Judging advice

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aliUE02 Offline
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Judging advice

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:44 pm



I've been asked to judge percussion at a small town marching field show this season. Does anyone have any tips or advice? I've been teaching for quite a while and feel that I am capable and qualified to judge, I would just like to hear from others on the subject. Thanks!


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Re: Judging advice

Posted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:47 pm



I think a lot of the advice we could give you, is more so what we would like to hear listening to the tape.

I've never judged and not sure I ever will, so I can't give you tips on that except you should definitely keep your stamina up through the day, I hear it gets very draining.

From my previous experience of listening to tapes and knowing what I would want to know now, give a lot of constructive feedback to the students and educators that listen to the tapes, I know that sounds pretty common sense, but unfortunately I've dealt with several judges that seem to have forgotten that. Maybe give some tips on how to improve things too, if it's a small town marching event then chances are there might be several smaller groups without a large staff or much of a staff at all, possibly all band director or student leadership ran, so specific things would be good.

I'm not sure what all to give you, but I just know that the tapes that mean to most to me are ones that really:
1. Show the state of the section as it stands from the peformance
2. Highlight areas that need improvement (or even some really good areas for an air of positivity in the tape)
3. Offer some advice for some of those things as to what the issue could be, how to fix something, nothing too detailed as I know a judge's time is limited with a band, but maybe address solutions to reoccuring issues

Just my own preferences.
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sxetnrdrmr Offline
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Re:

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:09 am



OK, I come from Ohio, which has some of the worst judging across the board. There are some guys who are good, but normally I can look forward to seeing all kinds of bad situations during the year. Here are some things that i constantly fight...YOU should avoid them to be a good judge

STAY WITHIN YOUR CAPTION!!!! I have had so many drum judges score us on: the color of our uniforms; or drums; or make comments on the guard; give us a bad score becasue we don't play like his line, or do wha tHE would have done; give us a bad score on the fact that our equipment is not all top of the line; or how the field commander stand is blocking the audiences view of the band...all while we were either throwing down, or sucking it up on the feild.

THE WHOLE TAPE SHOULD BE FILLED WITH COMMENTS!!! Dead air is the worst thing...it means you are zoning, or don't understand what is going on. Obviously small chunks to catch your breath or listen are good, but in my opinion, 10 seconds or more of dead air means you are done

Make sure you study the rubrics for the point system.
Finding your "numbers area" is the hardest thing. One thing that shows me that a judge does not have a good definition of his point scheme is when people are getting in the 8's and 9's (or above a 14 on the 20 point system) within the first 3 weeks of going out. NO ONE is playing well enough at their first show to warrant this.We have one guy around here who's philosophy is to start scores real high, and then get LOWER as the season goes because "the lines are getting better as the season goes, and I can be harder on them"...what? So as my kids do better, they get a worse score?

Don't play the "political game". Give every line what they played, NOT what there reputation deserves.

NEVER say "I would have" when making suggestions. They ARE looking for your comments on what they are doing, but that can come off as saying "my way is better than yours" ,which it might be, but that does not matter. Say things like "your instructor should look at", or "you might want to re-assess _______". I always try to infer that they have an instructor, if nothing else to "plant seeds" if they don't.

I always like to leave my e-mail or some kind of contact so if they want to further discuss things AFTER the show they can. I never discuss scores, I just say if they want me to expand more on the commentary on the tape to get a hold of me. Some circuits don't allow this, and some have critiques afterwards. I just don't like to let a group "go" and not allow a folow up if they want it.

NEVER judge on style differences. If a band comes in, and is a bit more "Show style" than the last, or doesn't have a battery due to size, you still have to comment on what the ydo, not what the yare.
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

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Re: Re:

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:09 am



sxetnrdrmr wrote:OK, I come from Ohio, which has some of the worst judging across the board. There are some guys who are good, but normally I can look forward to seeing all kinds of bad situations during the year. Here are some things that i constantly fight...YOU should avoid them to be a good judge

STAY WITHIN YOUR CAPTION!!!! I have had so many drum judges score us on: the color of our uniforms; or drums; or make comments on the guard; give us a bad score becasue we don't play like his line, or do wha tHE would have done; give us a bad score on the fact that our equipment is not all top of the line; or how the field commander stand is blocking the audiences view of the band...all while we were either throwing down, or sucking it up on the feild.

THE WHOLE TAPE SHOULD BE FILLED WITH COMMENTS!!! Dead air is the worst thing...it means you are zoning, or don't understand what is going on. Obviously small chunks to catch your breath or listen are good, but in my opinion, 10 seconds or more of dead air means you are done

Make sure you study the rubrics for the point system.
Finding your "numbers area" is the hardest thing. One thing that shows me that a judge does not have a good definition of his point scheme is when people are getting in the 8's and 9's (or above a 14 on the 20 point system) within the first 3 weeks of going out. NO ONE is playing well enough at their first show to warrant this.We have one guy around here who's philosophy is to start scores real high, and then get LOWER as the season goes because "the lines are getting better as the season goes, and I can be harder on them"...what? So as my kids do better, they get a worse score?

