NASSP recognizes the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) as the leader in the field of musical arts. NAfME provides professional input on music program applications and will be taken into consideration by the National Committee on Student Contests, Programs, and Activities during its review process.

The committee will consider listing music activities that meet the standards and qualify for national or regional (open to out-of-state participants) program listings.

Music learning and music programs in middle level and high schools should be enhanced by the experience of participating in any contests or events for student musicians and performers. For this reason, music activities and programs applying for inclusion in the NASSP List of Approved Contests, Programs, and Activities for Students must also show evidence of meeting the following standards in addition to the general standards:

  • Sponsors of music programs will provide or make available adequate facilities and equipment to meet the needs of the music contest or activity participants.
  • By taking part in the music program, student participants will have met one or more state or national music standards. Also, age- and content-appropriate literature will be utilized for all performances.
  • Music activities must include a clinical portion that provides instruction, analytical critique of the performance, and evaluation. Recognized clinicians with quality credentials will be utilized for adjudication and/or evaluation of participants.
  • Guidelines to be used for entry consideration or adjudication are clearly stated in entry materials and adequate time for groups or individuals to submit application materials for the music event is reflected in the entry deadlines.
  • Participant travel arrangements, housing, and meals shall be offered by the sponsor to the school as an optional service. Music activities associated with theme parks may not apply admission charges to program registration costs or otherwise require park admission to participate.
  • The amount of time spent by participating groups in musical performance, instruction, and evaluation should be appropriate in proportion to the time spent at the site of the activity.

Music programs currently included on the list of programs not reviewed will continue with the exception of theme park programs that can meet the standards and additional guidelines.