Music Teacher's Helper Blog

National Piano Guild Auditions – Part I

37Throughout the teaching year, there are many student opportunities that I encourage my students to participate in – recitals, music festivals, state-run assessments such as Certificate of Merit in California, RCM Music Development Program, National Piano Guild auditions, competitions, etc. I believe that through performing in recitals and playing in front of judges, students experience growth in many ways. I know that many music teachers share this same belief. The following paragraph may sound familiar to you:

“You have learned the discipline and concentration necessary to achieve goals. You have learned how to focus and share your talent with adjudicators. You have learned to accept both praise as well as constructive criticism with poise. In essence, you have learned qualities that will be part of your character your entire life.”

The above quote is taken from the back of the Pupil’s Report Card for the National Piano Guild Auditions. It is so well worded, that I make a point of reading it to my students after their audition. For the last several years, the National Piano Guild Auditions has been the main program in my studio, and about 50% of all my students participate yearly. Those that do not participate are usually the ones that have done it for many years and are now studying for other programs such as the RCM assessments.

So what is it about the Guild Auditions that I like so much? If you are one who do not believe in any type of assessments whatsoever, I hope to convince you that this one is worth doing. Here are some unique qualities about the Guild Auditions that may be different from other types of assessments out there:

1. Everyone can participate.

The Guild Auditions have so many different levels, that there is definitely one that is right for your student. The levels go from Elementary A through F, then Intermediate A through F, then Preparatory A through D, then High School Diploma, and there are advanced levels for Collegiate and beyond (Young Artist Diploma). So, Elementary A is the easiest level, and students do not even have to be able to read music notation to participate! In addition, there are separate categories to recognize special disciplines – Jazz/Pop, Duet/Duo/Trio/Quartet, Social Music (Hymns, Patriotic Songs, Folk Songs, Popular Songs), Bach Plaque, Sonatina Plaque, and Composition. There are plenty goals for the classically trained students as well as those that want to study other genres.

2. The syllabus is very flexible.

Unlike many other assessments out there, which of course have their merits, the Guild Auditions do not have a set list of pieces that students must choose from – the teacher is responsible for selecting the repertoire for each student. For the Elementary levels, students can even use Method book pieces. There are a few rules but they are very reasonable, for example, students that are at Intermediate levels and beyond must balance their program by choosing at least one piece in each of the four main stylistic periods, and those that study for advanced diplomas must have their programs pre-approved.

3. The teacher and student decide how many pieces they want to play.

Students can play anywhere from 1-20 pieces. The standard audition requires everything to be memorized, but there is also a category called Hobbyist where memorization is not required. So, even if a student has tremendous difficulty in memorization, they can still participate and receive a certificate and adjudicator feedback just like everyone else. Students who enter the audition playing only one piece receive a “Pledge” certificate, if they play 2-3 pieces, they get a “Local” certificate, then District (4-6 pieces), State (7-9 pieces), National (10-14 pieces), and International (15-20 pieces). Therefore, the audition can be as easy or as difficult as the teacher feels a particular student is ready for.

4. Mandatory as well as optional musicianship skills.

Beyond Elementary A, students must be able to play the scales and cadences associated with their chosen repertoire (so if their piece is in C major, they must demonstrate to the judge how to play a C major scale followed by cadence). The length and speed of the scales and the complexities of the cadences increase as the levels go higher. These are called the IMMT – Irreducible Minimum Musicianship Test – everyone must do it, unless they are only Elementary A level. This ensures that students have the “bare minimum” technical skills. Other than that, teachers and students can choose whether or not they want to do Sight Reading, Ear Training, Improvisation, or more techniques such as Arpeggios, Chords, and even Transposition. The Diploma levels have more strict Musicianship requirements, but for the average student, the program really can be tailored to showcase their strengths, so if a student is just terrible at Sight Reading, they can choose to not do that until they become better at it next year. I am not saying Sight Reading is not important, of course it is, but the syllabus allows beginners and intermediate students flexibility in designing an audition program that celebrates their strengths. As the students progress through the levels, of course teachers should gradually increase more musicianship skills as part of the audition program, and those that do choose to do these extra things get rewarded by getting extra “Commendation” checks on the report card under “Added Phases.”

