UMMF Rules

General Guidelines

1. Only amateur keyboard students may participate. Amateur is defined as any individual that does not earn a living from performing musically or from teaching keyboard as a career.

2. Each participant is to perform two pieces from memory:

      A. Selection A is chosen from the Repertoire List.  It is to be played exactly as writRten, with no alterations. Expression markings may be added, but such markings are not a requirement.

      B. Selection B is chosen by the participant. The level of difficulty of selection B should be comparable to that of selection A. If it is a published score, it is to be played exactly as written. All changes to the score must be noted in the printed manuscript.

Note: Adults 18 years or older do not need to memorize either selection. Adults will receive a trophy based on rule 9, but are not eligible for performance on-stage or for scholarship consideration if sheet music is used.

3. The selections played should be of a contrasting nature. Slow & fast, classical & popular, and Baroque & Romantic are examples of contrasting pieces that will enable the judge to better evaluate the student. Selections by the same composer are not allowed.

4. Music must be provided for all of the selections played. All measures in the music should be numbered in succession. Do not play repeats. Music should be clear of extraneous markings and easy to read. 

5. Participants are required to pay an entry fee as noted on the entry form. Teachers are to mail entry forms, the "Summary of Entries" form and one check, with the total amount, payable to Joy Ellsworth.

6. A student may not receive a trophy in one level, and change to a lower level in future years. A student may stay for up to two years in levels C, E, F, & G. Students are allowed up to three years in levels D1 and D2 combined. Students in levels B through superior may stay in the same level for as many years as desired. The same composition(s) may not be played for a judge for more than one year, even if the student is repeating the level. Additionally, a composition once played for a judge cannot later be used as a chosen piece.

7. Performance time for a choice selection (B) is a MAXIMUM of 6 minutes. Performance time for the required selection (A) is determined by the written score.

8. Evaluation sessions will be closed to parents, teachers, and guests. Only the student and the evaluator will be allowed in the evaluation room.

9. Any and all differences of opinion will be determined by a majority ruling from the board of directors. The judges' decision is final.


10. Ensembles can be either two, three or four participants performing on only ONE piano. No other instruments are allowed (I.e. brass or reed). No pre-recorded musical tracks are allowed. Ensembles will perform only one selection of their choice from memory. Written scores must be given to the evaluator. Ensembles chosen to play on stage for the Honor Concert will be selected by their evaluator.

Play-off Contest

11. A play-off contest will be held to determine which solo piano participants will play on stage at the honor concert. Each studio, which enters up to 15 students in the UMMF, may send one student, of the studio's choice to the play-off contest. Any studio entering 16-30 students in the UMMF may send two students, of the studio's choice. A studio entering 31 students or more in the UMMF may send three students, of the studio's choice. An entry fee is not required for the play-off contest; however, the student(s) chosen must successfully pass the evaluation session first and will be available to perform on the date and time of the Honor Concert.

12. Play-off participants are expected to perform one of the selections that were played for the evaluation in the current year

13. A judge will determine which students will play on stage for the Award Ceremony. The chosen students will not be determined by age or difficulty of the selection. They will be selected by the judge for entertainment criteria and secure performance standards.

Original Compositions

14. The original composition division is open to students of all ages and levels. The original composition music must be submitted on a CD or a flash drive along with a written score, including chord symbols, and lyrics if used. The recorded tape must be played by the composer and no longer than SIX MINUTES in duration. A trophy will be given to all qualified original composition entrants. The judge evaluating original composition will select original compositions for the Honor Concert.


15. Gifts will be awarded to those participants who play on stage for the Honor Concert. In addition, a monetary award will be given to a limited number (usually two to four) of the participants. The students will be chosen by the evaluator on the bases of merit. The value of the monetary award will be determined by the funds available.

16. A participant may not receive a scholarship more than once in any division (soloist, ensemble, or original composition).

17. Participants are not allowed to perform on stage at the Honor Concert in two consecutive years in the same division (soloist, ensemble, or original composition). The participant may perform in the Honor Concert in one division one year and a different division in the following year.

18. Teachers will bear all responsibility for ensuring that the studios' participants receive their respective trophies, medallions, and plaques.

19. The board of directors will not be responsible for any unclaimed trophies after the scheduled pick-up time