Forum Music Teachers Association of Houston, Inc.

TMTA SA Publication Contest

CHAIRMAN:  Chiao_Li Tsai: (505) 610-1580 703 Cannon Ln, Sugar Land TX 77479
DEADLINE: December 1, 2023
FEE: $20 per student mailed to chair by December 1
Pay for your student’s registration:

    1. OPTION 1 (preferred): Send payments via Zelle to Add a message to the transfer with the memo “Publication Contest enrollment for #__ students.”

    2. OPTION 2: Mail your registration check to the appropriate chair. Your payment must be postmarked no later than the deadline. One check per teacher made out to Forum

INFORMATION: The purpose of the contest is to promote excellence in music research and publications.

Students pick one of two topics for their grade level (grades one through college) and write an essay designed to explore and analyze the topic in an original, engaging way. Each article is judged at the local level and then the selected articles are judged at the state level. Judges award “Winner” and “Outstanding” articles which are published in the TMTA SA Publication Contest Book.

Winners receive certificates and cash awards. After a student’s paper is judged at the local level, the paper will be sent back to the student. If it is deemed qualified to progress to the state level, the student will have an opportunity to make corrections based on the judge’s comments before being submitted. For more information, please go to the TMTA Handbook.


The TMTA SA Publication Topics for 2023-2024 are: Grades 1 and 2: (75 – 300 words)

IA – Music of the 19th century

IB – Music for film


Grades 3 and 4: (250 – 550 words)

IIA – Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf

IIB – Music for the organ


Grades 5 and 6: (400 – 650 words)

IIIA – American protest music of the 1960s

IIIB – Beethoven


Grades 7 and 8: (500 – 750 words)

IVA – Revolutionary music

IVB – Music and mental health


Grades 9 and 10: (600 – 850 words)

VA-“Les Six”

VB – Music for video games


Grades 11 and 12: (700 – 950 words)

VIA – Lowell Lieberman

VIB – Music and/of migration


Post-12th (750 – 1050 words)

VII – Music influenced by symbolist poetry

GUIDELINES:  Eligibility

      • 1. Students must be enrolled in Student Affiliate before they can be entered in the TMTA SA Publication Contest.
      • 2. There is no theory requirement for this contest.
      • 3. Young Artist (Post-12) entrants are music students who are high school graduates or collegiate students who have not reached age 27 by the state entry deadline.

    General Information (please follow the guidelines carefully to avoid disqualification)

    1. Only one entry per student is allowed.

    2. Students should take care to avoid plagiarism by rephrasing information from their sources. Teachers need to explain what plagiarism is. Quotations are acceptable but should be short and clearly cite the author and source. Formal footnoting is acceptable but not required. Any essay found to be purchased for submission will mean student disqualification from the Publication Contest for the current and following two years.

    3. Articles should be written so that others of the same age can read and comprehend them.

    4. Format:
    a. All articles must be typed in a Word document and submitted electronically.

    b. Use Times New Roman font, 12-point type, double spacing, and 1” margins with no unusual formatting.
    c. No illustrations, graphics, or borders are allowed.
    d. Articles may be typed by a parent or teacher if needed
    e. The student’s name should not appear anywhere on the document.
    f. Failure to stay within the word limit will automatically disqualify the article.
    5. All articles must include a bibliography citing the sources of information used in the paper.

    a. Entries in categories I through VI must cite at least two sources in the bibliography.
    b. In an effort to promote excellence in publications, category VII entries must not cite Wikipedia as a source.
    c. Discographies may also be included.

    6. Save the Publication essay file (doc, docx, rtf, txt – PDFs will NOT BE ACCEPTED) as DIVISION then TITLE. For example: “VB-Music for video games”7. Email the following information to the Publication Chairman

    a. Student name, School grade, and Contest level

    b. Essay title and Word count

    c. Publication teacher (only if different from primary teacher)

    d. Photo of the student (jpg, jpeg, or png) saved as LAST NAME, FIRST NAME.

    e. Publication essay file (doc, docx, rtf, txt – PDFs will NOT BE ACCEPTED) saved as DIVISION then TITLE. For example: “VB-Music for video games”

    8. If it is deemed qualified to progress to the state level, the student will have an opportunity to make corrections based on the judge’s comments before being submitted to the State level.9. Final essay and fees ($20) for the State level are due January 20, 2024.Judging (Local level)
    There will be comments given by the local judge and recommendations to advance to the State level.

    Judging (State level)
    1. All articles will receive ratings of Outstanding, Excellent, or Good.
    2. A winning article may be chosen for each topic within a division.
    3. Each student will receive a rating sheet.
    4. If judges have remarks to make, they will put them on a critique page.

    Awards (State level only)
    1. Each student will receive a Winner, Outstanding, or Participation certificate.
    2. Winning and Outstanding certificates will be presented during the Publication Contest Awards Program at the TMTA Conference.
    3. Winning and Outstanding articles will be published on the TMTA website and in a book to be awarded to those students with Winning and Outstanding articles.
    4. Authors of winning articles will receive cash awards:
    Winners in Categories I and II $ 50
    Winners in Categories III and IV $ 60
    Winners in Categories V, VI and VII $ 70

TMTA STUDENT AFFLIATE VIDEO ESSAY CONTEST (The Creative Video Contest has been discontinued.)