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#1985182 - 11/10/12 11:51 PM Grrr.  
Joined: Apr 2010
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Brinestone Offline
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Brinestone  Offline
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I judged for NFMC's local ensemble festival today. Some teachers either do not read the rule book and don't know the rules or else think the rules don't apply to them.

Partnerships must be made up of two students within one level of each other. No student can be in more than one partnership, even if he or she is not judged in one of the partnerships. It is against the rules for teachers to partner with their students.

One teacher in particular breaks all these rules except the one about playing with students. Let's say she has one student who is a strong pianist and two who are not as strong. She'll partner each of the less-strong students with the stronger one (so the stronger one is in two different partnerships) instead of doing a trio or maybe having the two weaker ones partner with each other. It's obvious that they're not within a level of each other, and she doesn't even try to hide the fact that the strong student is playing more than once. She even has them all do the same songs so the strong student doesn't have to learn more than one!

Another teacher today sat down and played with her beginning student. Gee, that would have made my life SO much easier. I wouldn't have had to actually teach my two beginners how to count! I could have just kept both of them on tempo by playing the secondo part.

It's hard to play duets/trios/duos/whatever. You have to be impeccable with counting and virtually error-free, or else you get off from your partner(s). You have to learn to listen to someone besides yourself. And if your partner messes up, you have to know how to pull it back together. Cheating undermines all of these.

What makes me mad is that, as a judge, I don't want to deny the students the good scores they deserve for their hard work just because their teacher broke the rules. I'm sure the president of our local chapter knows what's going on because at every meeting she reminds the teachers again of the rules and says that sometimes they get broken, so this year we really need to be sure to follow them.


Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC
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#1985184 - 11/11/12 12:28 AM Re: Grrr. [Re: Brinestone]  
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Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Brinestone
I judged for NFMC's local ensemble festival today. Some teachers either do not read the rule book and don't know the rules or else think the rules don't apply to them.

JOIN

THE

CLUB

!!! smokin

In my experience, the older the teachers, the less likely they'll read the rules or follow them. I've chaired lots of festivals and competitions, and every year, without fail, we will have teachers who violate rules. When I confront them about the problems, they'll just say things like "Oh, they changed the rules again?" or "Would you please just make this one exception?"

Your best bet as the judge is to punish the students. The rules are in place to prevent the cheating you described, so if you don't enforce the rules, then everybody loses.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#1985282 - 11/11/12 10:08 AM Re: Grrr. [Re: Brinestone]  
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Brinestone,
I suggest writing something to encourage the student and acknowledge the student's accomplishment, but make it clear that the entrant was disqualified due to teacher error. The student may play for comments but not for a score.

Give "No Rating" due do disqualification. I think this would ensure that participating teachers follow the rules.

OTOH, maybe the teachers will look for another judge who will let them do as they please. And voila! You won't have to deal with it anymore.


Last edited by Ann in Kentucky; 11/11/12 10:34 AM.
#1985300 - 11/11/12 11:13 AM Re: Grrr. [Re: Brinestone]  
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Brinestone,


The more I think of it, this issue should be resolved by the club, not the individual judge. Why should you take all the heat?

You could ask the club to decide how they want the judge to handle these issues. Do they want kids to play for comments only if there is a rule broken? Do they want to give kids the full points as usual? Do they want a 25% score reduction for each broken rule? Do they want to issue warnings to teachers, and after 3 warnings disqualify the teacher from entering students for a year?

My guess is that no one wants to deal with it. The club doesn't want to bother to enforce the rules. And they'll limp along as usual asking for teacher cooperation and not getting it. If it doesn't matter all that much to the club, then maybe it's not worth dealing with. Or write "Error 7" (naming which rule was broken) on top of page at least having a record of what error the teacher made. Again, letting the club deal with it instead of taking it on yourself.

This ignoring of rules is a common occurrence. Our club sets a dues payment deadline for getting listed in our teacher directory. The deadline gets missed by about 70% of the members, and the deadline gets extended again and again...and every member late in paying dues still gets into the directory.

