Discovering Instruments!

Welcome to Discovering Instruments!

The Princeton Festival is pleased to announce Discovering Instruments!, an exciting new educational program and partnership with the music teachers of New Jersey. The goal of this program is to provide children with dynamic, virtual introduction to an array of instruments, while also providing financial support for music programs at schools across New Jersey.

If you are a music educator in a New Jersey school and interested in submitting a short instructional video, please read on for more information! This page includes application details, project guidelines, and information about the scope of this exciting new program.

If you are ready to submit your application, please use the link below. The deadline for applications is February 28, 2021 at 11:59 pm.





The Princeton Festival seeks enthusiastic educators throughout New Jersey to submit a short video that introduces an instrument of their choice. The five winning submissions will each receive a donation of $500 to their school music programs. These educators will then be invited to re-record their video presentations on the weekend of March 20 in a socially distanced professional recording session run by The Princeton Festival in accordance with local health and safety guidelines. The festival will place these five newly recorded videos on its virtual classroom page, where children and adults alike can enjoy a variety of educational content.


  1. The educator must currently hold a full or part-time teaching position in an elementary, middle, or high school in New Jersey.
  2. The instrument must be portable (percussion instruments are welcome).
  3. The winners must be available to film their final videos on March 20 and 21 at a socially distanced, Princeton-area location.

Video Requirements

  1. The video must be 3 to 5 minutes in total length (slightly shorter or longer submissions are fine).
  2. Each video must begin with a greeting, the educator’s name, where they are from, and the public, private, parochial, or charter school in which they teach. Additional details related to the educator’s background may be provided if they are relevant to the video. This portion of the video should not exceed approximately 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. The remainder of the video should be divided into two segments of roughly equal length. In the first, the educator should briefly describe their instrument in a manner appropriate for children. The second part should consist of a short piece or excerpt performed by the educator on their instrument.
  4. The video quality should be at least 720p, preferably 1080p or higher.
  5. The video should be filmed in landscape/horizontal format.
  6. The educator’s face and hands must be clearly visible throughout the recording.
  7. Please do not include anyone in your video apart from yourself.
  8. Please do not include titles, fade-outs, or video transitions.

Application Instructions

  1. Each educator must upload their high-definition (HD) video to YouTube or Vimeo (additional instructions below) and provide the URL link with their application.
  2. Each artist must also upload their video file to our secure Dropbox link that is provided in the application
  3. Your video file must be labeled accordingly: Last Name, First Name. City, School, Instrument
  4. Once a video is submitted, no substitutions will be allowed.

If you are unable to access Vimeo, YouTube, or Dropbox, please contact us at

Dates and Deadlines

  1. Applications and video submissions are due no later than February 28, 2021 at 11:59 pm.
  2. The educators with the winning videos will be notified via email no later than March 9.
  3. The festival’s classroom page featuring the winning videos will debut in mid-April.
  4. The monetary prize for each winning video will be mailed no later than July 15 to the principal of the educator’s school of record as of February 28.

How to Upload Your Video

Please upload your video using the following instructions. You may use either YouTube or Vimeo, but note that you must have a paid Vimeo account in order to make your video private there.


  1. Log into YouTube or create a free account.
  2. Click the camera+ icon in the top-right corner to upload a new video.
  3. Title your video using the following format: “Last Name, First Name. City, School, Instrument”
  4. You may leave the description blank or put “For The Princeton Festival’s Discovering Instruments program”
  5. Under the section “Is this video made for kids?” select “No, it’s not made for kids.”
    1. You might be thinking—but this video is made for kids! However, this version of the upload is merely for our review. The final videos will be uploaded and presented by The Princeton Festival according to YouTube’s kid-friendly parameters.
  6. Click “Next” to go to Video Elements and then click “Next” again to go to Visibility.
  7. Click “Unlisted” under the Visibility section and copy the link for your video to include in your application.
  8. Click “Save”. Your video may take a while to process if it is a large, high-definition file.


  1. Log into Vimeo and click the box marked “+New video” in the upper right corner. (If you do not have an account, create one. “Basic” accounts are free.) Choose “upload” from the drop-down menu.
  2. If you have a paid Vimeo account, then click on the white “Privacy” button under the blue upload button. Choose “Only people with the private link” from the menu.
  3. Upload your labeled video file using the following format: “Last Name, First Name. City, School, Instrument”
  4. Click the blue “save” button at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Click on the gray box marked “Share” in the upper right corner. Choose “Copy video link” from the drop-down menu.
  6. Paste the link (URL) as directed into the competition application.

The Princeton Festival uses your YouTube/Vimeo upload to validate your form submission and match your Dropbox upload to your application details.


The winning educators who wish to publicize their success should credit The Princeton Festival Discovering Instruments! program.

By applying to the competition, you agree to give The Princeton Festival the right to use or distribute your video without remuneration, including publication on local media, social media, digital streaming online, and for marketing purposes.

By applying to the competition, artists agree to abide by the rules and regulations of The Princeton Festival Discovering Instruments! program. Educators will be disqualified if non-compliance with any part of the rules and regulations occurs or is discovered.


For questions, please write to

Thank you for your interest!