A Little Word About Us
The illinois music association
The IMA was instituted out of a need to provide a suitable competition for the music students of private music teachers and studios in north-eastern Illinois. In our first 3 years, our contests were held for students performing piano and accordion, and attracted over 100 students during our beginning years.
The contest is open to students of all ages – children and adults.
The contest is divided into many different levels and classes. Contestants are categorized in these ways:
- Instrument (piano, strings, wind, percussion and vocals)
- Experience based in the music performed (cadet, elementary, junior, intermediate, senior).
In addition, the IMA offers a performance category for students who cannot compete in a group situation due to a physical or mental impairment, such as Autism, Attention Deficit Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, etc. This category pairs the student with the adjudicator in a one-on-one format, giving the student, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to compete, a chance to participate.
A typical class for a student between the ages of 6 and 12, is limited to about 10 contestants or less. The age variation in each class is plus/minus one year. The philosophy of keeping each class size small, is to allow the contestants a greater chance of winning a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place trophy.
In 1976, the IMA established a scholarship foundation. The IMA does not solicit or receive any government grants. Our scholarship foundation is solely dependent on private donations. The scholarship foundation is a separate activity, independent from the annual contest and has awarded over 100 scholarships since its inception, to students seeking to pursue their musical education in college.