Performance Competitions Guidelines


  • Primary communication is via email. The application must have accurate email addresses for entrant, teacher and parents.
  • Application deadline is Wednesday, September 11, 2019, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. There will be no exceptions.

Entrant Eligibility

  • An entrant may enter each individual competition in only one state.
  • Entry in multiple performance categories is allowed, but each entrant is allowed only one entry within a category. (Click guidelines at the bottom of the page for categories in each level.)
  • An entrant may enter both the solo performance competitions and the Chamber Music competitions in the same year.

Entrant Information

  • All entry fees are nonrefundable.
  • Competition financial obligations are the responsibility of the entrant.
  • State and division winners/representatives advance to the next level of the competition.
  • If there is only one (1) entrant in a State-level category, there will be NO State Competition. The entrant will be named the State Representative and will advance directly to the Division Competition.
  • If there is only one (1) entrant in a Division-level category, there will be NO Division Competition.  The entrant will be named the Division Representative and will advance directly to the National Finals.
  • If there are seven (7) or fewer entrants nationwide in a category at the state level, those entrants will advance directly to the National Finals.
  • State Winners/Representatives are required to submit a video by December 4 for the online-only Division Competition. Detailed instructions will be included in the email following the state competitions.
  • Division Winners/Representatives are required to compete in the National Finals.

National Winner Responsibilities

  • In order to receive the monetary award, national performance competition winners are required to perform on the appropriate Winners Concert at the MTNA National Conference, March 21–25, 2020, in Chicago, Illinois.

Competition Rules

  • Decisions of competition judges are final.
  • A national first-place MTNA solo performance winner may not enter again in the same level/category. For example, a national Junior Piano Winner cannot enter Junior Piano again.
  • A national first-place MTNA Senior Piano Duet team may not enter again with the same personnel.
  • Facilities permitting, competition performances (including winners concert) are open to the public. Competition rehearsals are closed to the public.
  • Audio or video recording and photography of the competitions and winners concerts are strongly discouraged.
  • It is the responsibility of the entrant to be available for all published dates of the competitions.
  • The assigned rehearsal and performance times are final and cannot be changed.


  • No changes in repertoire are allowed following submission of the application. Repertoire must remain the same for all three levels of the competition (State, Division, National).
  • All repertoire listed on the application must be prepared at all levels of the competition (State, Division, National).
  • Programs may be over or under the performance time limit. Programs over the time limit at any level of the competition will be cut at the judges' discretion.
  • Repertoire requirements are listed under individual levels (Junior, Senior, Young Artist, Chamber Music).
  • Teachers should verify that all repertoire listings are correct before submission of the application.
  • Entrants and teachers should verify all repertoire listings after receiving the email confirmation following submission of the application.

Competition Music

  • By entering the competitions you agree to abide by all Federal Copyright Laws. Photocopies are strongly discouraged.
  • All scores must be submitted to competition officials prior to the entrant’s performance.
  • State competitions and national finals (not applicable for division video round):
    • All solo performance entrants must provide a single score (original preferred) of each work listed on the application for use by the judge(s)
    • Measures must be numbered at the beginning of each line.
    • Solo instrumentalists may submit either the solo part or the complete score.
    • Names on scores do not need to be covered.

Competition Procedure for All Categories

Performance procedures

  • No minimum time limit.
  • Programmed music may exceed maximum time limit.
  • Performance will be stopped when maximum time is reached (does not affect results).
  • Entrant chooses first selection; judges determine remaining order of performance.
  • A portion of all repertoire submitted on the application will be heard at every competition level.


  • Questions concerning repertoire should be directed to the appropriate national coordinator (Junior, Senior, Young Artist, Chamber Music) prior to submission of application.
  • Individual movements of suites, sonatas or other groupings that can be performed as musical units are permitted.
  • Cuts in solo parts are not permitted. Repeats are left to the discretion of entrant.
  • Cuts in the tutti (piano) parts of concerto movements are allowed and encouraged.
  • All repertoire must be performed with single instrument accompaniment except for works written specifically for unaccompanied solo instrument.
  • Recorded accompaniments are not permitted. Works written using supplemental sounds, including those either electronically or acoustically produced or pre-recorded, are not permitted.


  • Teachers may accompany any entrant.

MTNA Official Accompanists

  • Official accompanists are available only at the national level.
  • Official accompanist fees are nonrefundable.
  • Additional rehearsal time with an official accompanist may not be contracted (see below).  

National Competition Accompanist Fees

    Junior Competition Official Accompanist Fees:

    • $115 for forty-five (45) minutes of rehearsal and competition performance

    Senior Competition Official Accompanist Fees:

    • Instrumental: $150 for sixty (60) minutes of rehearsal and competition performance.
    • Voice: $100 for forty-five (45) minutes of rehearsal and competition performance.

    Young Artist Competition Official Accompanist Fees:

    • $200 for sixty (60) minutes of rehearsal and competition performance.

Competition Agreement

  • Entrant, parents/guardians and teacher have read, understand and agree to the Guidelines for the 2019–2020 MTNA Competitions. Failure to abide by these rules and regulations will make the entrant ineligible to receive recognition or awards.
  • Entrants under age 18 have parent/guardian permission to enter MTNA competitions.
  • Credit card holder has authorized use to complete the application.
  • All entry fees are nonrefundable.
  • Entrant will abide by all copyright laws and has permission to use all music given to judges during the competitions as outlined here.
  • MTNA is not responsible for problems with Internet service or phones.