In my next blog, I will suggest teaching materials that are suitable for use with the Guild Auditions. If you are a seasoned teacher that also uses the Guild Auditions, I would love to hear your experiences and how you use the Guild syllabus in your music studio. If you are a Guild judge, thank you for all your time and work. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below. Thank you for reading!

About the Author

Yiyi Ku
Yiyi Ku is a pianist and teacher. Born in Taiwan, she grew up in New Zealand and obtained her Master of Music degree with Distinction in Composition and Piano Performance from the University of Canterbury. Yiyi also holds a Licentiate in Piano Performance from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano from Music Teachers National As... [Read more]

24 Comments

  1. Soni Conville

    As a veteran of 14 annual Guild auditions as a child, it was interesting to read positive comments about them from a teacher’s point of view. As a student my auditions were traumatic experiences that I dreaded. My teacher made far too big a deal about the importance of the auditions. She forced ambitious International programs on me and actually shamed me the one year I was “only” prepared enough for a State program. I approached every audition a nervous wreck. All of her students did. When I was 11 we had a sadistic judge who delighted in adding to our misery. One by one students came out of their auditions crying. As I entered the room for my turn, dizzy with fear, the judge gleefully remarked, “Another little lamb coming to the slaughter.” I burst into tears and not surprisingly turned out my worst performance ever (and had to face my teacher’s wrath in the aftermath). I detested the auditions so much that after earning my Guild High School Diploma as a HS senior I quit taking lessons much to my parents’ and teacher’s dismay. I couldn’t deal with the pressure anymore. When I started teaching I vowed never to put my own students through that and to date I haven’t. I prepare the kids for annual recitals and put the emphasis on the enjoyment of performing for others.

    Today I acknowledge that my distaste for the Guild auditions was the fault of my teacher and not the auditions themselves. The NGPT is a wonderful organization; if approached correctly their auditions offer students a tangible goal to work towards. I still have all my report cards, certificates and pins. Your glowing review has me considering the possibility of giving the auditions a second chance.

  2. Yiyi Ku

    Soni,
    WOW! Thank you for sharing with us your childhood experience. I am so sorry to hear that the Guild Auditions were such terrible experiences for you. I do hope that you encountered at least one nice judge during those 14 years!? I guess we can take consolation in knowing that when and if you do enter your own students for the Guild Auditions, you will approach it in a healthy and supportive way, and your students will be lucky to have you on their side. I wonder if you remember who that sadistic Guild Judge was? I think he/she should be reported to the Guild headquarters, for saying what they said – utterly unbelievable! I certainly hope that person never comes to CA to judge my students! So, please, if you do remember the name, let me know! Thank you again for sharing with us such a personal story. Best wishes to you!

  3. Soni Conville

    No worries…my auditions were a long time ago. I don’t remember the judge’s name, but because that happened nearly 40 years ago I’m sure he’s no longer judging. He was the only bad judge I ever had. The rest ran the gamut from extremely low-key to enthusiastic and supportive. I believe my teacher did report him to the Guild…I remember her lacing into him after I came out hysterically crying, calling him a “stupid man”.

    Regardless of how nice the judges were, I was always a nervous wreck because my teacher hyped the auditions up to the extreme — and not knowing any better, my parents bought into the hype so I faced serious pressure to excel in my piano studies at home as well. Anyway, that’s all in the past and I’m willing to look into the auditions as a positive learning experience for myself and my students. Thanks again for enlightening your readers.

  4. H Korn

    I joined ACM a few years ago in hopes of entering these “important” auditions. I got the GIANT syllabus and had 2 teachers explain it to me and still couldn’t figure out how to get these kids prepared for this event. If it is so easy, why is the syllabus for these auditions so ANTIQUATED, cumbersome and UN-USER Friendly?? I never entered any students and since them, have not renewed my membership.

    I don’t have time to wade through these rules and programs and commit an entire year to “figuring it out as I go” so by Spring we may be able to enter or pass the audition. The syllabus is just way too much AND TINY PRINT – oh lord, I can hardly stand to look at it! The ACM needs a desperate makeover of YOUTH and VITALITY – it appears to be a an old, stuffy, antique of an organization in a fast paced, modern, musical world. Parents and today’s kids don’t have this kind of time or patience either. Make it easier to understand and easier to prepare for – until then we won’t be going Guild Auditions. There are much easier events to participate in that provide the same kinds of experiences and benefits.

