Lindsay Brazell

Music Educator and Creative Professional

You Have Your Competition Scores. Now What?


You are on the bus ride home from festival, scores in hand. You’re either very pleased and agree with the scores you earned from the judges, or you are feeling a little discouraged and think you could have done better. Either way, there is one question in your mind:

Now what?

What do you do with your scores? Easy! Take the suggestions and critiques and make them your “to-do” list. These are going to be your goals for next year, or your next adjudicated event. Why not get a head start?

First, sit down with your ensemble and listen to the recordings with the judge commentary and scoresheets. Figure out what they are hearing, and take notes. This is a great listening and reflection activity for your students, because they will get to evaluate their performance themselves. Make this a score-marking activity, highlighting the specific areas judges commented on that need improvement, or just even offered suggestions.

Next, work on those things! You may not have another adjudicated performance this year, but you most likely have a concert to give at the end of the year! Improve your repertoire as a capstone for your final concert. In reality, your concert in your own community is and should be more rewarding than a competition. Those are your people! 🙂

Finally, make some kind of visual reminder of your goals and “to-dos” for next year and post it in your classroom, or all over your classroom if you are feeling decorative! Just because the year is over, your work is not done! This will create a sense of “picking up where we left off” when the new school year begins, and you can immediately start addressing your goals in the first week of rehearsal. Even if all of your ensembles don’t attend competition, you can work on the same concepts in each group. Imagine having an already established goal for your ensembles, even for your freshmen group whom you’ve never met! They will feel a sense of purpose right from the start!

Competition scores are not meant to measure the overall groups, and their purpose is not to create a hierarchy of ensembles within your district or state. They are excellent assessment and instructional tools for your program, and they can be put to use throughout the school year!

How do you use your competition scores to inform your instruction? Leave a comment below, or continue the conversation on Twitter @LindsayBrazell.

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About Lindsay

I’m Lindsay, a choral music educator by day, a singer-songwriter by evening, and a writer when time allows. You can find my latest album, The Room I Found – Lindsay Morelli on iTunes.

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