Each year, more than 100,000 piano students participate in the National Piano-Playing Auditions held in music centers across the United States and worldwide.
This year, 12 of Victoria Harris' music students are headed to the May 4 Auditions in the Verde Valley.
"I have never done anything like this before, and I don't know what to expect," said Katie Schouten. She has been taking piano lessons for four years.
Schouten admits she is nervous about playing four different pieces from memory, but thinks that she can do well, if she focuses in on what she is playing.
She chose three happy and cheerful pieces and one calm, relaxing piece -- "From the Land of Clover" by Carolyn Jones Campbell, "Street Games" by Elie Siegmeister, "Tarantella" by Albert Pieczonka and "Nocturne" by Kevin Oslen.
Daniel Cluff, Esther Marie Cluff, Nathan Cluff, Sarah Cluff, Elizabeth Hewitt, Rachael Knauer, Rebecca Knauer, Hannah McLearn, Natalie McLearn and Jesse Snively will also be attending auditions and playing their pieces from memory.
Harris' students range in age from 5 to 16, beginning to early advanced, in skill.
Members of the American College of Musicians will evaluate their performances based upon presentation of Baroque, Romantic and Modern works. They will each be given a report card.
For their efforts, students earn a year's membership in the National Fraternity of Student Musicians, sponsored by the National Guild of Piano Teachers.
The evaluators also award gold, silver or bronze pins to the students, based on their skill with the ivories.