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A+ Music Memory Pilot Overview

Contest Rules

Download offical contest rules for the grade 2 pilot.

Download official contest rules for the grade 7 and 8 pilot.


In October 2014, the UIL Legislative Council approved a pilot project that would add grade levels to A+ Music Memory. The Music Memory contest is officially offered for grades 3-6. The pilot will give districts the option of including 2nd grade, as well as grades 7 and 8.

Musical Selections

The contest is based on an Official List of music prescribed by UIL, with a new list for each year’s competitions. The core of the list will continue to be made up of 16 selections that will be used for grades 3-6.

For the 2nd grade pilot contest, the list will be reduced to 10 selections. The Official List is highlighted to indicate which 10 pieces will be included for grade 2. In selecting the 10 2nd grade pieces, the goal is to include the pieces that will be most accessible and engaging for younger children, while also representing a varied range of composers and genres.

For grades 7 and 8, selections will include the core list of 16 plus an additional four pieces. This provides an opportunity to broaden the scope of possible selections with pieces that are well suited to study by older students, but may not have been considered in the past because of length or other factors that made them too difficult for younger students.

For 6th grade students, districts will have the option of using the traditional grade 5/6 format, or including 6th grade in the grade 7/8 pilot format.

Test Format

Grades 3-6 will continue to use the same test format that has been used previously for those grades. Grades 3 and 4 have a matching portion followed by listening identification. Grades 5 and 6 are based entirely on listening identification, with contestants writing the composer and title for each selection as they hear them. Both test formats include a four-selection tiebreaker section.

Grade 2 will use a simplified version of the grade 3/4 format. Contestants will use a word bank to match composer names with selection titles. Then they will have a listening identification section. Listening selections will focus on major themes from each piece. There is no tiebreaker section.

Grades 7 and 8 (grade 6 may also use this format) will use an answer sheet format similar to the traditional grade 5/6 format. Contestants will hear a 20-25 second excerpt from each of the 20 selections on this year’s expanded list, and then write the name of the composer and title. There are no separate tiebreaker listening selections. The 7/8 tests will also include a 20-question multiple-choice section. Districts can choose whether to include the multiple-choice section as part of an overall score for each contestant, or to use it as a tiebreaker only.

Sample Music Memory Grade 2 Pilot Test

Study Materials

Download the Music Memory study guide for grades 7/8 here.. Questions for the multiple choice portion of the test will be drawn from information on this document.

The UIL-produced Music Memory Passport includes materials designed for the pilot program, including listening maps for the additional grade 7/8 selections, activities geared toward 2nd grade students, and more. Passport is designed to be used in conjunction with digital recordings available through sources such as iTunes or Spotify (link lists coming soon).

Materials from independent vendors may also include components for the pilot program – please refer to their product information for details, or contact the vendor if you have questions.

How to Participate

Each UIL A+ district has the opportunity to participate in the pilot, including those with fall/winter meets (Dec. 1 – Jan. 31) and those with spring meets (Feb. 1 or later). Meet directors will indicate on the District Meet Information and Materials Order Form whether their district has chosen to participate.

All participating districts will receive contest audio files to use in conducting the contest as well as tests and answer documents to be duplicated as needed.

We want your feedback! We hope that many districts will choose to participate in the pilot – feedback from those districts will be crucial to making improvements to the pilot and to future development of A+ Music Memory.