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#927819 - 05/28/08 03:06 PM Competitions for any instrument  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 267
miaeih Offline
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miaeih  Offline
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SF Bay Area, CA
Curious to know what your opinions are in letting you students attend competitions that are not solely for the piano but for any musical instrument.

Note that I'm not referring to talents shows. I believe talents shows are a whole different category and most play for fun rather than competing / feedback.

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#927820 - 05/29/08 12:27 AM Re: Competitions for any instrument  
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AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Orange County, CA
They are not very common. I've sent just one student to such a competition, and even for that event only the pianists showed up. My student (playing Chopin Ballade No. 3) took away the top prize plus money.

Back when I was in high school, I participated in one such event. The judges had no idea how to critique my pieces; I'm not even sure they were pianists! I lost to a 21-year-old girl (voice) and an 8-year-old boy (piano). There were over 30 entrants, and they gave out just two prizes. Talk about harsh!

The problem with such competitions is the judges and their knowledge of different instruments/voice. For a local festival, I sat on a panel that judged different instruments. We panelists were all piano teachers, but we had secondary expertise in voice, organ, and violin. But the festival chair didn't bother to tell us we had to judge cello, too. When the cellists came up to the stage, the three of us just looked at each other in amazement. I had background in violin, so I could discern the problems, sort of. The other two judges were rather generous with their scoring of the cellists, probably because they weren't comfortable judging strings.

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#927821 - 05/29/08 02:32 AM Re: Competitions for any instrument  
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Ashdyre Offline
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Ashdyre  Offline
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i've never seen a competition like that... i think it's a little unfair... the flashiest usually wins, it's not about talent it seems...

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#927822 - 05/29/08 08:43 AM Re: Competitions for any instrument  
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Piano*Dad  Online Content
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Williamsburg, VA
We have such a competition in Virginia, sponsored by the Lions Clubs. It has local, regional, district, and state levels. Top prizes are worth large sums. Competition is fierce.

Yes, it has all the problems ANZpiano notes. You can get judges whose expertise is piano judging harpists or judges whose specialty is the flute judging pianists and violinists. Some of the judges are local band directors with limited experience with top musicians and others are professional musicians. It's a crap shoot. As long as a student goes in with the attitude that 'you play your best and let the rest take care of itself' there is little potential damage that can be done.

#927823 - 05/29/08 08:38 PM Re: Competitions for any instrument  
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PandO Offline
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The kind of competition you mention is the only type I've ever entered.
Incidentally, not on piano. I played the cello.
Apart from my terror of performance, I find I dislike the competitons because of the controversy it kicks up. Discussions always start about the difficulty of one group of instruments in comparison to another.
I think if such competitions take place there should perhaps be a prize for each catergory?

The one I was in really was ridiculous in that they had the main prize, pluz prizes from the Rotary Club according to where people lived. Because only one girl came from a certain town, she went home with a prize even though she didn't actually perform particulary well, and wasn't in the final. There were far more deserving performers. Even she looked completely shocked when she was handed her envelope.

But are mixed competitions so rare? I've never heard of a competition where I live that wasn't for all instruments (excluding bagpipes - there was a serparate competition for them!) except from in Univerisities.


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