An important part of music education is the juried evaluation (often called "juries"). The student performs for a judge or panel of judges, who make an assessment regarding the student's progress. At the college/university level students perform for a panel of faculty, usually most are from the same department and some schools will include a faculty from another department (outsider).
The purpose of juries is to provide a level of objectivity to a discipline that is filled with subjectivity. The relationship between a student and teacher is very intimate, which means the teacher knows the student's strengths and weaknesses very well. Performing for an outside judge or judges allows the student to be assessed based on the performance itself, without any preconceptions that might be formed by those who know the student well or have been part of the long learning process.
There are several programs in Pittsburgh which evaluate students to assess their level of progress on the instrument. Some of these programs (such as the PPTA Piano Evaluations) are systematic, and cover all levels from the first year. Some programs expect the student to have reached a minimum level (usually equivalent to the KMI Core Curriculum). Regardless of the instrument of study, KMI students are expected to participate in at least one of these evaluation programs.
PPTA Piano Evaluations: These Piano Evaluations are held annually in May at Duquesne University. The program ensures students are progressing in accordance to the 14-Level Illinois State Music Teachers Association (ISMTA) Piano Syllabus. Students prepare technique, theory and performance repertoire as specified in the syllabus, and are judged by another PPTA member teacher. The event is fun for all, rewarding and a positive experience. Students receive a certificate, pin and a detailed evaluation report for each year of participation.
Dorothy Sutton Festival: This festival is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Musica Teachers Association, and is open to students of all instruments. There is a general theory component and a performance component, and the student is expected to be beyond the beginning level. More information will be provided as we have the time to update this portion of the web site.