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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000920.txt from 2004/10

From: Adam Michlin <amichlin@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl] adjudication at festivals
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2004 08:08:52 -0400

Nicholas,

It is a terrible reality that most band directors are judged in the eyes of
the administration and public by their ratings in festivals. This is even
worse in the realm of marching band competitions. I could write a long rant
on why music is must definitely not a competitive sport and how this
misconception has wreaked havoc in the music education of so many young
students in the US. Perhaps another day.

In no way do I mean to defend this system, but only you can make your
situation better. Explain to your administration what you do. Explain to
your parents what you do. Explain to your constituency that the education
of your last chair third clarinet player is more important to you than
ratings at the festival. Explain how many bands can have good 1st players
carry them to a high festival ratings despite a good portion of the band
not even being able to individually play their part. Explain the difference
between a good band where some students can play their parts well and a
great band where everyone can play their parts well.

Most of all, teach them. If you have truly taught them they should be
listening to the tapes and hearing exactly what the judges are hearing (if
you are disputing what the judges are hearing, then they should recognize
what the judges *aren't* hearing). In either case, the tape may be
demoralizing (what musician hasn't gone into a deep depression the first
time they heard themselves on tape?) but the comments should be reinforcing
what the students already know (in either case).

Yeah, the system sucks. Sorry. I haven't even gone into how little the
judges are often paid (ever notice how far some of them come from?). You
just have to decide whether you can make something out of it or not. Like
much of life, it just isn't going to come to you on a silver platter.

-Adam

At 09:57 PM 10/29/2004 -0700, you wrote:
>Which leads back to my point, that it seems to be a waste of time to
>attend these festivals. They tell you how good your group, then all the
>negatives and then your rating, which is all the school district cares
>about. Good for the band director, bad for the school group.

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