• This event has now passed. The next disability festival is scheduled for May of 2024. Please visit our competitions page for more information.


Welcome to the Music Festival for Musicians with Disabilities, an inclusive competition designed to showcase the musical talents of candidates with disabilities from around the world. This competition is open to all ages, nationalities, and instruments, with no restrictions on genre or style. We believe that everyone deserves an equal opportunity to showcase their skills and talents, and this competition is our way of ensuring that candidates with disabilities have a platform to do so. We are proud to offer cash prizes, and there are no entry fees for any participant. Join us in celebrating the diversity and richness of the musical community and help us empower candidates with disabilities to reach their full potential.


November 15th, 2023 – Musicians with Disabilities Online

  • The Musicians with Disabilities Festival Online is an online competition in Video Submission format.
  • Registration deadline for this round is November 15th, 2023. Video submission and payment of the application and registration fees must be completed by this date.

November 19th, 2023 – Musicians with Disabilities Live

  • The Musicians with Disabilities Festival Live is a live in-person competition.
  • Registration deadline for this round is October 31st, 2023. Payment of the application and registration fees must be completed by this date.

December 2nd-3rd, 2023 – Awards Ceremony + Winners’ Concert

  • A live event where contestants will receive medals, trophies and prizes based on their winnings. Additionally, top performers from the competition will be invited to perform live on-stage.

January 20th-21st, 2024 – Grand Prix + Winners’ Concert

  • A highly competitive special round where only the crème de la crème will make it to 1st place. Top performers will be invited to perform an encore performance at our “Grande Finale” winners’ concert.

Rules and Regulations


There are a total of 17 groups. Groups 1-13 are based upon the contestant’s birth year:

Year Born2017 or later201620152014201320122011201020092008200720062005

Groups 14-17 have no age limit and are as follows:

  • Group 14 • Amateur • Non-Music degree holder who works in a non-music related field.
  • Group 15 • Collegiate • Holds a bachelor’s degree or is studying towards one.
  • Group 16 • Master • Holds a master’s degree or is studying towards one.
  • Group 17 • Professional • Holds a DMA degree, is studying towards one.

Difficulty Levels

  • There are 4 levels of difficulty: Novice (Beginner), Standard (Intermediate), Expert (Early Advanced – Advanced), and Virtuoso (Highly Competitive).
  • Collegiate, Master and Professional group may only compete at the Expert or Virtuoso levels.

Novice provides a unique platform for beginner students to experience competition in an easy and friendly environment, helping them prepare for higher levels. Students can participate in Novice multiple times until they feel confident and ready to advance to Standard, which serves as the first step in competitions.

Standard level builds upon the foundation laid in Novice, providing a comfortable transition for students to further explore their musical abilities. While it offers a higher level of challenge, it maintains a supportive and encouraging environment, ensuring that students feel at ease as they take the next step in their musical journey. Standard level strikes a balance between nurturing growth and introducing new elements, allowing participants to continue honing their skills with confidence and enthusiasm.

Expert level serves as an exciting progression from Standard, offering participants the chance to further refine their skills and showcase their growing talent. While it presents a higher level of challenge, Expert level maintains a supportive and encouraging environment, empowering students to push their boundaries and explore new musical horizons. This level is designed for dedicated and passionate individuals who are ready to take their musical abilities to the next level. It provides a platform for participants to demonstrate their exceptional talent and prepares them for more advanced opportunities in the future.

The Virtuoso level is designed for highly competitive participants who are prepared to showcase their exceptional skills. This level requires participants to perform two pieces, demonstrating their mastery and artistry in a challenging competition setting.

For Virtuoso level participants, in addition to the cash prize, there is an exclusive opportunity to perform at renowned concert halls around the world. This level is specifically designed for highly accomplished musicians who are ready to showcase their exceptional talent on a global stage. By performing at prestigious venues like Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and Sydney Opera House, participants gain recognition and exposure in the music industry, further enhancing their musical journey and career prospects.


  • Open Choice
  • One piece is required for Novice, Standard and Expert Levels
  • Two pieces are required for Virtuoso Level


  • You may choose from either Classical Music or Popular Music.


  • Online (video submission) or Live In-Person at Azusa Pacific University


  • Selected winners will receive Kawai Digital Pianos (valued at $2500-$3500), sponsored by Kawai America.
  • All winners will receive medals and certificates.
  • One grand prize winner will receive the $300 “Frances June Harding Scholarship” from the Musical Arts Club of Long Beach.
  • Special Award: Invitation to perform at Bay Towers at Bixby Knolls. Hosted by The Musical Arts Club of Long Beach. Total:$400 Cash Award
  • Montecito Festival Scholarship Awards (applied towards the tuition of 2024)
    1st Prize Winners from Expert and Virtuoso: $500
    1st Prize Winners from Standard and Novice: $300
    10 Encouraging Awards of Judges Selections(All Categories): $150
  • 1st-5th place winners in the Novice, Standard and Expert levels will be awarded medals and certificates.
  • 1st-4th place winners in the Virtuoso level will be awarded trophies and certificates.
  • Selected 1st place winners will be invited to perform at the Winners’ Concert and Awards Ceremony on December 2nd, 2023 at Munson Hall, Azusa Pacific University.
  • Selected winners will be invited to perform in Carnegie Hall on January 7th, 2024
  • Cash Prize awards will be given to Virtuoso Level winners: 1st: $300 • 2nd: $150 • 3rd: $75
  • Selected Grand Prize winners will have a chance to perform at Soka Performing Arts Center in 2024 as well as a chance to perform at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
  • Selected Grand Prize Winners of the Concerto Division will have the opportunity to perform with the IAPMT Philharmonic Orchestra at the Soka Performing Arts Center in 2024, and a coaching session with the conductor of the Orchestra.
  • The selected grand prize winners will be recognized as “IAPMT Young Kawai Artist”
  • Selected Teachers of the Grand Prize winners will be honored as “Kawai Medallion Teacher”
  • Please note that a shipping charge for the delivery of medals may apply for certain regions and countries.