Home » Office of Educational Services » NYS School Music Association (NYSSMA)

NYS School Music Association (NYSSMA)


NYSSMA Piano Only Festival

March 8-9, 2024 at SUNY Schenectady School of Music.
The registration form can be found here.

NYSSMA Solo Festival for Shaker HS and All Elementary School (non-piano):

May 3-4, 2024 at Niskayuna High School.
The registration form can be found HERE

NYSSMA Solo Festival for Shaker Middle School (non-piano) and Shaker HS JAZZ solos:

May17-18, 2024 at Queensbury High School.
The registration form can be found HERE

What is NYSSMA?

The New York State School Music Association is a professional organization which represents more than 6,000 music teachers across New York State. It is affiliated with NAfME: The National Association for Music Education.

Each spring NYSSMA sponsors music festivals across the state, which local school districts volunteer to host.

At the Solo and Ensemble Festivals, students have the opportunity, alone or in a small group, to perform a piece of music that is selected from the NYSSMA Manual. The music is listed in six levels according to difficulty. Students play before an adjudicator and are evaluated on their performance. A grade and written critique are given, based on established criteria such as tone, pitch and rhythmic accuracy, intonation, and sight-reading. The Solo and Ensemble Festival gives students the chance to practice the audition procedure, which musicians often go through. The feedback students receive from the judge will help them grow musically. In addition, students often use this NYSSMA rating for acceptance into performing groups outside school.

Visit the NYSSMA website to learn more about the All-State process.

Major Organization Festivals are opportunities for music teachers to bring an exceptional ensemble (band, chorus, orchestra, or jazz ensemble) to perform for two specially trained adjudicators. Music must be selected from the NYSSMA Manual. The ensemble is given taped and written comments on their performance, and awarded a rating such as Gold, Silver, or Bronze.

  • Building Teacher Capacity & Expertise
    • K-5 Instructional Coaching Model
      • Cycle: Self-Directed Improvement System
      • Student-Centered Coaching & Low Inference Notes
      • Instructional Technology Coaching
      • Feedback Cycle – Teachers, Leaders, District
  • Professional Growth & Sustainability
    • Teacher Learning & Development Meetings
      • Affective & Cognitive Domains
  • Professional Development
    • Aligned with District Mission Priorities
    • Responsive, Tiered & Inclusive
    • Innovative & Meaningful


Deborah Keough
District Supervisor for Music Education

Phone: (518) 785-5511 x 3354


You can receive Music Department news through ParentSquare, the district’s emergency notification system. Parents are automatically connected to ParentSquare through Infinite Campus. If parents’ information is up-to-date in Infinite Campus, it will be up-to-date in ParentSquare. 

You can also stay up-to-date on Music Department news by following us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.