Making Use of Music Festival Comments

You have survived this season's run of music festivals and competitions. You have your certificate. Maybe you even earned an award.

Perhaps now you're asking yourself, "Now what?"

Please bring your written adjudication sheet(s) to your next music lesson. If your music teacher was unable to attend your music festival performance - and your parents recorded your performance - do bring the recording to your next music lesson to review with your teacher.

Your music teacher can help decipher the adjudicator's handwriting and discuss with you how to incorporate some of the ideas that you picked up at the music festival.

I put the word "some" in italics. Bear in mind that music is a personalized experience, not just for you but for the listener. Your adjudicator is giving comments based on their skills, experience and educated opinion based on your playing at that moment. You may agree with some comments, but not all. The same goes for your teacher.

Your music teacher, the adjudicator and the examiner have similar "hot buttons" that they listen for: rhythm, pedalling, fingering, balance, technical fluency, command of the style. In basic terms, they are listening for whether you know the piece and if you're telling us a story.

What will differ are some of the ideas that they each have for you to try. Each of your musical mentors have a different set of skills and experiences.

Take the ideas that each have to offer and try them. Give them a solid effort. Keep what works for what you're trying to say with the piece and file away the rest. Who knows? It may work with another piece better.