At some point in a musician's career you'll be faced with the decision of whether to enter a competition or participate in a music festival. Having your voice, composition, or instrumentation judged by a panel of industry experts is not for the weak of heart, but neither is the music business. The cash, prizes, and prestige are sometimes enough of a temptation to enter, but it's important to keep in mind your ultimate musical goal. Is it a career in music? If so, it is crucial to consider how the potential exposure of the competition, or the opportunity to study with a particular teacher could be of value in obtaining your goals.
To identify opportunities that most suite your musical strengths and aspirations, it is important to speak with your primary studio teacher. They can guide you towards opportunities that match your experience and goals to enhance your career in music. Then you must research the competition/festival thoroughly to determine if it's a good fit, who will be teaching or adjudicating the program, and how you enter. The biggest concern students have with regards to these activities is paying for them (most summer festivals are "pay to play," although some compensate musicians). As you research summer festivals, consider the cost versus the benefit and how you can prepare financially for the costs associated with application fees, tuition, audition materials, travel, and other unknown fees.
Review the resources to the right to learn more about the opportunities available domestically and worldwide. Also, visit the Conservatory Professional Development office in Robertson 130.