When I was adjudicating at a music festival last weekend, I was reminded of this fabulous post by Chris Foley of the Collaborative Piano Blog: 16 Ideas for First-Time Music Festival Adjudicators. The only thing I would change is to strike the “First-Time” from the title. This list is a handy checklist for new and veteran adjudicators alike!
Adjudicating is one of my favorite things to do! It’s so fun to meet other students, encourage them in their studies, listen to their playing, and offer feedback on what they did well and suggestions for improvement. Plus, I always come away inspired with new ideas to try with my students and with a reminder of the importance of being well-prepared. When you see a variety of students throughout the day, you see as much variety in the level of preparation. In the particular festival I adjudicated, students played two prepared pieces, demonstrated select scales and intervals and chords according to their level, clapped a rhythm pattern, and sight-read a short musical excerpt. That’s a lot to be prepared for, and I really think that adjudicating such festivals has helped me become a better teacher.
If you’ve never adjudicated before, I encourage you to get involved with a local music teachers association and make yourself available for such opportunities. But be sure you read Chris Foley’s list of 16 ideas before you jump in!