IMPEC 2023 Schedule
- August 26th-27th: Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California (serving the greater Los Angeles area).
- June, July and August: Chopin Performing Arts Center in Garden Grove, California (serving the greater Orange County area)
The International Music Performance Exam Certification is an organization which, amongst other things, conducts piano exams on a regular basis. Students who are enrolled in these exams will be given a set of songs to study, which are determined by the student’s skill level and generally follow the guidelines set forth in our syllabus. These students will then proceed to perform these pieces for one of our fully qualified adjudicators, who will grade the student’s performance on a variety of criteria, as well as prepare a detailed report which will provide encouragement based on the student’s strengths and pinpoint any issues which should be addressed.
The exams generally last several weeks, with scheduling services provided by our front office professionals, and take place at various times of the year, across different venues. Teachers who are members of the IAPMT may enroll as many of their students as they wish, and it is also possible for students to enroll themselves, although a parent or guardian must complete the enrollment if the student is under 18 years of age.
We understand that, in today’s fast-paced world, not everyone will be able to travel great distances to attend these auditions in-person, so we offer convenient alternatives, such as using the popular video conferencing apps Zoom and Messenger. You can also send us a video recording of your performances, either by sharing a YouTube link or uploading it to us directly through our WeTransfer account. If you choose this route, then no scheduling will be necessary; you can upload your video any time of the year and we will forward it to one of our adjudicators.
All exams are performed privately with no audience or students present, so they provide a discreet way to showcase student’s skills without the additional stress that competitions and recitals can impose. Reports and scorecards are confidentially provided to the students, and parents may request transcripts of their children’s progress at any time.
We expect that a lot of enrollees will opt for remote auditions, so we have prepared some tips on getting the best experience out of your audio and video setup:
- In order for adjudicators to perform their job properly, they will need to clearly see the student’s hands and feet, so a side view will likely provide the best angle. The camera needs to be fairly high up and pointed slightly downwards so all fingers can be distinguished. Whether you are using a laptop, tablet, or phone, you will definitely need some sort of stand or tripod to obtain this angle. These are readily available from a variety of online retailers for reasonable prices.
- The audio defaults for Zoom are optimized for speech and can unfortunately make music sound muddy and poor. Thankfully, they’ve added some options to mitigate this issue. Before starting your meeting, be sure to enable “Use Original Audio” located in “Meeting Settings”. If you’re using a laptop, then this option is labeled “Show in-meeting option to enable Original Sound” and is located in “Audio Settings”. Once you’ve done this, you’ll be able to enable the “Original Audio” setting inside of the meeting. Laptop users can even go one step further and enable “High fidelity music mode”.
- Make sure your internet connection is fast and stable; the last thing you want are hiccups and buffering issues during your audition! Most people will be using their home Wi-Fi connection, so make sure your router or mesh system is up to the task. Depending on your piano’s location in your home, you may need to relocate or even upgrade your router for best performance.
- Always test your setup by doing a dry run ahead of your scheduled audition date. Ask for a little help from your family and friends and have them create a Zoom meeting which you can join. Remember, you need to test your internet as well, so they should be in a different physical location and on a separate Wi-Fi connection. Make sure they can see and hear you clearly, and keep the meeting going for several minutes to test for drop-outs and stuttering.
- Remember that your remote setup doesn’t have to be perfect; however, sometimes small changes can make big differences, so it’s always worth a bit of effort to experiment with making improvements.