  5. Yiyi Ku

    H. Korn,
    I agree that the Guild syllabus book could use a makeover and better layout. In my article, I said that the auditions can be very flexible and teachers have a lot of freedom in designing each student’s program. Because of this flexibility, I can see how some people can be quite lost as to exactly what they need to do in order to prepare for Guild Auditions. We as teachers do need to spend a lot of time reading and understanding different syllabi before we can confidently enter students. I know that I certainly have spent a lot of time trying to understand the RCM Music Development Program this last year, as it is such a new program. I have entered students in many dfferent testing systems, and I still believe that for the average student, Guild Auditions is the most achievable. I am not an employee of the Guild, just a happy teacher with many happy students who use the Guild programs. There are indeed lots of other programs out there, so all is not lost if you choose not to use Guild in your studio, but I would recommend that you give it another chance by entering may be just one student and see how it really is. If you have any questions on how to do this, I am happy to help!

  6. Eileen Horgan

    Your blogs are so informative to me as I am newly introduced to the Guild system after many years teaching in Europe to the requirements of The Associated Board of the Royal School of Music. A new piano student who completed Prep Class B in Classical repertoire with a former teacher,wishes to enter for HS Diploma B in May.My search for the requirements for such is not yet successful after googling many sites.
    I would appreciate guidance and advice .Thank you

  7. Yiyi

    Eileen,
    Thank you for commenting. My advice is as follows:
    1. Become a Guild member. You can find out how by going to the Guild website. There is a form you fill out and instructions on where to send it along with the fee. http://pianoguild.com
    2. Once you become a member, they will send you the current syllabus. STUDY that syllabus and read in detail from front to back. It will take a while but it will give you a good overview.
    3. Find out where is your nearest audition center and who is the representative. There is a list at the back of the syllabus. Call the representative and make an appointment to go visit. Usually they are quite helpful and will be happy to answer questions.
    4. For your student, I recommend entering for Preparatory C next, so you can become familiar with the test first. Also, HS Diploma programs need to be pre approved, and the deadline is approaching. Since the student is new, you may need some time to figure out his/her strengths and weaknesses, before deciding on a HS Diploma program.
    5. For regular auditions, you do not need to decide on the exact pieces when you register, just how many pieces the student is going to do, ie. a State audition, National audition, etc. If your student needs extra motivation, they can always aim for the next category, so if they did National last year, they can try International in 2014, and do HS Diploma in 2015.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

  8. Kelly

    My son participated in the Local
    guild last year and may do so again this year. Overall, it was a good experience. My only question is…..why is the guild held during school hours? All the kids who participated here locally had to be pulled out of school for several hours. For a program geared towards school age children, the guild should be after school hours or on a weekend, and not during a school day.. Our teacher said they’re not done after hours because that interferes with any lessons the teacher may have that day. In my humble opinion, that is not acceptable, this should be made convenient for the kids, and not the teachers.

  9. Marguerite

    Kelly, the reason guild auditions are held during the day is NOT to accommodate individual teachers’ lesson schedules! (Many of us teach morning, noon and night, as our enrollment includes home-schoolers and adults.) It is because the judges are hired from out of town, must travel to the center and stay for the duration of that center’s auditions. (In very large centers, it is sometimes necessary to contract several judges in order to cover the entire time needed. I have judged in centers for as short a time as two days, and as long as 2 weeks.) In districts fortunate enough to have co-operative school administrators who understand the educational value of the guild experience, students are granted excused absences, allowing the judge to expect a reasonable 9-5 work day. Others may have to start later in the day and work until late. It shouldn’t require absences of several hours, even for very long advanced programs.
    I have had the good fortune as a student, teacher, judge and chairman, to have the support of my local schools. I instruct my students to speak to their teachers and principal in advance, and provide a written ‘excuse’ explaining the event when necessary.
    I hope you will choose to continue this activity, and that my response answers your question satisfactorily.

  10. Yiyi Ku

    Thank you, Marguerite, for such a detailed response to Kelly’s comment!

  11. John Lee

    Two of my children went through Guild. Those two are still playing the piano while the other two quit (taught different teachers who were not Guild members). What the auditions do for my kids:
    1) have a tangible goal to accomplish
    2) have other teachers critique and give feedback on their playing
    3) become experienced and comfortable for the future auditions/interviews/etc.

