10 Common Mistakes Made at NYSSMA

NYSSMA is approaching and we want to make sure you are prepared for your performance! We’ve created a list of the 10 most common mistakes people make at NYSSMA, so you can avoid these NYSSMA no-no’s.



  1. Bringing Photocopies: NYSSMA requires original NYSSMA approved scores of your piece. You are not permitted to use photocopies during your performance.2.
  2. Not Bringing An Original Copy For The Adjudicator: NYSSMA requires you to give an ORIGINAL (see above) copy to give to the judge. If your piece is not memorized, you must remember to purchase two original copies- one for you and one for the adjudicator.3.
  3. Purchasing the Wrong Version of Your Piece: NYSSMA is very specific in regards to the pieces it allows you to perform. You must read the NYSSMA manual closely to ensure that you are purchasing the correct version and/or arrangement of the piece. When in doubt, ask! Don’t assume that you are getting the correct one.4.
  4. Not Having A Track or Accompaniment: If you are a vocalist, you want to be sure that you bring your track or accompanist with you on the day of NYSSMA. Performing a cappella when that is not how you practiced can be extremely difficult and lead to unsatisfactory results.5.
  5. Not Bringing a Speaker: Not all adjudicators will allow you to play a track directly from your phone, so make sure to bring a speaker to connect to. Also, speakers will give better quality to your entire performance. That being said, you also want to make sure it’s downloaded onto your device prior to arriving at NYSSMA. It is not guaranteed there will be wifi or service at your NYSSMA site, so better safe than sorry!6.
  6. Not Dressing Up: It is always recommended to dress nice for an adjudication. It shows that you are taking NYSSMA seriously, so dress to impress!7.
  7. Not Having Your Instrument Tuned: At NYSSMA they will be judging you based on your performance so you must make sure to start off in tune! Not having your instrument tuned can turn an excellent performance into a less than satisfactory performance rather quickly.8.
  8. Not Warming Up: You must warm up before you perform at NYSSMA. This goes for both instrumentalists as well as vocalists. You want to be sure that you are ready and prepared. A few warm up exercises can go a long way.9.
  9. Not Arriving Early: NYSSMA can be a stressful day for some, so you want to be sure to arrive early and leave enough time for any incidents that may arise. The last thing you want is to be running in the door as they’re calling your name. Be sure to arrive at least 20 minutes early to relax, tune, warm-up and get prepared.10.
  10. Leaving your Instrument (and it’s components) Behind: This may seem obvious, but there have been many instances of people arriving at NYSSMA without their instrument! Be sure to have it packed in advance. Before you leave the house, do a final check to make sure that your instrument and all of it’s components are with you.

Good Luck at NYSSMA!

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