Frequently Asked Questions
What makes up a Team?
Each team is made up of
three students. An adult coach or advisor oversees a team (or teams) from a
particular school or organization. There is no limit on the number of teams a school or organization may sponsor, however only one team from a school or organization may advance to the Championship Contest. Teams may designate a fourth person as an alternate who competes only in the event one of the original members cannot.
What is the test like?
The test involves five separate rounds. Each round is worth 20 points, with 100 possible points total. Two rounds ask students to identify titles and composers by listening to study CD excerpts. One round contains multiple choice questions relating to the study materials. Another involves both listening identification and multiple choice questions as applied to the example. One round will include music that is not on the study CDs but similar to it.
Are the Study Guide and accompanying Study CDs important?
Yes. All of the correct answers as well as the decisions made by the contest judges are based on these materials. Round five — the “Mystery Round” — uses music ‘similar’ to samples on the study CDs.
What are the best ways to prepare for the contest?
Each team member (and the coach) will receive a comprehensive Study Guide with accompanying CD recordings. Students should become familiar with all
of the information contained in the Study Guide and recordings. Team members may choose to become an ‘expert’ on some portion of the material. Teams will often divide the materials into thirds for ‘expert’ study. Coaches and team members may use the materials and other recordings to create practice tests, study sheets and listening tests. Regular consistent study is extremely important; cramming last minute doesn't work.
Is it true that spelling counts? I thought this was a music listening contest.
Yes, spelling counts. Spelling is an academic skill that is expected and practiced at all levels of education. The spelling rule helps our judges to be objective about test answers. To aid students, each
piece's testable title and composer's name are listed on a page in the Study Guide. Our musicologists try to use only these testable titles when referring to the pieces throughout the Study Guide. Usually students need to provide the composer's last name only for answers in the competition. Learning correct spelling encourages participants to be accurate and prepares them for life as musicians and scholars beyond their high school experience.
Is the entire musical selection heard during the contest?
No. Most of the time short musical excerpts from
the repertoire are played. The ‘Lightening Round’ is the most exciting portion of the contest because very short listening excerpts are used.
Can team members discuss each question before
Yes. Members may quietly discuss answers before writing them down on the answer sheets.
Do teams compete directly with one another or ‘head to head’?
Each team takes the test in its own area within a large room. Each round is conducted separately
with the correct answers being read after answer sheets have been collected. Teams each receive their own final scores privately. Final scores are shared anonymously at the end of the contest.
Does the contest use a buzzer?
No. Each team is given a designated amount of
time to discuss and answer each question in written
form. The final round of the Championship Competition uses buzzers, but only the top two teams in the event participate in this round.
How do students progress to the Championship Contest?
The two teams with the highest scores in each
region of nine Regional Contests advance to the
Championship Contest. However, only one team from each school is allowed to advance to the Championship Contest. In the unlikely event that the two highest scores are from the same school, the next highest-scoring team from another school will progress to the state contest.
Where can I find information about the Scholarship Essay Competition for MLC seniors?
Information and the application form can be found here.
Could you give me more details about the Regional Contest?
The regional contests are held at eight different sites across the state. Registered teams are assigned regions based on geographical locations (with consideration for a balance of school representation at each site. Each regional contest begins at 1 p.m. and is usually completed between 3 and 3:30 p.m. The top two regional teams from different schools or organizations advance to the championship in February.