    Soni Conville would never become a musician if 1 bad judge (despite 13 good ones) bothered her that much. She blamed on her teacher even though the teacher was selfless enough to seek other teachers ‘s feedback and recommendations (she also stood up for her students and called the judge “a stupid man”). That was just sad; and she still went through 14 years of it? It looks to me that Soni Conville finally became good enough to have her own students? How badly could her teacher teach her for 14 years? She should thank, not blame, her teacher instead.

    H Korn should not be teaching kids if s/he is not bright enough to figure out the rules for these auditions. I agree that Guild is the worst when it comes to laying out the exact requirements for the level one is auditioning for. However, Yiyi Ku explained why Guild has its own benefits. I found her articles (part 1 and part 2) the best on the internet (better than Guild website itself) about Guild auditions.

  12. Yiyi Ku

    John: thanks for the compliment! I have found that every exam system has its own benefits and flaws, and the Guild is no exception. For the most part however, the benefits outweigh the flaws! Happy teaching!

  13. Ann Hewitt

    Hello,
    I played in the Guild auditions as a student, entered my own students as a piano teacher, and have judged for the Guild.

    The goals set out by Mr. Allison are fine goals; certificates are lovely (but need modification for ease of use), and the pins are a nice reward.

    1. The Guild needs to come into this century and take advantage of today’s technology. The registration forms are ridiculous with tiny spaces to write in. Registration should be online. And lists sent to chairmen are printed with carbon copies. Mimeograph machines?!? Good grief.

    2. The syllabus is poorly formatted I hear this every year from teachers. I have even had teachers volunteer to rewrite the syllabus in a clear, concise, and appealing format. The syllabus is a giant turnoff to prospective teachers. They are choosing other programs for their students because of this burdensome, discombobulated mess.

    3. Many of the ladies employed by the Guild at headquarters in the judging department are cranky and have their “pets.” They are not interested in honest feedback. Many times they ignore requests of teachers and judges. Vindictive??

    4. Reimbursement to judges is severely inadequate. No elaboration even needed here.

    5. Some teachers are not interested in honest evaluations. They simply want Superior or Superior Plus ratings. A sad commentary on today’s learning environment.

    Sound like sour grapes? Well it is not. I loved the Guild auditions when I played in them for 11 years as a student. I started the Guild auditions in my area as a teacher. My students and I as a teacher benefitted from the Guild goals.

    As an adjudicator I have seen the Guild refuse to step up to today’s technology and refuse to compensate adjudicators enough to cover lodging, meals, and travel expenses.

    Troubling!

    Suggestions:
    1. Hire a professional to design software to bring the Guild into this decade.

    2. Re-do the syllabus. Doesn’t matter if you have to recycle the thousands you have on hand. The future depends on this change.

    3. Redesign the certificates so space for lists are larger. And nobody cares what color star is on the certificate.

    4. Be fair and kind and considerate of your adjudicators. Give each of them at least five judging days per year.

    5. Consider “nice” training for the ladies in the judging department, whether they have been there 30+ years or not!

    Thank you. My name is a pseudonym, for obvious reasons.

  14. Yiyi Ku

    Ann – BRAVO!!!

  15. Colleen

    Hi, I’m a parent and next week my daughter, just turned 9, will have her 4th Guild audition. It seems every year I come across this blog post and reread it. The first year was a disaster, our teacher did not really explain the process and the audition time was moved — we showed up but no teacher — somewhere the dates got crossed. I had taken off from work and the judge couldn’t explain what the problem was, no card, no song list except mine etc. I didn’t realize the teacher was supposed to be there. The Judge made a photocopy of a blank card to fill in and my daughter who had really only played on a keyboard played in the wrong octave for most of the audition. I knew it sounded horrible but couldn’t figure it out until later what had happened. My daughter was desperate to quit the first year long before the Guild, but as time has gone by has enjoyed making music more and more and less grumbling about practice. This year I have had to try to rein in her own interpretation of the music so she does not stray too far from what is written as she likes to make the music her own. She has come so far, especially this past year, the music is much harder but she is by far the best prepared this year and most confident. I would add that for her memorization is really something that she dislikes in school and generally is not good at unless she is strongly interested in the subject, she tells me it goes in one ear and out the other — so the Guild has been a great experience for her to get ready to play a National program. She has done 9 songs each year, transposing the last. She likes to get to play her own private concert for someone. In sum, not necessarily the experience of the audition alone, but really the preparation for it has been a great experience and has caused her to progress each year — I would recommend to all. My daughter will be happy to soon cut back on practice and is looking forward to learning some new songs! Thanks for the article.

