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#2244131 - 03/10/14 08:03 AM Long day Saturday... ran my first scholarship audition  
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Piano*Dad Offline
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Williamsburg, VA
I have been on the "other side" of the process so many times over the last decade, and I have had my share of complaints about how competitions were run. Now I have had the experience of administering a scholarship audition myself. It was stressful, exhilarating, even fun (!) and humbling in many ways. Organizing an event like this from rules writing to application process, from recruiting judges to planning the complex orchestration (pun intended) of the day, took an awful lot of time spread over many months. I could write a twenty page post on my thoughts, but I won't! Suffice to say that it came off quite well, and we weathered the many last second glitches that always happen. In fact, I think a measure of success is how well an event handles those issues, balancing fairness and compassion.

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#2244151 - 03/10/14 08:41 AM Re: Long day Saturday... ran my first scholarship audition [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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AZNpiano Offline
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Orange County, CA
Compassion!? What compassion? There's no compassion in competitions!

Glad you overcame the glitches! No matter how well prepared you are as an organizer, things always manage to fall apart at the most inopportune moment.


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#2244182 - 03/10/14 09:31 AM Re: Long day Saturday... ran my first scholarship audition [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Monica K. Offline

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Lexington, Kentucky
Very cool! Now that you've had this experience from the other side, what new insights or best pieces of advice would you have for the people auditioning, e.g., things to avoid, tips to help present themselves most positively?


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#2244316 - 03/10/14 01:45 PM Re: Long day Saturday... ran my first scholarship audition [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Piano*Dad Offline
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Williamsburg, VA
Well, one thing I would say is that there is a risk in programming large works when your time limit is short. I realize that students sometimes have a couple of competition pieces that they play repeatedly, but in an event where time limits are short, and enforced, getting cut off in both of your pieces may not showcase your abilities particularly well. If possible, pick pieces that work within the time frame you're given. And if you are going to play a big work, maybe with a cadenza, you should clearly indicate cuts in the music so you can reach the desired section within your time frame. We had some students who did this just right, and others who got cut off 3-5 minutes into a 7-12 minute piece, twice. Don't get me wrong. It's OK if you're content to have the judges just hear the first portion of big works. But in an event like this, no one should complain ex post about not being allowed to finish. As far as I know, no one did complain. So I guess everything was fine. Never mind. smile

Teachers should also pay attention to teaching at least the basics of stage presence. This isn't always easy with the preternaturally shy student, but judges do notice when students flub stage presence 101.


#2244322 - 03/10/14 01:54 PM Re: Long day Saturday... ran my first scholarship audition [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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What is a scholarship audition? Was this a musical event? I got lost between the first post, where I thought I knew what it was about, and subsequent posts.

#2244390 - 03/10/14 04:30 PM Re: Long day Saturday... ran my first scholarship audition [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Williamsburg, VA
Yes, a musical event with scholarship money attached. Scholarship because you don't get cash prizes. The checks are paid directly to teachers or other vendors (for lessons, music, instruments, etc.), to help defray the cost of music education.

#2244398 - 03/10/14 04:52 PM Re: Long day Saturday... ran my first scholarship audition [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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AZNpiano Offline
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Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by Piano*Dad
Yes, a musical event with scholarship money attached. Scholarship because you don't get cash prizes. The checks are paid directly to teachers or other vendors (for lessons, music, instruments, etc.), to help defray the cost of music education.

We have similar events in my community, but they are always run by such unmusical people who don't know what they are doing. I stopped sending students there because of that.

But that's not to say scholarship auditions are not a worthy cause. If done well, everybody benefits from it.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
#2244408 - 03/10/14 05:23 PM Re: Long day Saturday... ran my first scholarship audition [Re: Piano*Dad]  
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Ours is sponsored by the local Music Club. The audition has been going on for many years. More recently (since I have been aware of it), the club has used mostly outside judges. My goal this year was to ensure the complete professionalization of the judging. We sought professional musicians and we paid them a reasonable honorarium for spending the whole day working on this event.

We are building an endowment to make the grants independent of annual contributions. At present, I think our event is one of the most generous in the state.


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