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Virtual Keyboard Fest is Happening Soon!

Today's blog is all about our Fall 2020 Virtual Keyboard Festival. This year's Keyboard Fest is sure to be one for the books! Students won't want to miss this exciting opportunity to showcase their talents and receive valuable feedback! Read below to find out more about how the process will work and how to enter the festival.

Why should my student participate in the festival?

Academics, coaches, and teachers agree that the benefits fostered by piano festivals go beyond musicianship to teach valuable life lessons, improve motivation, and promote creativity. The following list is adapted from an article published by Steinway & Sons.

An Amplified Learning Experience

For a piano student, few environments offer as many opportunities for musical growth as a piano festival. Dr. Ruth Slenczynska, renowned musician, author, and judge, confirms that piano festivals of all levels are incredibly beneficial to participants. In her article “On Preparation for a Piano Competition,” Slenczynska notes that festivals give students the opportunity to perform in front of well-informed and interested listeners. In addition, contestants often receive tailored feedback and advice from professionals. The learning environment created by a piano festival is truly valuable to the development of a student’s musicianship and teaches lessons that cannot be found through regular practice.

A Path to Success

In addition to valuable self-improvement, piano festivals can also provide more tangible rewards. The chance to take home an award or leave a lasting impression on a judge is certainly encouraging to any aspiring music student. Earning recognition at a festival often leads to scholarships, networking connections, and even careers.

Superior Musicianship

Bärli Nugent, Assistant Dean and Director of Chamber Music at the Julliard School, refers to the festival environment as a “framework for learning.” Preparing for a festival will involve much more focused practicing and will in turn teach your child how to take a deep dive and truly master every aspect of a piece of music. Students will also learn the ability to perform under pressure and how to acknowledge success or failure and learn from it. Any student who participates in a piano festival undergoes a comprehensive and transformative lesson on superior musicianship. Slencyznska notes that music students often work harder and more efficiently when preparing for a festival performance. For any student committed to improving their musicianship, a piano festival is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and hone existing ones.

Personal Growth

Aside from providing opportunities to grow as a musician, piano festivals can also benefit a child’s general development. Mistakes, failures, and feedback teach students to “identify the problems, remedy the deficiencies, reset their goals, and grow from their experiences,” according to psychologist Dr. Sylvia Rimm. Understanding the importance of this problem-solving process is beneficial to the general development of any child.

How will the VIRTUAL keyboard fest process work?


Students will meet with their teacher and select a festival performance piece and begin preparing it right away! Practicing regularly is key when preparing for a recital or festival performance. Once the student and his or her teacher feel that the piece is ready, they'll record their performance at home and upload it to YouTube.

Instructions and Helpful Tips for the Recording Process

Student Registration

Student registration and festival submissions open on October 19th.  The fee to participate is $12. Students will have from October 19-31 to visit and upload their submission recordings. Detailed instructions for the submission and recording process are available on the Fall KBF homepage. Students will also need to provide a scanned copy of their music to upload with their recording. This can be done using the free apps linked below:




After submissions close on October 31, we will move into the adjudication phase. Our judges will complete this process by reviewing the students' performance footage and providing ratings and feedback. This process will take place from November 1-15, 2020. Our judging panel for this year includes:



Dr. Kelly began his career in 1956, spending 23 years as Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Piano Activities at Arkansas State University, where he is Professor Emeritus - Piano. Dr. Kelly estimates he has taught more than 3,000 piano students, and it's common to hear them speak of him with respect, admiration, and appreciation. He continues to perform and maintains an active schedule as an adjudicator. Dr. Kelly was inducted into the Amro Music Educators Walk of Fame on June 22, 2013.



Dr. Momany is a music educator with a variety of interests. She is currently adjunct faculty at Southwest Tennessee Community College, teaches privately, adjudicates, and conducts research concerning piano pedagogy. Dr. Momany serves as a clinician and is a member of the Germantown Symphony Orchestra. She is also the Children's Music Ministry Director at All Saints' Episcopal Church.




Mrs. Lumpkin is a member of the Music Teachers National Associaion (MTNA), Tennessee Music Teachers Association (TMTA), and the Greater Memphis Music Teachers Association (GMMTA) where she served as President in 2014. Janice was chosen as GMMTA Teacher of the Year and Amro Music's Teacher of the Year in 2015. She currently teaches piano lessons out of her home. 



Dr. Duvall earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Andre currently operates an independent piano studio in Memphis and serves on the music conservatory faculty of Lausanne Collegiate School. He is an organist, pianist, and Director of Hand Bell Ministries at Mullins United Methodist Church. He is active as a freelance accompanist and solo performer in various capacities. Dr. Duvall serves on the Executive Board of the Memphis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is Treasurer of the West TN Hand Bell Association. He has given pedagogical presentations for the Central Arkansas MTNA and served as piano faculty at the UNCG Summer Music Camp.


Feedback & Awards

After the evaluation process is completed, students will begin receiving their feedback sheets and awards in the mail. These packets will go out starting on November 16, 2020.

Where do I get started?

The festival opens on October 19th. Visit our KBF homepage for more details and to register for the event!


Posted by Emilee McGee at 11:18 AM
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