Re: Region band scoring
Posted by Jack Shaftoe on 10/12/2018, 9:53 am, in reply to "Re: Region band scoring"
Exactly what I would say. |
I would add that I try to keep in mind how many make the group/cut to advance. If I wouldn't put that kid in a band to save my life, I don't mind scoring them at 5 or less - the ranking at the bottom rarely really matters. If a kid sounds like all state material, I put them in the 80s or 90s. At least in my region and area, this works out pretty well.
The toughest thing is sorting out the middle. Kid has great tone and articulation, but couldn't find a key signature or a steady beat with both hands and a flashlight Vs. the one who is technically almost perfect, but plays with no dynamics and sounds like a sound effect from a horror movie.
Write down your order before you leave the room and compare it with the final order. If you ever match exactly, buy a lottery ticket that night before your luck runs out. As time goes by, you'll get to the point you're within a place or two for the majority of the kids.
Everyone has their own priorities and how they are weighted in how we evaluate. Once you get past right notes and rhythms, mine are tone, pulse, musicality, and control (not necessarily in that order). Those are the things I make notes about. In listening, by the time a kid is about halfway through I have an idea what tenth they are in - 20's, 40's, 70's, whatever. During the rest of the etude I settle low, mid, high, then finally the number.
For scoring, I always remember every year at Area hearing Bryce Taylor say, "They first kid you hear should be a 25 (the scale was 50 points then). If it was the worst thing you ever heard, they get a 24. If it was the best, a 26." Start in the middle and don't be afraid to adjust (which is why you need to keep good notes). Leave plenty of room between numbers (and hope you aren't trying to fit 85 clarinets into a 100 point scale...). There will be a rare occasion when one of the best or worst kids in the room is first, which can mess you up and compress everything on one end, but if that happens don't try to redo everything. Get them close on the first etude, then spread them out on the next two. Remember that this is only a ranking system - it is NOT a rating system. "I hate to give them only a 40 because that was pretty good," will mess you up. If they get a 40 and that is the highest number, they are first chair, which is the only thing that counts.
Be sure to keep a running tally. I slash the middle box and write the total of the first two so I can see where I need to refine when scoring the final etude. I hate sitting on a panel where someone doesn't do this, and then ends up at the end trying to break 15 personal ties.
Last, while we would hope that every kid is ranked accurately in every etude, the most important thing is the final result. On the first etude I get them in neighborhoods. Second etude start sorting out the order in the those neighborhoods, and third etude refine final rank. Sometimes hard since each piece is different, and you get that kid that is just okay on the first etude, the most musical thing ever on the slow etude, and practiced the wrong etude for the third one.
Also keep in mind that you are only one of five judges, so even if your ranking is perfect, it will probably not be the same as the other four. Pay close attention to the cut line, and try to get the first three to five chairs right (assuming large sections here) but don't worry so much if you can't decide between three kids who should be 8, 9, and 10. It will settle out in the ranking of all the judges.
Kinda long, but I used to chair a region where we hired a bunch of college kids that hadn't judged, so there was some training involved. These were the things I emphasized with them.
I was just wondering if you had any systems in place when scoring kids during region band. In example: so many points for tone, key, etc. Any advice for young directors is appreciated! Thanks!