So this week we began picking out music for the National Federation of Music Clubs festival. This festival will not take place until February 2011 for the city of Charlotte, NC. Are you wondering what this event is that we need to pick out the music so early?
NFMC is a national event with a standardized repertoire or bulletin that is published once every three years. The new bulletin came out in June of this year and is good for 2011-2012-2013. This is not just a piano event. There are categories for all sorts of performance arts from singing to organ and dance. Every division has various levels to meet of the different stages of learning that students are in. Since most of my students are piano, I’ll explain more about that.
The piano division begins with a Pre-Primary group. Some of these pieces are for students who are not even reading on the staff yet! Within each level there are pieces of various difficulty. There is some overlap from level to level. More on why this is a great idea in a minute. The levels range all the way up to Musically Advanced II and these are definately professional level pieces that require months of work and years of experience. Each student plays one piece from the festival bulletin and one piece of their own selection.
There are two different festival events. The regular festival where students are scored with Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent and Superior. No numerical grade is given and it is not a competition. Students earn points over the years but are not trying to out play each other. The other event is Scholarship Festival. At Scholarship Festival students are given a numerical score as well as a word score. The top 2 scores are promoted on to the state competition.
If a student scores a superior then they must move on to the next level. This is why it is so nice that the levels have some overlap. If a student isn’t ready for a whole step up then it is possible to chose an easier work from the next level.
NFMC festival is a positive experience for most students and I highly encourage participation.