Celebrating its 35th year, TheMinnesota High School Music Listening Contest is an independent not-for-profit competition providing an ideal opportunity to enrich students' experiences with classical, ethnic, and popular music in a fun and competitive environment.
In this nationwide contest, students develop skills in active listening and critical analysis by learning to identify composers, cultures, periods and styles. The contest is open to high school students, 9-12th grade, from public, private, home schools, or music studios. Students form teams of three; participants receive a study guide and access to the MLC Playlist that contains all the musical selections they will need to compete effectively.
Each team will be comprised of three members, led by an adult coach. Each team will be assigned to a region. The regional contest will be held in all regions simultaneously on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022. The top two teams from each region will advance to the championship contest, though only one team per school will be eligible to advance.*
The championship contest will be held on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022. Teams may designate an alternate member in the event of unexpected complications.
*Should two teams from the same school win the top two spots in a regional contest, the first-place team will advance to the championship and the highest-scoring team from a different school will also advance. Other teams scoring in the top-10 percent contest-wide may be invited to the championship contest.
How it Works
The contest is open to all high school students in public, charter, private, and home schools in Minnesota and adjoining states. The contest format is nearly identical for regional and the championship contests. See details below:
The contest comprises five rounds. All except Round 4 are listening rounds. Each round is worth a total of 20 points, for a grand total of 100.
Round 1: Identification of ten music excerpts by title and composer. Excerpts of 10–30 seconds with 15 seconds between each. Round 2: Identification, multiple-choice, and short-answer questions about music excerpts. Excerpts of 10–30 seconds with one minute between each. Round 3: Matching of twenty brief music excerpts to a list of titles and composers taken from the Study Guide LIGHTNING ROUND! Excerpts of 2–10 seconds with 10 seconds between each. Two additional minutes to fill in answers at the end of the round. Round 4: Answering multiple-choice questions based on information from the Study Guide and MLC Playlist. 15 minutes total to answer multiple-choice questions. Round 5: Identification of 10 music excerpts by era and composer. These are not excerpts taken from the MLC Playlist, but rather from other works by the composers in the Study Guide. Excerpts of 10–30 seconds with 20 seconds between each. College Bowl (Championships only): Head-to-head between the top two teams, buzz in to answer. More specifics on college bowl format and scoring will be presented at the championship contest.
Adjudication: Any questions or disputes will be resolved by the judges. Teams and coaches have 15 minutes from the end of scoring to raise questions regarding their scores. After this period, scores are considered final. A tie breaker will be held, if necessary. At this point at regional contests, all total scores will be read aloud, though only the names of the teams with the top three scores will be identified. At the championship contest, the top two teams will be identified. After the college-bowl round, all scores will be read aloud and the name of the third-place team will be announced. All decisions made by the judges will be considered final.