Our students work very hard all year long. They study musical exercises on their instruments. They work their technique and musicianship through weekly assignments of scales, chords, sight reading and repertoire.
As teachers, we make a plan for them and help them set goals to succeed. Musical progress translates to success in so many other areas of life. We build in expectations and accountability.
Besides just expecting advancing musicians to practice and show up prepared for lessons every week, we expect that they will share that music with others. That they actually PLAY music. Stretch their abilities, build confidence in themselves and have a great time. The sharing of music is important. Probably the most important.
College level students are required to take assessments every semester called a “Jury”. Sounds intimidating and it can be. No one has went to jail yet as far as I know! Students are “judged” or rather assessed on their specific abilities as they apply to their level of play and their experience.
High School students get this opportunity through their school districts and even at the state level during the contest season. Contests are usually held just once per year and generally in the spring time.
Musicians are evaluated on different criteria of their performances. Examples might include…
Performing music in different styles (one Baroque, one jazz)
Tone (quality of sound)
Expression (use of dynamics or qualities of musical expression)
These are concepts that instructors, judges and audiences use in “grading” or fully appreciating musical performances.
It should be noted that we’ll have our own tastes or levels of sensitivity in regards to these concepts. Each listener has their own unique predisposition to what they like, what they don’t like, what they are familiar or unfamiliar with.
It’s great to get the impressions of others about our playing. Especially those that come from knowledgeable and encouraging sources.
Assessments and Contests are not really about competition. They are an important way we can get some feedback (students and teachers) about what is working and what might areas of weakness.
We are all trying to grow, to play better and hopefully become all that we can be. Evaluatives help us to celebrate our potential, show us places to keep working, reward us, correct us and encourage us as a musical community.
The next available Evaluations in our area will be…
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Missouri Western State University
Talk to your teacher or instructor now about your student participating.
It’s a great thing to work towards and we all get extremely valuable feedback to take us to the next level.