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Jasmine Percell was home-schooled since young. After graduating from high school, she went on to Boston University to study psychology. Just this month on the 9th, she took part in the Nationally Federation’s Gold Cup Festival, which was held at Minot State University. She was awarded the 75-point Festival Cup, the second-highest cup awarded to participants. According to Arnola Leverson, chairman of the North Central District Festival, less than ten musicians participating in the festival have ever won the cup worth 75 points.

Arnola explained that the Minot Piano Teachers Club sponsors the North Central District Festival by being a member of the National Federation of Music Clubs. That is also how they are able to have the North Central District Festival in Minot. According to her, piano teachers are members of the federation and this allows them to enter their students in the festival. This festival, which is not a competition, features individual musicians who are rated on their performances and given a written evaluation. In this festival, the musicians will be able to earn points and accompanying cups in varying sizes. These cups ranges from the smallest, which is about the size of a tea cup, to the largest, which is probably about half the size of the Stanley Cup.

“I find it (the festival) motivational for students to keep going with piano and a way to strive for bigger cups,” stated Arnola. She added that it was quite a challenge for musicians if they intend to earn the higher point cups as it will involve playing both a solo piece and a usually complicated and lengthy concerto. Furthermore, the concerto involves the use of another piano. Both the pieces of music would also have to be memorized, making it even more of an obstacle for some musicians.

Jasmine, who had already set her sights on earning the 90-point cup, the highest in the festival, started playing the piano at a tender age of four. In fact, she has been in the festival since she was six years old. Initially, it was her mother’s idea for her to pick it up. Once she started playing it, she has enjoyed it till now. Currently, she practices 45 minutes on a daily basis. She mentioned that she likes the musical range the piano is able to provide as well as its ability to convey the various tones and emotions. As of now, classical music is her favourite style to play. If you would like to read more of her story, you can do so here.

At Awesome Piano, we do not offer any form of point or cups system. However, our teachers will definitely do their best to motivate and encourage your child. You can find out more about us from our website.