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Terms and Conditions


  • All competitions are through online submission.  There is no in-person audition.  

  • All competitors get emailed PDF certificates and a comment sheet report card with scores.

  • Grand Prize (97 to 100), First Prize with Honors (94 to 96), First Prize (90 to 93), Second Prize (87 to 89), Third Prize (85 to 86), Honorable Mention (82 to 84), Merit (80 to 81).

  • All forms of music making, all genres and styles, and open repertoire allow a fair chance for all musicians to compete.

  • The application is simple. Enter during the calendar month of your competition by uploading your YouTube performance, or, in the case of the composition competition, have your PDF or audio composition file ready. Complete the application form. Make sure you have your video link ready. Make payment and submit. 

  • The competition is open to students ages below 18.


  • All application fees are non-refundable.

  • All participants should keep the proof of their entrance fee. 

  • The entrance fee must match the categories of participants you are participating in, or the entrance will be disqualified. 

  • Results will be shared on the winners’ page on the 26th of the month and per email notification on or before the 1st of the following month.

  • Sheet music/scores are required. 

  • Music Matters may use images, audio, and/or video for marketing purposes, but entrants (composers) retain copyright to their compositions.

  • By entering, minors confirm that they have parental consent to participate. 

  • Music Matters retains the right to disqualify any inappropriate, offensive, or inadmissible material.  

  • All performers are required to perform in suitable recital or concert attire. Costumes, traditional attire, and uniforms are acceptable in the appropriate entry categories. Please refrain from wearing performance attire with writing, slogans, text, or advertisements on it.

  • Music Matters respects the rights and privacy of all and does not discriminate based on ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, religion, or sexual orientation.  


  • Competitors may have solo and ensemble categories with a separate registration form and entry fees.

  • Your competition material/performance must be no more than 12 months old.

  • Your entry is adjudicated in your age category.


  • Competitors must perform repertoires within the specific length or time restriction.

  • Repeats at the performers' discretion.  All Da Capo must be observed.

  • In the Classical categories,  single movements of sonatas or concertos may be entered. Single dances from Suites may be entered.  Prelude and Fugues may be entered as separate pieces.  Theme and Variations must be entered as a complete piece.  

  • All soloists must perform pieces from memory. 

  • Soloists can be accompanied by backtracks. 

  • Concertos may be entered with piano reduction accompaniment, concerto backtracks, or live orchestral musicians.

  • Vocalists may enter a capella selection if that is the style of the entry. Songs with accompaniment, e.g., art songs, opera arias, etc., must be performed with live or recorded accompaniment. In popular and commercial music categories, singers may use backtracks, live accompaniment, or self-accompany.


  • All participants will provide publicly accessible video links to YouTube. 

  • All solo participants must record two repertoires with contrasting styles within one take; no editing will be allowed. 

  • Music Matters takes no responsibility for videos that have permissions set to limit viewership or are published through any other video-sharing platform (Vimeo, etc.). Ensure that your video is viewable by a third party, even if you choose to make it unlisted. Record your selection as many times as you like. Ensure that you have permission to perform a selection if your work is not in the public domain.

  • Recordings must consist of uninterrupted video footage of the participant/group, preferably from a single camera angle with coverage of the performer’s full or upper body at all times. No video splicing (editing a video by putting different video takes together). In the case of ensembles and large groups such as choirs, bands, or orchestras, the entire group must be visible at some point in the video, including all accompaniment instruments/performers. Some visual editing is permitted, particularly in large groups, jazz combo, world music, and other categories where different camera angles may be put together. 

  • Video submissions must be of your own performance. Lip sync or dubbed performance is not acceptable as it is not verifiable for the jury if the performance is, in fact, your own original performance. Instrumental video must be angled in such a way that we can see that it is actually the performer playing; for example, do not have a music stand covering your instrument/fingers, do not angle the camera in such a manner that we cannot see your hands and fingers playing on the piano, and etc.

  • Virtual ensemble, orchestra, and band competitions: Simply submit your link to your virtual music performance compilation (typically an edited, multi-image video product).

  • Although Music Matters does not require professional recordings and accepts video made at your home studio on your devices such as computers, tablets, or phones, keep in mind that the video and audio quality must be such that the judges have a clear and fair representation of your performance.  Please have a steady image - avoid handheld shaky video. Please check focus, clarity, lighting, and camera angle. You will not lose points in your evaluation, but good video and audio quality will make judging easier.

  • Please have the video cued to begin within five seconds after the video starts. If you have more than one piece (movement/composition) on the video, the judges will listen to the FIRST repertoire piece on the video.

  • Recordings must feature the work the participant entered on the entry form.

  • YouTube videos must be labeled/named clearly with the STUDENT NAME/ENSEMBLE NAME and the title and composer of your piece. You will not be disqualified if this is not correctly labeled.

  • There is no need to announce your name or provide any text to your video.  However, your video will not be disqualified for announcement or text.

Prizes and Results

  • Adjudication is per age category. There are grand (100%), first with honors, first, second, and third prizes, Honorable Mentions, and Merit Awards in each age category.

  • Categories are:

         Young Musicians: age seven and younger
         Junior 1: age 8 and 9
         Junior II: ages 10 to 13 
         Senior: ages 14 to 18 

  • Age is calculated as your age on the first day of the month of the competition (e.g., for the May competition, your age on May 1st.)

  • The adjudicators will begin their review of application footage directly after the application deadline. All adjudication will be completed within a week. All winners will be announced by the end of the month. 

  • Within each category, any number of grand prizes, first-, second-, and third-prize winner(s), honorable mentions, and merits will be awarded. All participants receive PDF certificates. The judges will also give each participant a comment sheet/report card.

  • Music Matters may feature select winners and promote young artists through announcements, links to their social media, etc. 

  • All results are final and unappealable.

  • Ensure the requirements before filling out the application: Read all rules, guidelines, and agreements. Ensure that the participant’s instructor (if applicable) and, in the case of minors, the parent(s), know the candidate or group's intent to participate and obtain verbal or written consent. Confirm the information of the selection(s) one wishes to perform with complete title, composer first and last name, movement title or tempo indication, BWV, or other catalog numbers when available. 

  • In the case of large school groups such as orchestras, bands, ensembles, and choirs, the responsible adult must have media release permission and consent from minors' parents to participate in this competition.

Please email us at if you have any questions.

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