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2020 MTNA State Performance Competition

November 1-8, 2020 at Online

2020 MTNA Performance Competitions


General Information

The MTNA National Competitions are the most successful and prestigious student competitions in the country.  Each year, thousands of students compete for top prizes and national recognition. 

The purpose of the Music Teachers National Association Performance Competitions are to provide educational experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence.

The three-tiered Junior (11-14), Senior (15-18) and Young Artist (19-26) Performance Competitions begin with state competitions. The winners/representatives of each state's competitions advance to a Division Competition in the winter. Division winners then compete in the National Finals at the annual MTNA National Conference in the spring.  The winners of that Competition perform in a winners recital for teachers from all over the country.

The Massachusetts state competition is the first level of the MTNA performance competitions. The competition is open to talented pianists, string, and woodwind students at all age levels.  Voice students and brass players may enter at the senior and young artist level.  

Information about gudelines, fees and application can be found on the  MTNA.org website HERE.

Applications for all categories and levels must be submitted online at the national website by 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, Sept 23rd, 3p.m.

**Update** With the recent decision to make the MTNA National Competition virtual and to change the visa requirements, the application deadline has been extended to Wednesday, September 23rd at 3:00pm.**

For the safety of our community, this year’s MTNA state competition will be held virtually by video submission via YouTube.

Important Deadlines and Dates:

  • Wednesday, September 16th, 3pmDeadline to submit application form.  Go to MTNA.org to apply.  This deadline is strictly enforced with no exceptions, so please be sure to plan accordingly. Primary communication will be via email, so please ensure that you have your email listed accurately on the application.

  • Wednesday, September 30th - Deadline for Teachers to submit Teacher's Fee to MMTA.  Please see the below section: "Important Information for Teachers".  A student's application is not considered complete until the teachers' fee is received by MMTA.

  • Sunday, November 1st, 3pmDeadline to submit YouTube video links to the state competition chair, Jonathan Roberts, at mtnacompetition@mmta.net.  Due to copyright issues, copies of scores will not be required as they would be in the live competitions. 

  • Sunday, November 8thResults announcements via email. Winners of each division will advance to the Eastern Division Video Competition. Winners will also be asked to submit a photo, bio and PR information immediately following the awards announcements. All participants will receive comment sheets from the judges via email.

Important Information for Teachers:

  • Current active membership dues for MTNA or a nonmember teacher fee must be paid prior to accessing the student competition application. 
  • In addition, all Massachusetts teachers must submit the Participating Teachers Fee and corresponding form found here - Teacher's Fee Form 2020

General Video Guidelines:

  • Videos can be made at home by the student, in the teacher’s studio, or in a performance hall. The quality of instrument, location, or quality of video will not be a factor in judging.

  • Video recordings should be made with one fixed camera angle/location, focused such that the performer and the accompanist (if applicable) are visible at all times. Pianists should have face, fingers and feet visible at all times. To ensure quality and consistency of the videos among entrants, set up the camera from the audience perspective, limit background noise, and make sure the performance space is well lit.

  • Videos must contain all repertoire listed on the original application. Entrants should NOT introduce themselves or announce the piece being recorded.

  • Each piece (including individual movements of a larger work) should be uploaded as a separate video file. No editing is allowed. Each selection must be labeled with the title and composer. For individual movements of a larger work, label with the title, Roman number of movement and composer. Example: Sonata in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1, I. Allegro, Beethoven. 

  • Students and teachers should review videos before submitting to check sound quality and microphone placement.

  • DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST DAY TO SUBMIT VIDEOS. It takes a long time to upload the videos.

  • Upload videos one at a time, making sure each upload is complete prior to starting the next upload.

  • A high-speed internet connection is recommended.

YouTube Upload Instructions:

All recordings for the state competition must be uploaded and submitted via YouTube links to the state for adjudication. After your recordings are finished, upload them as “unlisted” videos on YouTube using the instructions below. You can do this through the YouTube App or on a computer.

Video format: YouTube accepts any of the following formats: .MO, .MPEG4, MP4, .AVI, .WMV, .MPEGPS, .FLV, 3GPP and WebM.

  1. Record and upload each piece/movement separately.

  2. Go to www.youtube.com and sign in. If you don’t already have an account, create one. 

  3. At the top right of the page, click the camera icon, and click “upload video” from the dropdown.

  4. Either click on the “select files to upload” box and select your video file from your device or drag/drop the file into the box. 

  5. In the “Basic Info” screen, enter the appropriate title with the student’s name in the box where the file name appears.

  6. In the box below the title, enter the name of the piece and the composer’s name, in the order performed.

  7. Change the visibility setting from “public” to “unlisted” and click “done.” 

  8. Click “Save.”

By submitting the video links, you are granting consent for these videos to be viewed by an adjudicator for evaluation purposes. 


If you have any questions, please email the state competition chair:

Jonathan Roberts, at mtnacompetition@mmta.net. 

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