My local music teacher’s association just announced all festivals and competitions will be online for the next year. What a curveball to throw at music teachers! So how do we handle online music festivals and competitions? There are so many students’ recordings, judges who need access, and comment cards to hand back. How can we easily manage online music festivals?!

Today I’m sharing something exciting that can make ALL festivals a lot easier to manage. It’s a new program called Simplissimo. My husband built this amazing system to help music teachers better handle the administration of festivals. Using Simplissimo eliminates the need to collect checks & entry forms through the mail or in person and take them to the bank. Simplissimo also uses drag & drop technology to schedule festivals/competitions and constantly checks that no entries are lost or forgotten in the final schedule. There are so many other perks in this awesome festival management software that have helped me run festivals more efficiently!

When I began serving in my local association, I looked forward to running my first “Real” Festival. After helping organize several University summer camps and festivals, I knew I loved organizing these events. But… when there were over 300 students, demanding time slot requests, and tricky teacher requests… The organization and scheduling was awful! Anyone else relate?? The original idea for Simlissimo came from experiences like these. As I visited with other teachers, I found out some teachers even refused to organize festivals because of the amount of work it required. This is where Simplissimo can save time and energy. By making each festival simple to organize and prepare, volunteering teachers will save so much time. And it’s easier to find volunteers when the work isn’t going to take 40+ hours!

Music associations across the US have been using Simplissimo for over 2 years now and it continues to improve. We’ve heard from many festival organizers and teachers that Simplissimo makes everything smoother and easier. Now with the need for virtual festivals, our first online music competition ran this spring to test out the new virtual music festival option. Simplissimo has separate dashboards for teachers to upload files and for judges to view & submit comments. This way you’re not trying to share hundreds of files through email or overloading your Dropbox file. It has worked so well to help associations dealing with this new change to online music festivals and competitions. You can find more details here if you’re curious about the other helpful features Simplissimo offers.

This year has brought so many changes to our life as music teachers. Some things I really miss about in person lessons but in other ways, I’ve loved the results I’ve seen in students because of the changes. I really believe we’ll find the same results in our online music competitions and festivals this year. Some pros and cons will come out of our experiences. In the end, I hope there are events and meetings we learn can be run more efficiently online. Maybe theory tests, composition festivals, or qualification rounds are great to run virtually. In other circumstances, I’m sure we’ll all be excited to have safe in person options again.

In past blog posts, I’ve shared resources I’ve been using and learning about during this online lesson period. As I prepare for the new semester, I’m looking back at what worked this past semester versus what needs to be changed. One thing I know for sure – Simplissimo will be running my studio assessment this year and I’m excited to share how this software can be used in my own studio! More on that in a few months. For now I hope you’ll take a moment to check out this wonderful program and see if it can help your online music competitions and festivals this year. Good luck to all of us this fall!

Watch for next week’s post – I have an interview to share with a music teacher who used Simplissimo on the blog next week! I know you’ll love hearing her comments. Until then, enjoy your summer and good luck planning this next year!

Author: Whitney

Whitney Hawker, NCTM, teaches group and private piano at Weber State University, Utah. She loves surprising students with the perfect piece or a new exciting game! After graduate school, she missed sharing ideas and resources daily with colleagues so she and her friend, Spring, began blogging together at