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Inaugural Scale Olympiad Held Nov. 16 to Benefit ASU’s Community Music School Scholarship Program

by Madison V. Fisler

Nov. 13, 2013. On Nov. 16, 15 local piano students will compete in the first annual Scale Olympiad held at the Hayes School of Music. 

The Olympiad is a grueling competition featuring six technical events at five different difficulty levels for students to compete in to win mastery awards. 

“In essence, it’s a bit like a decathlon,” said Laura Chu Stokes, a music educator and piano instructor at Appalachian State University’s Community Music School.

“Students will go from room to room and play for each of the judges to demonstrate their skills and collect ribbons for each category.”

Students will compete in the following six categories

  • Scales
  • Cadences
  • Arpeggios
  • Inversions
  • Sight Reading
  • Music Theory

Organizers hope that the Olympiad will raise awareness about the program and get more people interested. 

“We want to get more teachers involved in the school, not just here but off of the mountain too,” Stokes said. 

“Technical skills are often the least inspiring way to practice, but also essential for a solid musical foundation. Scale Olympiad is just a fun event to help motivate students and recognize their hard work.”

The Community Music School, which is run through the university’s Hayes School of Music, provides non-credit music instruction for children and adults within the local community as well as surrounding  counties. CMS is uniquely able to combine university expertise with area teaching artists to provide outstanding musical training.

“We are available to anyone who is interested in any type of instruction, from flute to violin to voice and piano and more,” Stokes said.

“CMS is a hidden gem in this community. Many families don’t realize the access to the many varied instrumental instruction available right here in their backyard.”

For students who may not be able to afford instruction, the school offers a limited number of scholarships based on need. The funds raised during the Olympiad will be used to augment this fund so more scholarships can be offered to students with financial need. 

But the competition isn’t just for fun. The Scale Olympiad is also a fundraiser for the school, with a portion of funds raised going toward the Community Music School’s scholarship fund. 

For more information about the Community Music School, click here