Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Finding Adjudicators

I'm working with a committee, assigning judges for our Minnesota Music teachers annual contest. There are many attributes of a great judge, but as we assign people to positions, there are a lot of other not-so-obvious qualities that we met recently to discuss. These are the intangibles that make or break a great year for those of us running it. These should be a given, but for some reason, it never is.

Do they work well with the younger children? Do they smile? Ever? Do they appear warm and welcoming? Do some of the people with Doctorates have attitudes that prohibit them from the lower levels? Are we diminishing their degree by having them write critiques for a 12 year old? Can we read the handwriting? Do they stay on time? Do they arrive on time? Are they just plain high maintenance?

Now the latest trait we are examining is whether they have email. Due to budget constraints, we are only using the internet this year to communicate with our adjudicators. I have mixed feelings about this attempt to save money. Some of my favorites judges in years past do not have email accounts. Some colleagues never check them but have one. But what do we do about an esteemed pianist who does not have contact with what is now a very time-tested approved method of communication?

As we prepare to send out a LOT of emails in the next few days, and deal with returned/undeliverables, and some speedy replies, I will probably form a better opinion of our new policy. Of course, we are training our membership at this point too, to expect communication from us in a new way. Welcome to the new way, same as the old way, just like yesterday?

Wow, can Pete ever play, but would he be a good adjudicator?


  1. Great considerations, all! It is an important job isn't it? Maybe the old guard communications skills just need a brush up and a helping hand.

    Maybe Pete would be a good Adjudicator. Why don't you ask him?

  2. Thanks for this post. Maybe you could ask Pete about it - he would surely love to be one, don't you think so? Anyway, I admire your passion, your generosity and your efforts to try the power of Internet in this activity. Your attempt to use online communication can really be a great way to save money, time and resources though you may encounter some difficulties. Yet, I am still optimistic and hopeful that you can resolve those issues. Good luck, my friend. See you around. Keep on posting great resources for music teachers All the best!


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