1. Teacher Membership

You must be a current member of SAM and SAA to participate in SAM Graduation.

For more information, email Vanamali Medina at

2. Teacher Registration and Volunteer Information

Volunteering for graduation is the most important contribution to the event’s success. Participating piano teachers will be sent a link to select their volunteer duties.

3. Student Registration

Teachers are responsible for registering each of their students through a portal that will be made available in the fall preceding the Graduation (e.g. October 2021 for 2022 graduation)

Teachers pay for each student by credit card at the time of registration.

The student information needed for registration is:

  • YouTube link to each graduation piece and full perfomance piece information.
  • Name
  • Instrument
  • Age
  • Parent Name
  • Parent Email
  • County of Residence
  • Whether they are a graduating senior this year. 

For 2022: Teachers are responsible for obtaining parental consent for SAM Covid guidelines prior to registering the student(s).

4. Fees

  • Registration for one instrument, one level is $40.
  • Registration for same instrument, additional levels is $20.
  • Application Fee for Upper Level Solo Opportunity at Benson Hall is $10.


January 15th

  • Online teacher registration, volunteer and payment information
  • Online Student Registration (completed by teachers)

January 15–17th

  • Teachers may edit registration by emailing with the student name and invoice number. After midnight on Jan 17th, edits are at the discretion of the coordinators and may not appear the printed program.



Students will make a video of the graduation piece for each of the levels from which they are graduating. The video will be uploaded to YouTube and the link submitted with the student’s online registration. Students graduating from Book 1 must perform a piece within the Suzuki books for the graduation recital, either their graduation piece or a different piece at the teacher’s discretion. For students graduating from Books 2 to 7, the teacher may choose a piece outside of the Suzuki repertoire from the suggested composers list below. This piece should be representative of the skill level of the graduating book.

Only the graduation piece needs to be recorded unless the student is a graduate from book 6 or 7 and would like to be considered as a soloist at Benson Great Hall. (See Guideline 3 below.)

You can view recording directions here.


Pianists will perform only one piece (or one sonata or sonatina movement) at the graduation recitals with some exceptions for Books 6 and 7 graduates. Due to recital time constraints, it is recommended to abstain from repeating the exposition in the sonata form movements.

Students graduating from Books 6 and 7 may play 2 or more pieces that belong to a group, e.g. Bartok Roumanian Dances, or pieces that are traditionally played together, e.g. preludes and fugues.


Students graduating from Books 6 or 7 have the opportunity to audition to perform a solo at the Benson Great Hall. Students who are interested should upload an additional video to YouTube if they want to play a different piece and submit the link with the student’s online registration. Several students will be selected by the Upper Level Soloist Graduation Committee to perform at Benson Great Hall based on preparation, technique, artistry, and variety of repertoire on the graduation recital. There is a $10 fee for this application.


The teacher helps the student prepare for SAM’s Statewide Graduation Recitals by making sure the student’s recital piece exhibits all of the following in order to bring the music to a high musical level:

  • Appropriate tempo
  • Clean articulation
  • Beautiful tone
  • Dynamic contrast
  • Sense of style and musicality appropriate to the piece
  • Ease of performance
  • Good balance between left and right hands


The student has had experience playing the selected recital piece on at least one previous occasion before an audience.


Non-graduating students whose teachers are members of the Twin Cities Suzuki Piano Teacher’s Guild may perform on the graduating recitals for a fee of $20. This is in keeping with the SPTG Festival tradition, which takes place in conjunction with the SAM graduation celebration. Use the graduation registration to register non-graduates for the festival. See the SPTG website for more details. For questions contact the piano graduation chair Sara Stephens Kotrba at


The core of Graduation is celebrating student progress and achievement. After all graduation videos are received, each teacher will receive a list of videos from area students not in their studio to provide comments for. These sheets will be returned to students at Graduation. You may choose to print the form and write handwritten comments if you prefer.

Fillable Comment Form: Adobe Instructions Mac Instructions PC Instructions
Listening Guidelines and Suggestions


In order to graduate from: You must have studied the following: The graduation piece for this level is:
Book 1 F. Schumann, Happy Farmer S. Suzuki, Allegro
Book 2 M. Clementi, Sonatina Op . 36, No . 1, 3rd mvt . J.S. Bach, Minuet 2 (Include both repeats)
Book 3 F. Burgmuller, Arabesque M. Clementi, Sonatina Op. 36, #3, Spiritoso (Include repeat of the Exposition)
Book 4 J. S. Bach, Invention No . 1 in C Major J. S. Bach, Gigue from Partita in B-flat major (Include all repeats)
Book 5 Teacher’s Discretion L. Daquin, Le Coucou
Book 6 Teacher’s Discretion W. A. Mozart, Sonata K . 330, mvt . 1 (Include repeat of the Exposition)
Book 7 Teacher’s Discretion

F . Chopin, Nocturne in C-sharp Minor, Op . Post .


Bartok Roumanian Folk Dances Nos . 5 and 6, and two more of your choice .