-check with other chairs to verify if someone is abusing this rule. Chairs need to keep their entries until June 30 to maintain a paper trail for proof of helping, etc. The substitute MUST be an MSMTA member.
  7. The teacher should advise parents that no video equipment with artificial light, or use of cameras with flash apparatus is permitted during a performance. No taping (audio or video) or photographing of other performers is permitted without specific permission of a parent or teacher.
  8. All participants in MSMTA judged events and their parents should be advised by the teacher prior to participation that the decision of the judge(s) is final and is not subject to question or protest.
  9. It will be the responsibility of the monitor in each competitive and noncompetitive event to ensure that judges have given a rating in the space provided on each critique.
  10. Under no circumstances should a parent or student contact an event chair. If there is a problem or concern, only the teacher should contact the chair.
  11. A teacher who has not fulfilled their financial obligations to MSMTA or its representatives will be ineligible to enter students in any event until the financial obligation has been satisfied.


  1. All Music must have measures numbered for ease of judging and pertinent comments.
  2. In competitive events, no repertoire changes may be made after the entry deadline. Students who fail to perform the submitted repertoire will be disqualified.
  3. The presentation of photocopied music without permission from the publisher will also disqualify a student from all piano competitions. One original score must be in the room for all non-piano and voice competition.
  4. Judges should only be given the original score of submitted work, not a photocopy.
  5. In all solo piano events, works must be performed from memory, and no simplified arrangements of standard repertoire are permitted. The relationship between teacher and student shall be established, maintained and terminated in a professional manner.

Application Procedures

  1. Application forms and checks must be filled out by the MSMTA teacher only.
  2. Teachers should photocopy the needed application forms provided in this handbook, or print out application forms available on the MSMTA web site, or make use of online registration when available. No substitute forms will be accepted.
  3. All information must be typed, or printed legibly, in ink by the MSMTA teacher (Note: the forms on the web site may be filled out electronically when so enabled.)
  4. The forms must be clean, free of strike-outs or other distractions which may result in the entry of incorrect information on the event programs.
  5. Specific information including key, opus number, and movement of presented works must be clearly noted on the form when it is applicable.
  6. Teachers should carefully review each application to ensure that all requested information has been accurately provided in the indicated places. Teachers should photocopy the application forms for their own records to ensure no mix-ups on submitted repertoire, etc.
  7. One check from the presenting MSMTA teacher only, covering all student entries, and attached to the applications, is to be mailed to the chair indicated on the entry form. No checks from anyone else will be accepted.
  8. Entries postmarked after the deadline will not be accepted.
  9. There will be no refund of any entry fee should a student fail to participate in an event for any reason.
  10. If a teacher and/or parent would like to communicate any information concerning a special need of a student participating in an MSMTA event that they feel is important for the Chair and MSMTA to know in advance of the event, please include with the entry form a copy of the Special Needs Entry Form (also found on page 6).

Back to Top