Student Theory Activity

Forms and documents: 

2018 STA Event dates/locations: 
Western Slope Rising Stars Festival: April 7, 2018
at Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction
and Fort Lewis College, Durango
Front Range Rising Stars Festival: April 14, 2018
at University of Denver, Lamont School of Music, Denver
Registration/Test order deadline: Postmarked by February 15, 2018
Mail to Chair at: 6670 Sky Hawk Court, Colorado Springs, CO  80919
Chair: Linda Densmore 

The purpose of the CSMTA Student Theory Activity, or STA, is to stimulate and recognize theory competency among all Colorado music students. Group testing is conveniently offered at Rising Stars Festival locations in early Spring. The Student Theory Assessment at Rising Stars this past April marked the beginning of CSMTA’s successful use of the Keynote Independent Theory Service, or KITS theory study and testing program.  We hope you will join us this year for an even better turnout.

KITS offers new comprehensive tests each year that include Reading, Vocabulary, Listening, and Skills Performance.  Complete information about KITS is found at  From this website teachers download an order form and mail to KITS for manuals and student study materials following these guidelines:

  1. Teachers determine student level with the KITS publication "Step by Step"  Music Theory Curriculum*.  Seven levels, or "Steps", from Primary through Step 6 are described with reading, vocabulary, and skill performance requirements.  A brief sampling of test questions at each of the 7 Steps is given.
  2. Students study and prepare for their individual "Step" with the KITS Music Theory Workbook publications.  Each "Step" level workbook is ordered separately.
  3. The KITS Teacher Manual* is a complete guide to all sample tests with answer keys for Steps Primer-6.

 *The Music Curriculum and Teacher Manual is re-usable.

Tests are based on musical knowledge, not age.  The tests are instrument generic and may be used for all instruments and voice.   All tests use Treble Clef and Bass Clef.  Skills Performance at each "Step" are adaptable for strings, wind instrument, or vocal performance.  Through KITS testing, students can earn a "5 Year Medal", or an engraved "7-Step trophy" (if the primary is taken by age 12).  Students who score a 90% or better will be listed in the KITS "National Music Theory Honor Roll".

Students may test at CSMTA Rising Stars preliminary rounds as noted below, or at a pre-approved local association event.  To include a student for testing, download, complete, and mail the application provided.  CSMTA will order all tests to be administered at the Rising Stars Festival events.  The test fee is paid via the application process.  Teachers are required to help with grading at the STA location where their student is testing.  

Read the complete guidelines printed in the Student Activity Handbook.