- Winners play everything in the score, as written. Very few competitors can really do this well. Champions take it even further.
- Pick a musical piece. Many children perform unmusical selections. Or pieces they have no emotional connection to. It really makes a difference.
- Winners have control of their instrument. Control comes from regular practice. Cramming rarely works. An analogy would be preparing for a running marathon one week in advance of the race. The muscles will never be ready.
- Well prepared children have fun competing. It is a rewarding experience for them. They know they are ready, they present themselves well, and they bask in a job well done.