There are several opportunities available to students outside of Opus 1 including contests, festivals, exams, and summer camps. This page is meant both as a resource to learn about student opportunities and to submit any that you know of that aren’t listed.
These opportunities help students not only work toward long-term goals and achievements, but are a great way to pragmatically provide a curriculum that promotes learning. All teachers are encouraged to enroll students in recitals as well as exams, however, additional external opportunities are encouraged as well.
Music at Menlo - Chamber Music Festival and Institute
Located in neighboring Menlo Park, Music@Menlo’s Young Performers Program provides an incomparable experience for some of the most outstanding young musicians from across the country and abroad. Designed for enthusiastic and dedicated string players and pianists ages nine to eighteen, the program immerses students in a rigorous, nurturing environment where they will explore three pieces of repertoire, culminating in weekly performances. Students should be at an advanced level and have studied privately for at least three to five years.
ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music)
The ABRSM Exams are the most popular exams enrolled by students at Opus 1. The Practical Exams require 3 exam pieces (non-memorized) that are pre-selected, scales+arpeggios+broken chords, sight-reading, and aural training. The grades are “Distinction,” “Merit",” “Pass,” and “Not Pass.” There are materials specific to the exams including the specimen books (best for student use) and Aural Training in Practice, which is a guide for teachers on how to instruct the aural training portions of the exams. Any age may participate.
The Theory Exams are a great and professional way to teach students the science of music and what goes into creating a piece. Please note: In order to take the Grade 6 Practical Exam, students must have passed the Grade 5 Theory Exam.
U.S. Open Competition
8notes.com (Free Sheet Music Resource)
This website is a terrific resource for in-the-moment searches for students during the holidays. Many teachers use it to find free printable music for Christmas and Halloween pieces. The downside is it doesn’t have anything beyond the notes usually, so plan on writing in fingering, bow marks, etc. You’re welcome to use the Opus 1 printer for student pieces such as this, though don’t over-do it.