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MTNA Competition for California

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Greetings to all MTNA Competition Contestants!

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 is 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, Senior, and Young Artist Performance Competitions begin with state competitions. The winners/representatives of each state's competitions advance to a video-only division competition. Division winners compete in the national finals at the annual MTNA National Conference. The state competitions are considered the primary educational level with the division and national levels showcasing outstanding performance and honoring significant pedagogical achievement. Competitions include Brass (Senior and Young Artist only), Piano, Piano Duet (Senior only) String, Voice (Senior and Young Artist only), and Woodwind.

Junior Division: Ages 11-14 as of January 1, 2021
Senior Division: Ages 15-18 as of January 1, 2021
Young Artist Division: Ages 19-26 as of January 1, 2021

Please read the following rules for the MTNA 2020 Competition:

  1. The MTNA 2020 Competitions for California will be a video competition.
  2. NO CHANGES in competition repertoire are allowed without disqualification.
  3. Recordings must be made between July 1, 2020, to October 16, 2020. Please include a timestamp on video submissions. Pianists should have face, fingers, and feet visible at all times. To ensure the equality and consistency of the videos among entrants, set up the camera from the audience's perspective, limit background noise, and make sure the performance space is well lit.
  4. Contestants will submit a video performance of the repertoire listed on the original application. The portal on Acceptd will be open to video submissions beginning on Wednesday, September 16, 2020, to no later than Friday, October 16, 2020, at 6 p.m.

Video Instructions

  1.  MTNA partners with Acceptd, a digital platform used for auditions and competitions. Entrants must sign up for an Acceptd account in order to upload their performance videos and pay a $30 fee to proceed. Sign up (or login) for an account here.
  2.  Videos must be of high quality. Click here for tips about recording your videos.
  3.  Video recording must be made with one fixed camera angle/location focused such that the performer and the accompanist (if applicable) are visible at all times with face and hands of contestant visible.
  4. Videos must contain all repertoire listed on the original application. Entrants should NOT introduce themselves or announce the piece being recorded.
  5. Each piece (including individual movements of a larger work) must be uploaded as an individual video file. No editing is allowed. Each selection must be labeled with the title, composer, and performance time. For individual movements of a larger work, label with the title, Roman numeral of movement, and composer. Example: Sonata in F Minor, Op. 2, No. 1, I., Beethoven. Preludes and Fugues may be considered a single piece.
  6. Piano and voice entrants must perform by memory. All others do not have to play by memory. Live accompanists are preferred; however, pre-recorded accompaniments are acceptable in the event that local or state orders prevent entrant and accompanist from getting together to record a video. CDs and online platforms such as,, Piano, and Acapella may be utilized as is appropriate.
  7. Students and teachers should review videos before submitting to check sound quality and microphone placement.
  9.  A high-speed internet connection is recommended.
  10.  Chrome is the preferred browser for Accepted.
  11. Should you have problems uploading videos, try uploading one at a time, making sure each upload is complete prior to starting the next upload.
  12. Judges will listen to a portion or all of each video up to the following time limits (review Performance Guidelines):
    •   Junior: twenty (20) minutes
    •   Senior: twenty (25) minutes
    •   Young Artists (30) minutes
  13. Entrants MUST upload the same repertoire as on the original application.
  14. Entrants will forfeit consideration for any placement (winner/alternate/honorable mention) but may play for comments if:
    • Entrant is not prepared to perform all music listed on the application.
    • If repertoire does not match exactly what is on our reports site (e.g. extra repertoire/movements that they say they entered).
  15. A high-speed internet connection is recommended.
Contestants who do not follow guidelines may be disqualified.

For audition and requirement questions, please contact

For technical questions, please visit the Acceptd Help Desk.

Communication protocol is as follows: parent-teacher-division coordinator chair-competition chair.

Good luck to all!


Mona Wu DeCesare, NCTM
MTNA Competition Chair for CA