As I am making preparations to adjudicate tomorrow at one of our Indiana districts for our state competition, Hoosier Auditions, I thought I would briefly share how I prepare.
If possible, I like to request ahead of time, a list of the repertoire entered. I find it nice to have a little heads-up so I can jump online and refresh my memory on the pieces. As I’m watching and listening, I try to think through my own thoughts about the piece and elements I may look for when the student performs. To me, this is simply being mindful of what’s to come.
I skim through some of my favorite articles I’ve found over the last few years as a reminder of what it means to be a good judge.
Marcia Vahl wrote three excellent articles on Compose Create:
- 4 Ways Being a Piano Judge Can Make You a Better Teacher
- 7 Qualities of a Great Piano Judge
- 10 of the Best Judging Comments
Also check out:
- 16 Ideas for First-Timm Music Festival Adjudicators by Chris Foley on Music Teacher’s Helper’s Blog
- John Griffiths has a pdf available online: Music Adjudication: An Art in Itself
- Essential Tips on Being an Effective Piano Judge or Adjudicator
I take my own pack of half a dozen pencils (this year it’s the Blackwing pencils recommended by Diane Hidy) and a small quiet hand pencil sharpener. I struggle with messy handwriting so I really have to work to write neatly and for me, that means erasing quite a bit and always having a sharp pencil to grab!
I print out a copy of adjective sheets to have in front of me in case I get stuck for words. Honestly, I usually have to write so quickly I don’t even have time to look at the sheets but it’s reassuring to have them on hand. It’s nice to simply look over them prior to starting to get the “comment juices” flowing.
The first is Ways to Say Good Job (once again, by Marcia Vahl – I guess she really knows what she’s doing!) and the second one is a Teaching Adjectives document I found years ago but I can’t recall where I obtained it. Dine Hidy also has a nice thesaurus.
Referencing from year to year
For more on how I use Evernote, see my post: