Adjudication Experience – Great!!

This afternoon, my senior high concert band attended our first ever PMEA adjudication festival. I have wanted to do one for a few years, but have always been apprehensive about doing it. After some great encouragement by my colleagues, I finally decided to send my group this year. I must admit that I was nervous at the beginning of the semester, because I wasn’t quite sure if we’d be able to pull it off. But, as I commented earlier, preparing for this adjudication has really helped me to be a better teacher. We finally started to sight-read on a regular basis, and I was much more focused in my rehearsal time.

The students played great today, and I am so proud of them. They achieved an “Excellent” rating, which is the 2nd highest they could have acheived.  We performed Erickson’s “Air for Band” and Grundman’s “Kentucky 1800.” Anyway, after a wonderful experience here are my observations:

1. First and foremost, I will definitely do this again. I may even go so far as to say that we’ll do it every year. My students got so much out of the experience, and I’m sure that this will prove true when we begin to listen to the judges’ tapes as well.

2. I am impressed with how calm my students appeared to be throughout their performance. Either they felt very confident and were very well prepared and not nervous, or they did a very good job of hiding it. This is very good, because I always feel like we don’t always play as well as we could because of our nerves.

3. That leads me to #3…I don’t think my students could have possibly played better than they did today. I feel that their performance was a very accurate representation today of their true ability. I told the students before they played today to remember that no matter what happened today, that is was only a snapshot of how they played on this particular day. I’m just glad that they performed up to their potential. 🙂

4. The event was VERY well run by Gary Taylor from Wilminton HS. Everything ran smoothly, and the atmosphere at the venue was relaxed, yet formal, and very good for the students. Maybe this is why they were so calm during their performance.

5. My students did a great job on the sight-reading component! They really surprised me, because I thought that is where we would struggle the most. But, we actually read the piece from beginning to end without stopping once, and no train wrecks!

6. If you have not taken your groups to an adjudication experience, you must do it! It was a wonderful experience, and I know my students got A LOT out of it! Don’t keep putting it off like I did! Just go do it!

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5 thoughts on “Adjudication Experience – Great!!

  1. Doug — I am so glad you had such a great experience, and even more glad that your students have such a great teacher! Congrats on the great experience, and congrats to you for learning so much from it! We should talk sometime about our experiences with adjudication. I have some things to share about OMEA versus PMEA (PMEA is so much better!).

  2. Good for you! I can totally relate because I had the very same experience in my first year teaching – Excellent rating, much improvement from the ensemble, sightreading experience, etc.. Congrats.

  3. Hey Doug,

    Congrats on the rating!
    Adjudication is such a valuable motivational tool. It is one thing to play for our parents and communities (which we should do), but it is another thing to play for a group of colleagues and be evaluated.

    The fact that sight-reading is a component is very valuable to our everyday rehearsals. It is a nice change of pace to our rehearsals when we sight read one or two times each week. I have found it keeps other pieces from becoming too beat “in”, and also allows them to transfer learning to a new context.

    Good luck with your concert this spring and throughout the rest of the year!

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