NNMTA Youth Piano Festival

NNMTA Youth Piano Festival (formerly, Reno Youth Music Festival, est. 1975)

The NNMTA Youth Piano Festival provides a wonderful opportunity for growth and experience for both students and teachers. The Festival is held each spring and is open to all piano students in the area. (For Festival dates for the current year, please see the calendar or speak to your child’s teacher.)

Students play two memorized pieces, chosen from the Festival Syllabus. Students play for one or more judges and receive written or oral feedback and a rating of Superior, Excellent, or Needs Attention.  Excellent ratings earn a ribbon; Superior ratings earn a trophy and an opportunity to play in a Command Performance the Thursday following the Festival.

The Festival is open to the public.  Awards are presented shortly after each judging session ends.

Upper and Lower Levels

There is an Upper Level Festival in March that covers late intermediate through advanced levels (levels 5-12), and a Lower Level Festival in May that covers early and mid intermediate levels (levels 1-4). Students are typically ready to enter the first level of the Festival after three years of lessons. Beginning students who have studied only 1-2 years are usually not ready to enter the first level of the Lower Festival.

Festival rules and guidelines can be read here: Festival Rules and Guidelines.

Ratings criteria can be found here:  Festival ratings criteria.

Theory Test

Prior to the Festival, students take a written theory test. This comprehensive exam must receive a passing grade (70%) in order for the student to participate in the Festival. Teachers administer theory tests themselves to their students and report test grades in the registration process. You can find study tools at the links below.

Festival Theory Test Study Guides

Festival Theory Test Vocabulary List


Registration is online and can be found under the Registration tab at the top of the page.

Teachers Who Are Not NNMTA Members

The Festival is open to all students, although there is a additional fee for teachers who are not members of NNMTA.  Non-member teachers should carefully read the Festival Information for Non-Members and follow the directions for registering and accessing the syllabus and theory tests.