Like the Exam Track program, students enrolled in this program take part in the same opportunities and exams. However, the teacher may adjust the standard adherence to repertoire guidelines, substituting them for the specific requirements of competitions for which the student prepares throughout the year.
The student must be able to prepare for the requirements of his or her selected competitions and festivals, which are usually considerable. The student must also obtain the recommendation of the teacher, and declare intent to take part in the program by September 30 during the academic year in question, and be prepared to put in 1.5 to 3 hours’ practice time daily (2 hours average). This program is meant for very serious and competitive students, and may or may not involve those who consider music as a career in their future. The same dedication for high standards in performance, practice, and concert attendance, as stated in the ‘Exam Track’ program are true also of Competition Prep students.
Some teachers also have a “Professional Competition Program” variant, with the highest level of commitment. Students in this program have expressed ambition and a driven love of music, perhaps choosing ultimately to pursue a career path in music to the exclusion of others.
All Competition Preparation Program students are considered for the Carnegie Debut program based on merit, performing ability, teacher recommendation, and a demonstrated excellence in music.