  16. yiyi

    Colleen- thank you for reading this post, every year! And thank you for commenting, from a parent’s perspective. I am sure other parents would find your feedback very helpful. Good luck to your daughter’s ausition- sounds like she is well prepared!

  17. Victoria

    Hello Ms.Yiyi,
    I have a question, not a comment.
    Please, let me know how I address it correctly. My daughter been playing for the last 7 years at least and non of her piano teachers here in AZ offered this program until we met a new teacher who just moved from CA mentioned it. Will it be possible for her to join in and get to the HS level since she is a freshman this year ? Thank you , Victoria

  18. yiyi

    Victoria – It all drpends on what level your daughter is currently at. The number of years someone has studied does not always reflect how advanced they are. If your teacher has experience entering students for Guild, they will have a better idea of whether a specific goal is attainable. What I can tell you is that, the Guild levels do not have prerequisites: you can register for any level that you see fit, so yes, it is possible to jump into any level, if you feel you are ready to pass that level. Hope this helps!

  19. Roger L

    I performed in the Guild 4 times when I was a child, and I haven’t read through all the above posts, but I see where someone mentioned about the “pins” that they give you. I completely forgot about the pins! I wonder if I still have my pins somewhere. They’d have to be in this one drawer is what I’m thinking if I have them at all. I’m not sure that I ever had four pins to begin with. I came across this site today looking for a piano teacher near me that is in the Guild. I recently found a teacher that is in the Guild, and he’s very close to where I live. We had our 5th lesson today, and I’m working from a beginner Adult 1 Book, and I’m playing the first 2 notes (in the right hand), and those notes are “A and B”, “A and B” and G sharp and B” for a count of 1&2. The second note gets the “&”, and the 3rd note gets the 3&4& count. It’s to be played “legato” (i.e. smooth as all of you know), and I feel like I’m playing it just fine. I’ve practiced it all week. He said that he wouldn’t have even put that piece into that book (keep in mind its’a Beginner Adult 1 book) because he feels that piece with all the “legato” is too advanced. Also, it’s almost like he’s “riding the time” that we have (i.e. it’s a 60 min lesson) so that I’ll continue lessons. I’m rusty, but it’s not like I’ve never played before. He comes to my house, and when he left, I wasn’t a happy camper with all of his “critiques”! I’m practicing about an hour each time. I thought that piano teachers (if my memory serves me well), are suppose to encourage their students. I was livid when he left today. I called the Guild, and they only have 2 teachers near me, and I don’t think they give in home lessons. I’m ready to let him go big time, but he’s the only one near me that is in the Guild. It’s my understanding that he does a Christmas recital, but I’d like to start working on the piece he wants me to play in his recital (assuming I’m in it). I had another teacher that lasted for one lesson in August who was very critical. Between that teacher and this new teacher, I don’t feel very encouraged! I guess they’re both used to having children for students. They should pay a little more attention to their adult students because we’re self paying, and their child students aren’t. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thank you!

  20. Marguerite

    OK Roger! 1st things first—-(if I may be frank)— It sounds as if you are not happy with anything about your lessons. And you should be! You should be finishing your lessons with a smile and looking forward to your next session. I would suggest that you place the need to have a truly positive experience above the desire to have a teacher who will come to your home and who is a guild member.
    Besides the obvious reason why most teachers do not teach in individuals’ homes (travel time instead of income-producing teaching time), there are other problems: The teacher is working on the student’s piano which may, or may not, be high quality, and does not have immediate access to music books and materials that may be needed as the lesson progresses.
    I have agreed to teach outside of my own studio only four times in the past 25 years– 1: a woman who had agoraphobia who lived very close to my studio; 2: a woman who lived between my studio and my home and was only comfortable with her electronic instrument…(Plus, she smoked like a chimney which she couldn’t do in my studio,) 3: a friend who lived close by and who had purchased a $10,000 Yamaha organ from me; and 4: a family who had moved from the area, couldn’t accept changing teachers and was willing to pay me $600 a month to teach her 3 sons. (In each case tuition had to be doubled to make up for the lost time.)
    When I was teaching full time I had 10-12 adult students and we had a great time. We had informal gatherings, no children allowed, at which they could play, with or without music, and talk about their experiences and feelings about the role music played in their lives. I had doctors, accountants, ‘housewives’, business managers, and even a policeman. Most did not want the stress of guild auditions, but some did, and it was a great motivator for them.
    I wish you lived near me! Practicing an hour a day??!!! Wow….
    I realize that none of this is likely to be very helpful to you! I suggest that you continue your search for a teacher who will appreciate your efforts and guide you through a meaningful and happy experience.
    (And, just for the record—-why would a teacher have you work on a piece that he felt was not appropriate for your level? Who’s in charge of the lesson material?)
    Best of luck to you.

