Theory/Musicianship

The theory/musicianship event is held every year at Federation Festivals and is worth mentioning because it is an event which is appropriate for all students of music regardless of which instrument they play. The theory/musicianship event is a written examination which tests students’s knowledge of music theory, history, notation, and instrumentation. The specific information students are required to master at each level is documented carefully in your Federation Festivals Bulletin.

Theory tests are rated in the same way solos are rated, and cup points may be earned in the theory/musicianship area. While points from the theory/musicianship event may not be combined with points from any other event to earn larger cups sooner, students will earn cups in theory as well as in their solo event.

Students may take as long as they wish to complete the test. There is no time limit. Most students are able to complete the test in 15-20 minutes, however. Theory tests are given at twelve levels numbered one through twelve. The usual rule about students having to advance when they earn a Superior rating applies, so teachers are encouraged to be conservative when selecting a level for students entering Federation Festivals for the first time.

Practice tests with answer guides are available for a nominal fee (usually less than $10) from the National Headquarters info@nfmc-music.org or by calling 317-638-4003. You may also download these forms from the national web site. You are allowed to make as many photocopies of these tests as you require for your student’s use. These tests are highly recommended since the details of how the information is presented may cause some students difficulty.

Assigning practice tests to students two to three weeks before the Federation Festival is advisable, because some students will invariably forget to do them, or will lose them, so you will want a little extra time to help to prepare your students for this event.

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