#1985432 - 11/11/12 05:54 PM Re: Grrr. [Re: Overexposed]  
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Ann, I was thinking the exact same thing. I think I will call up the head of our chapter and ask her what she suggests doing if a teacher breaks the rules.


Piano teacher since 2008, member of NFMC
#1985453 - 11/11/12 06:42 PM Re: Grrr. [Re: Brinestone]  
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Piano*Dad Offline
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Williamsburg, VA
Quote
The more I think of it, this issue should be resolved by the club, not the individual judge. Why should you take all the heat?


Perhaps because that's what it means to be a judge????

I know that sounds harsh. And I know that every individual has the incentive to pass the judgment up the line to "the club." The net result is that no one has a real incentive to take responsibility for the rules. The pain of the hatred directed toward that individual from their offended peers outweighs the benefits that would accrue to the entire group if the brave judge had acted according to the rules. This, I suspect, is why people like AZN express so much frustration.

#1985470 - 11/11/12 07:34 PM Re: Grrr. [Re: Overexposed]  
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ME
Originally Posted by Ann in Kentucky

I suggest writing something to encourage the student and acknowledge the student's accomplishment, but make it clear that the entrant was disqualified due to teacher error. The student may play for comments but not for a score.

Give "No Rating" due do disqualification. I think this would ensure that participating teachers follow the rules.

OTOH, maybe the teachers will look for another judge who will let them do as they please. And voila! You won't have to deal with it anymore.


Agree with Ann. I have evaluated many times and there are bound to have allegedly claims of misreading of rules, etc, etc. etc, or just blatant violations. We have no choice but to disqualify the students. It is really unfair for the others who are playing by the rules. The hope is that the disqualified students and their parents would be angry and reprimand their teachers, or change teachers. In any competition, rules are made to ensure fairness; not for the benefit of some who have the audacity to bend or evade them.


JN
#1985477 - 11/11/12 08:02 PM Re: Grrr. [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Quote
The more I think of it, this issue should be resolved by the club, not the individual judge. Why should you take all the heat?


Perhaps because that's what it means to be a judge????

I know that sounds harsh. And I know that every individual has the incentive to pass the judgment up the line to "the club." The net result is that no one has a real incentive to take responsibility for the rules. The pain of the hatred directed toward that individual from their offended peers outweighs the benefits that would accrue to the entire group if the brave judge had acted according to the rules. This, I suspect, is why people like AZN express so much frustration.


Point taken. I say get clarity from the club president and from here forward disqualify those who break the rules.

However, "A fish rots from the head down." Leadership or reform needs to start at the top.

It is reasonable to ask a club with a history of ignoring the rules whether they want the judge to actually enforce the rules. Have the club define what constitutes disqualification. This is a matter of seeking clarity about how to deal with infractions.

I personally wouldn't get too worked up over bringing reform to group that doesn't want it. Maybe all the club wants is someone who can write meaningful comments. Maybe they think that enforcing the rules would alienate the few teachers who even bother to participate. If you are directed to overlook the rules, then you can choose not to judge for them.

Anyway, what group would go on record as saying ignore the rules? They are likely to say to disqualify those who do not meet requirements. And when a teacher accuses you of being unfair, you can let her know you are operating according to the rules and president's directive. You're enforcing the rules, but standing stronger with the president's directive.

A conversation with the president would not be wasted effort. It could result in the president announcing that those who do not comply with the rules will be DISQUALIFIED, instead of the president ASKING for compliance year after year.





Last edited by Ann in Kentucky; 11/11/12 09:17 PM.
#1985629 - 11/12/12 08:18 AM Re: Grrr. [Re: Brinestone]  
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Additional thoughts: A volunteer from our club screens registrations ahead of time and contacts the teacher if there is a problem. Surely deciding whether a student or accompanist is eligible to play could be taken care of at the secretarial level, not dumping it all on the judge during the event.


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