Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A major problem with competition is the assumption that the judges' standards are higher than those of the judged. In too many instances this is simply not the case.

Isn't it better to be taught to value one's own judgment than to accept the ratings of "experts" who, famous though they be and sporting titles and degrees, may have limited understanding?

It was frequently my experience that a panel of judges responding to an audition would split, some giving very high and others very low scores to the same performer.

When a University Dean questioned me on about grading student instrumental performance, I assured her that every music student knows their playing to be flawed. A grade in that case is a meaningless exercise of arbitrary power. Her reply: "Of course!"