  21. Janice Cook, NCTM

    Hi Yiyi- I have just come across your article and this thread of reactions and responses. I really enjoyed your article. I played in Guild a few years as a child, and remember it with positive thoughts. I joined as a teacher over 40 years ago, have been a judge for 35 years, and have helped run our center in Columbus (OH) for the same amount of time. My two children played in it a total of 23 years. I have had many Paderewski winners and close to 50 students who have done National 10-piece programs for five years. I have experienced Guild from many different angles. It is certainly not perfect, but no testing system is. Yes, the Syllabus is maddening, and I have made a hundred suggestions to the office over the years. A dozen or so have been instituted and the Syllabus was changed.

    I have dealt with with at least 75 judges over the years (Columbus usually has 80 teachers and over a thousand students participate each year and we even have two judges working simultaneously.) Some are more “informational” in their judging than others and some are warmer in personality than others. But 97% of them have done a good or even outstanding job of adjudicating and nearly all of them have been kind and supportive to students and teachers alike. When teachers know how to prepare students well, and coach students that the reason for doing Guild is the PROCESS of raising their skill set and musicality, and NOT the SCORE, it is a first-rate learning experience for all. In Columbus, we have orientation sessions for new teachers and at least one meetings a year, to help things run smoothly and raise the level of teaching. Our teachers learn that it is not necessary to wade through most of the Syllabus. We help each other learn the necessary details.

    I am familiar with other testing systems and still believe that Guild is the best for all the reasons you enumerated, plus the cost is extremely reasonable for students and their families. (Yes, judges should be paid more – most of us do it out of the goodness of our hearts and appreciate the fact that our students are not having to pay $100.00 for the experience.)

    The women in the national office work really hard and are often overworked unsung heroes. I count them as friends, even when I am complaining about certain elements of Guild. 🙂

    I urge every teacher to look into Guild. I do not mind helping those in areas of the country where there is no one to turn to for help. jbakercook@gmail.com I wrote an article in the Summer 2018 Piano Guild Notes entitled “SCENARIOS: Using Guild to Guide Each Student Forward” – about the tremendous flexibility a teacher has to find just the right “fit” for each student. I close by saying I am preparing an adult student for her 21st Guild Audition. She plays late elementary/early intermediate repertoire and loves challenging herself. She is 75 years old.

  22. Yiyi

    Janice:

    Wow, wow, and wow!!!!!! Thank you for taking the time to give us such amazing, detailed feedback from all angles. Your reply has rekindled my belief in Guild. It is easy to get distracted these days: so many programs, exams, festivals available to students out there. I appreciate very much hearing about how Guild is very much alive where you are, as it has lost popularity where I am, and I think it really is up to us teachers to help students/parents see the true value of Guild Auditions. Thank you. And your 75 year old student – WOW!!! I am going to print your comment and read it to my students for inspiration. Thank you, again!

  23. Lillian White

    Dear Yiyi,
    This year was my first as a Guild member with participating students.
    I have only one complaint: the rating system. It’s discouraging to younger students, and even older ones who have simpler pieces. Basing the rating on the NUMBER of checkmarks seems wrong! I teach around 40 students and entered only my two granddaughters, just to get started. The younger one only ended up with an Excellent Plus, due to receiving only 15 checkmarks (with a score of 12), whereas her older sister received a Superior, with 22 checkmarks (and a score of 20). I believe the rating system is unfair. It would be a HUGE improvement to have the rating based on the percentage of C’s to A’s, rather than the simple subtraction method. This may be my last year to do the Audition unless something gets changed!

  24. jiajia

    Thanks Yiyi. This is very informative and helpful.
    What’s the difference between Guild Auditions and Certificate of Merit in California?

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