Students are more likely to practice music that they love, so piano festival preparation in my studio begins with listening activities during piano lab where student's can hone in on a piece they are excited to learn.
Piano Festival Piece Selection
These leveled playlists of the music in my piano library to allow students to select a piece that they are excited about playing. Although there are a variety of leveling systems, I leveled the pieces based on the concepts covered in the Piano Adventures and Hal Leonard Method Books. I preselect a few contrasting pieces I think a particular student might enjoy to listen to during piano lab while filling out the Listening sheet, but they are also free to browse the songs at home to choose music they would love to learn to play in the future.
Piano Festival Samples Elementary PA Primer/1, HL 1/2
Piano Festival Samples Late Elementary PA 2A/2B, HL 3
Piano Practice Strategy Cards
There are many different piano practice strategies that help students have effective and focused practice sessions at home. Beat the Dealer, The Lap and Back Track are some of my favorites to use with Performance Prep. I've gleaned some amazing tips from master teacher's at UVMTA workshops including Paula Clark's Strategies for Fostering Musicality and Stephen Thomas's BAPDARP approach.
Piano Festival Self-Evaluation Checklist
This Festival Checklist can help students to actively assess their readiness for festival after they have learned the basics of their piece. I ask them to identify areas they are prepared in and areas to improve as they watch a video of their practice performance.
Piano Festival Sample Judging Sheet
I like to do a "mock festival" at private or group lessons a few weeks prior and use this Performance Evaluation Form to provide feedback for students. For some students it can also be a great exercise for them to record themselves and then evaluate their own performances using the evaluation form as a guide.