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#15979 - 06/29/06 04:51 AM Interpreting judge comments
pat Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 52
Loc: Bridgeport, Texas
Recently my students were adjudicated by a guild judge.

This judge didn't like the use of "rubato" in some repertoire (mostly jazz). Though appreciative of these comments, they seemed more directed toward my teaching than toward the student.

Has anybody else encountered comments such as these?

I sometimes find it a bit difficult to discuss scorecard ratings with a student. Occasionally, I almost feel the need to defend my teaching, though I'm always aware of my need to improve.

This judge did make similar comments in the "confidential opinion" sheet. A part of me feels that this would have been enough, rather than fault the student who was only following my directives.

Thanks!

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#15980 - 06/29/06 05:30 AM Re: Interpreting judge comments
Lisa Kalmar Offline
Star Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
What was the exact verbiage used? And how liberal was the rubato? I fear I have possibly been too direct at times when judging, but I only get that way on stuff that is black & white right & wrong. To me, rubato is such a personal thing I wouldn't want to knock a kid for it unless on Bach or something else that obvious.

I was judging in The Woodlands, Texas a few years ago (not Guild) and had a steaming headache after about 4 hours of non-stop students, not to mention the fact I had to negotiate I-45 (i.e. almost DIE) in a blinding tropical rainstorm to get there from Houston. Plus judges didn't get to have a break room because the contest was in the art department of the JUCO and there were some artistic nudes in the collections and someone was worried a child might see one through the glass walls :rolleyes: - this meant if we wanted a cookie and a drink of water we had to do it in a bathroom. Oops, I digress... One studio, apparently, had every cotton pickin' kid play the pedal by raising their knee/leg up in the air at least 6 inches before pushing down on the pedal. I thought I was at the county 4-H fairground! I was so irritated that I wrote, "Keep the heel on the floor at all times when pedaling. You are playing the piano, not operating a tractor clutch." on every single entry. I suppose I should feel bad, but I still don't.... \:o They never had a chance not to ask me back because soon after I escaped the great state of Texas....

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#15981 - 06/29/06 05:53 AM Re: Interpreting judge comments
pat Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 52
Loc: Bridgeport, Texas
Here is one: "Learn to express your music using more phrasing and dynamics rather than changing tempos".

And another: "Learn to express your music with more tools of phrasing, balance, pedal and less with altering the tempos".

Most of the comments were referring to simple jazz pieces. I had the students on repetitive passages, push the tempos a bit just to combat boredom (if that makes sense).

Of course, my heart goes out to guild judges who must endure so many things that likely go unreported to headquarters. And I do take into consideration that some judges are sent into areas where teachers are rather intimidating to them (which is horribly wrong).

In the over twenty years of sending students to Guild auditions, I've only had to report an unfair judge once. I was careful in my criticism to the area guild chair and almost didn't make that call. Glad I did. Several teachers had already called and complained. This dear lady was having severe emotional problems.

I applaud you for judging. It is a difficult job - one I've never done, but should, so I would be more appreciative of the job you did.

I, too think rubato is individual. I was taught by a master teacher to use rubato, even in some of the Chopin Preludes (very subtle, of course) - her students were top winners all over the state -one of the comments above was made after hearing one of the Preludes.

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#15982 - 06/29/06 07:53 AM Re: Interpreting judge comments
VioletBeauregarde Offline
Mainstay Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 502
Loc: Alabama
 Quote:
I thought I was at the county 4-H fairground! I was so irritated that I wrote, "Keep the heel on the floor at all times when pedaling. You are playing the piano, not operating a tractor clutch." on every single entry. I suppose I should feel bad, but I still don't.... They never had a chance not to ask me back because soon after I escaped the great state of Texas....
Just because one teacher taught pedalling wrong (and yes, it should have been commented on as the teacher needs to learn to do it properly before teaching students), but please don't judge everyone in Texas as doing that or making us sound like back country hicks. We aren't!
_________________________
Adopted childen are NOT lucky- they are blessings.

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#15983 - 06/29/06 09:05 AM Re: Interpreting judge comments
MRM Offline
Resident Member

Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Washington
Of course, this is difficult because we didn't hear your kids play. When I read your judges comments it seems that perhaps his interpretation of what he heard was that he heard whole sections that were faster and slower than others. So, maybe he was looking at the music and saw some variances in the printed score marked p or f and what he heard was slow and fast...etc...

I think with rubato you wouldn't have a whole section that was faster or slower so much as within a phrase you'd have a pushing and pulling affect with the tempo to add feeling and emotion. So, perhaps the judge was listening for that but heard or felt too jerk and pulled....but like I said, I didn't hear your students so.....

But, I do know that all adjudicators have a different opinion on rubato. My teacher, who's taught for 45 years said she once asked a respected judge what he thought all kids needed more of and he replied "rubato". You know, others wouldn't have said the same thing. It all depends on who's listening.

I had an adjudicator this year and he said the thing he was most impressed with in my teaching was my students flexible sense of time and overall structural conception of each piece. So, this guy obviously like rubato--or at least a perfectly timed rallentando.

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Registered: 08/18/05
Posts: 107
Loc: Washington
#15984 - 06/29/06 09:49 AM Re: Interpreting judge comments
pat Offline
Regular Member

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 52
Loc: Bridgeport, Texas
Sometimes rubato is heard as being "erratic rhythm" when in fact it is just interpretive. A student whose rhythm is (percentage wise) right on is obvious to teachers and judges.

And on the flip side of rubato is rhythm that is so metronomic as to be stilted.

Bottom line, I still think if a teacher was instilling bad habiam of rure rath
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pat Offline
Regular Mem5> Mainstay Member

Registered: 11/17/05
Posts: 502
Loc: Alabama
#15984 - 06/29/06 09:49 AM 10:3 Re: Interpreting judge comments
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pat Offline
Regular Mem6 Member

Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
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#15984 - 06/29/06 09:49 AM <5:18 P>Re: Interpreting judge comments
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pat Offline
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Registered: 04/10/00
Posts: 4277
Loc: KC
#15984 - 06/29/06 09:49 AM Re: Interpreting judge comments
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pat Offline
Regular Mem8er

Registered: 06/02/05
Posts: 52
Loc: Bridgeport, Texas
#15984 - 06/29/06 09:49 AM <1:0 Re: Interpreting judge comments
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