How to Participate

Entering Students in the Graduation Program

Eligibility

For dates and deadlines see calendar.

Teachers submitting students for the Graduation Program must be current members of the Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association.

Students applying for the Graduation Program must be current members of the Atlanta Area Suzuki Piano Association before their teacher can submit them; see all the requirements

Students must enter the program at level one and must continue sequentially through the graduation levels. Students may not skip a level or apply for two levels at one time.

How to Submit a Student

Teachers (not parents or students) must log in and submit their students by the published deadline. Teachers may enter prospective graduates via the website up to two months before the published deadline.

To access the student submission form you will be asked to login. Please login with your email and password. If you do not remember your password please click on I forgot my password. Please do not join again as we would have to reassign all your students to your new account. If you do not remember the email for your account please contact us.

Teachers and/or a students' parent may edit the student application until the deadline.

Students (or their teacher) must complete payment online by the published deadline. Please contact the Graduation Director if you prefer an alternative to paying online.

Teachers must submit a video recorded performance via YouTube by the published deadline. Uploaded videos should be categorized as "unlisted" and all links should be sent to videos@atlantasuzukipiano.org with the student name, piece name and level as the subject line. (Example: Student X, Allegro, level 1)

The video must include the required repertoire for the level the student is applying for (see graduation levels). The pieces must be memorized.

Fees

The student application fee is $105.00.

Student application fees and concert ticket sales help to cover concert expenses including hall rental, trophies, diplomas, professional videotaping, and video evaluation, printing and mailing costs.

All fees are non-refundable. Students who are asked to wait to graduate can reapply at the next deadline. Scholarships are awarded to students who require financial assistance.

Concert Tickets

AASPA depends on ticket sales to pay the expense of renting Spivey Hall. Therefore, parents are encouraged to sell or purchase a minimum of $60.00 worth of tickets to help cover the hall rental expense, and also to insure a greater audience for the students. Tickets can be purchased directly by calling the Spivey Hall box office at (678) 466-4200.

All audience members including parents and family members must purchase a ticket to be allowed into the hall for the concert. Ticket prices are $15.00/adults and $7.50/students. Seating is General Admission.

Spivey Hall

We are very fortunate to have the honor to play at Spivey Hall, which is one of the finest concert halls in the country. Please be respectful of the employees at Spivey Hall and of the guidelines they ask us to follow.

Please be aware that audience members are not allowed on the performance stage or in the backstage area before, during, or after a performance. Audience members may meet performers in the lobby. AASPA teachers will guide students backstage and supervise them there.

Due to the fragility of antique items in the Green Room, only adults are allowed use of this room.

Concert Videos and Photography

A professional video recording is produced of each graduation concert. Each graduating student will receive will receive video access via Vimeo to the recording of the concert they perform in. Absolutely no photography of any kind is allowed in Spivey Hall during the performances.

Teacher Requirements

To be eligible to have students participate in Graduation, teachers must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be current members of AASPA by September 30th of each year.
  • Must attend at least once annually, an AASPA sponsored workshop as a full participant.
  • Must attend at least one teacher research before the yearly concert.
  • Must attend both sessions of the Graduation concert in which their students wish to participate, as well as commit to helping with tasks at the concerts.
  • Must attend the dress rehearsal and concert with their student. If a teacher does not attend the dress rehearsal or the concert the student is ineligible to perform.
  • Teachers submitting students will be asked to volunteer to assist at the dress rehearsal and concert.
  • Teachers submitting students must participate in the pre-screening of videos. Teachers will view videos as a group and determine if the students are ready to submit the video.
  • The published deadline for online video submissions, applications and fees are final. SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AFTER THE DEADLINE.
  • Teachers should discuss concert attire with their students. It is recommended that teachers preview concert clothes by holding a rehearsal in which the students practice wearing their outfit.

Student Requirements

To be eligible to participate in Graduation, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Students must be current members of AASPA and must have joined or renewed before the Studio Application Deadline.
  • Students must enter at level one, and graduate sequentially. Students who may be transferring from other teachers may request that an exception be made by contacting the Graduation Committee.
  • Students must observe a previous graduation performance in order to be eligible to participate.
  • Students must attend the dress rehearsal in order to perform in the concert.

Students must perform in the graduation concert in order to receive their certificate and trophy. If a student is unable to perform because of extreme hardship such as a broken limb or sickness, the AASPA Board must approve a request in advance. A student with an excused absence may perform in the next concert, where they will receive their certificate and trophy. A student must perform in a graduation concert in order to be eligible to proceed to the next level.

Concert attire must be appropriate for a family concert. A student who is not dressed appropriately at the dress rehearsal may be asked to change clothing for the concert at the discretion of the Graduation Director.

Students and parents will be notified by email about the specific times of the dress rehearsal and concert.

If there is a conflict with the concert times, students or teachers must notify the Graduation Director no later than six weeks prior to the concert date.

Recording Guidelines

Record the student's performance on an acoustic piano that is in tune. Clear any clutter from around the piano and eliminate background noise.

It is suggested that students dress as they would for a live performance because they usually play better when dressed up. No bare feet, and nothing on wrists and fingers. It is best for hair to be pulled back and secure.

Rehearse beginning and ending the piece to avoid awkward moments before and after playing. Students should not look at the camera before or after the performance.

When recording Level One Twinkles, the teacher should play the accompaniment on a second piano. Please include the student performing a bow before performing the required piece Allegro on the video.

All videos are to be uploaded to YouTube and sent with an unlisted link to videos@atlantasuzukipiano.org

Evaluation of Videos

The graduation program serves as a source of research for teachers on how to improve student performances. Research meetings are held in which teachers view and study the graduation concert videos as well as videos of students preparing for graduation.

Each recorded performance will be evaluated for:

  • Ability to "get ready" above the keys with good body balance and posture, and maintain it throughout the piece
  • Memorization including correct notes and rhythmic accuracy
  • Ability to produce good tone with flexible fingertips
  • Ability to express the music through phrase shape and dynamics
  • Ability to balance singing melody with quiet accompaniment
  • Ability to stay on the rhythm and express the meter of the pieces at an appropriate tempo

If you have any questions about the Graduation Program please contact the current AASPA Graduation Director.