Tippecanoe TMTA


What is AIM?
AIM is an acronym for Achievement In Music. This is a non-competitive festival for piano students wishing to demonstrate their musical progress.  Students are evaluated according to their stage of development, and the evaluations are based on a pre-determined teacher assigned level. 

The AIM events are designed to enhance musicianship, foster creativity, provide an independent evaluation of student progress, develop performance confidence, and motivate student Achievement In Music.  

Evaluations will occur in separate rooms, with different adjudicators.  
For the Tippecanoe Music Teachers Association AIM Festival, there are required and non-required events:

  1. Two Repertoire Pieces of contrasting style  (Required)
  2. Keyboard Skills (Required)
  3. Technical Study or Exercise (Non-required. Use as warm-up, not evaluated)
  4. Aural Theory (Non-required)
  5. Written Theory Test (Non-required)
  6. Sight Playing (Non-required)

Repertoire and Keyboard Skills should be entered at the same level.  The remaining events are evaluated at the teacher-selected level, which may, or may not correspond with the levels of the Repertoire and Keyboard Skills. Teachers should refer to the 2010-2015 Syllabus for information on the requirements for each level.

What Is The Benefit Of Entering My Students In The AIM Festival?

  • Students gain performance experience enabling them to grow in confidence, while receiving helpful evaluations from the adjudicators.  Remember, this is a non-competitive event.
  • The inclusion of each area of evaluation encourages students to continue to develop as a more complete music musician.
  • Students receive written comments from an adjudicator.   
  • Certificates are awarded for the successful mastery of all the requirements of an AIM Level. 
  • Students become more aware of their progress as they work through the requirements of each of the levels from year to year.
  • Students are encouraged by discovering that there are others just like themselves who are enjoying the benefits of piano study.
  • Students who successfully complete the highest level of AIM are well-prepared for the college audition process and do well on college theory and aural placement tests.
  • Teachers will find the evaluations of their students helpful and insightful.  In addition, participating in AIM increases the visibility and accountability of teachers 
  • Who Can Participate in AIM, and is the a cost?
    Students of current TMTA members and non-members are eligible to enter the AIM program. A required $75 yearly fee entitles the non-member teacher to enter any number of students. For members of TMTA, there is a $15 fee for each student entered in AIM..

    How Are The AIM Events Structured?
    The AIM events are divided by level and content.  Specific repertoire, keyboard skills, theory, and sight playing are outlined for each level in the 2010-2015 Achievement in Music Syllabus.

    When is the AIM Festival?
    Annual dates are announced in our monthly meeting, and are listed under the Calendar of Events on our Tippecanoe TMTA website. 

    Where are the AIM Examinations held?
    The Tippecanoe AIM Festivals are held in local churches or other music facilities throughout the community.  The location and date are subject to change on a yearly basis.

     What Materials Do I Need To Get My Students Started In AIM?
    Teachers should purchase the 2010-2015 Achievement in Music Syllabus. The syllabusis available for purchase for $20 for members, $40 for non-members.  Contact your AIM Coordinator for more information.  

     What Is The Best Way To Begin Preparing Students For AIM?
    In the 2010-2015 Music Syllabus, read the AIM Guidelines. These Guidelines provide specific program and examination information for each event.  The syllabus contains sample examinations and judge’s sheets for each level.  Carefully study the keyboard skills, aural theory, written theory, technique, and repertoire requirements before selecting a level appropriate for a student. 

    How Do I Know Which Level To Enroll A Student In?
    Refer to the most recent edition of the Achievement in Music Syllabus (2010-2015 edition).   You may also wish to consult with an experienced AIM teacher or an AIM Chairperson for guidance.

     May I Enroll Students In the Repertoire and Keyboard Skills Events Only?
    Yes. Repertoire and Keyboard Skills are a required event for all participants.  To participate in this event only, indicate an opt-out for all of the non-required events (Technical Study or Exercise, Sight-Playing and both the Aural and Written Theory). 

     What If A Student’s Repertoire Is More Advanced Than Their  Theory Knowledge?
    You should try to enroll your students in the Repertoire and Keyboard Skills Events at the same level in which he/she successfully will complete the AIM Theory Examination.  However, for the Repertoire and Keyboard Skills, a student may play works selected from the repertoire list of a higher AIM level.

    What Should I Prepare My Students To Do?

  • Prepare performance of two Repertoire Pieces in contrasting styles at a polished performance level  (at least one piece must be memorized, preferably both).
  • Prepare to present a selected set of Keyboard Skills based on the teacher-selected level.
  • Study for the Aural and/or Written Theory Test.
  • At the time of the AIM Festival, provide original scores for each memorized Repertoire Piece for the adjudicator.  The measures must be numbered.   If the student will be using music for one of the Repertoire Pieces, the judge should still have an original of the selection and the student may play from a copy.
  • How Far In Advance Should I Prepare My Student For AIM?
    It depends upon the ability of the individual student and his/her level.  There are AIM Student Workbooks available at each level to aid in preparation (see your AIM Coordinator for more information on how to obtain the workbooks). Some students may need to begin preparation for the next AIM level shortly after completing the current AIM Festival. 

     What Is The Time Commitment For Teachers?
    Teachers enrolling students in an AIM Event are required to assist on the examination day by serving as a judge, monitor, or monitor.  AIM teachers as well as members who did not enroll students in the Festival are encouraged to assist the AIM Coordinator in organizational tasks as well as on the examination days.

     Is Mentoring Available For New Teachers?
    Yes.  Contact the AIM Chairperson listed in the directory and he/she will connect you with an experienced AIM teacher.  An AIM informational session will be offered during one of the Tippecanoe TMTA monthly meetings in order to bring everyone up to date on the festival.  

    When Will I Know My Student’s Exam Time?
    If the enrollment form and fees have been submitted to the AIM Co-ordinator by the enrollment deadline, a teacher will receive notification of student exam times two weeks prior to the exam day. Teachers should provide each student with a schedule to take with them on exam day.  The schedule should list the exam time and location for each event the student will be participating in.

     What Is The Time Commitment For Students On Festival Day?
    Students should plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early for the first event.  The duration of examination time varies according to each level.  Lower level students should allow at least 30 minutes.  Upper level students should allow at least 1 hour.  For families with more than one participant, the time could be longer.

     What Do Students Need To Bring With Them to AIM?
    The student must bring the original score for any repertoire piece he/she will be performing.  For any repertoire piece that is not memorized, a student may bring the original score for the adjudicator and may use a copy for performance.  The original scores must have the measures numbered. 

     Are Make-up Exams Available?
     No.  Once the event is missed there is no make-up exam given.

     Who Adjudicates The Examinations?
    Members from the Tippecanoe TMTA adjudicate the AIM Examinations.  Adjudicators are experienced AIM teachers, degreed teachers, or state/nationally certified piano teachers.

    Contact AIM Coordinator Dan Whiteley: dhwhiteley@yahoo.com  765-746-1650