Don't play the "political game". Give every line what they played, NOT what there reputation deserves.

NEVER say "I would have" when making suggestions. They ARE looking for your comments on what they are doing, but that can come off as saying "my way is better than yours" ,which it might be, but that does not matter. Say things like "your instructor should look at", or "you might want to re-assess _______". I always try to infer that they have an instructor, if nothing else to "plant seeds" if they don't.

I always like to leave my e-mail or some kind of contact so if they want to further discuss things AFTER the show they can. I never discuss scores, I just say if they want me to expand more on the commentary on the tape to get a hold of me. Some circuits don't allow this, and some have critiques afterwards. I just don't like to let a group "go" and not allow a folow up if they want it.

NEVER judge on style differences. If a band comes in, and is a bit more "Show style" than the last, or doesn't have a battery due to size, you still have to comment on what the ydo, not what the yare.
This last point..so much..my line played extremely well at our last competition, but we got crucified in scoring because we didn't have a large enough pit for the judge's tastes..

Also, please try to be consistent throughout the day. Don't start out giving super high scores to the first groups then lowballing the last ones or vice versa.
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joe356 Offline
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Re: Re:

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:19 pm



sxetnrdrmr wrote:OK, I come from Ohio, which has some of the worst judging across the board. There are some guys who are good, but normally I can look forward to seeing all kinds of bad situations during the year. Here are some things that i constantly fight...YOU should avoid them to be a good judge

STAY WITHIN YOUR CAPTION!!!! I have had so many drum judges score us on: the color of our uniforms; or drums; or make comments on the guard; give us a bad score becasue we don't play like his line, or do wha tHE would have done; give us a bad score on the fact that our equipment is not all top of the line; or how the field commander stand is blocking the audiences view of the band...all while we were either throwing down, or sucking it up on the feild.

THE WHOLE TAPE SHOULD BE FILLED WITH COMMENTS!!! Dead air is the worst thing...it means you are zoning, or don't understand what is going on. Obviously small chunks to catch your breath or listen are good, but in my opinion, 10 seconds or more of dead air means you are done

Make sure you study the rubrics for the point system.
Finding your "numbers area" is the hardest thing. One thing that shows me that a judge does not have a good definition of his point scheme is when people are getting in the 8's and 9's (or above a 14 on the 20 point system) within the first 3 weeks of going out. NO ONE is playing well enough at their first show to warrant this.We have one guy around here who's philosophy is to start scores real high, and then get LOWER as the season goes because "the lines are getting better as the season goes, and I can be harder on them"...what? So as my kids do better, they get a worse score?

Don't play the "political game". Give every line what they played, NOT what there reputation deserves.

NEVER say "I would have" when making suggestions. They ARE looking for your comments on what they are doing, but that can come off as saying "my way is better than yours" ,which it might be, but that does not matter. Say things like "your instructor should look at", or "you might want to re-assess _______". I always try to infer that they have an instructor, if nothing else to "plant seeds" if they don't.

I always like to leave my e-mail or some kind of contact so if they want to further discuss things AFTER the show they can. I never discuss scores, I just say if they want me to expand more on the commentary on the tape to get a hold of me. Some circuits don't allow this, and some have critiques afterwards. I just don't like to let a group "go" and not allow a folow up if they want it.

NEVER judge on style differences. If a band comes in, and is a bit more "Show style" than the last, or doesn't have a battery due to size, you still have to comment on what the ydo, not what the yare.

I could not disagree with the emboldened comment more. I can't tell you how many tapes I have gotten where the judge was clearly talking to hear himself talk, or taking 15 seconds to talk about one thing while missing that entire 15 seconds of the show. Sometimes taking it in is a good thing. Some of the best tapes I've ever gotten are some of the quietest ones because the comments that were made were meaningful and well thought out. Its not about the quantity of the comments, its about the quality of them. One I can remember in particular was a GE tape from Brett Kuhn at WGI. He was very quiet, and thoughtful on the tape. There were times when whole phrases went by while he listened to the development, and then made one simple comment that was clear and concise about what needed to be done better. I learned more about GE and what I needed to do differently than I have from any other tape.

Obviously there is a fine line, and you don't want silence when there are things to comment on. You don't want to zone out and fail to give comments when you should, but by no means should you feel compelled to talk for the entire tape.

To the OP, one thing you want to avoid (can't remember if anyone has already mentioned this) is creating what we instructors like to call a "tick tape". Instructors know which sections of the show are dirty. You don't have to tell them. A lot of tapes come back and literally tell us nothing about what the ensemble is doing. Instead, try to find common threads. For example, maybe a group is consistently losing control of the spacing of their flams. That might be something you mention, rather than simply saying that their flam spacing is dirty literally every time they play one.

Finally, try to avoid singling any one student out too much. Keep in mind these are high school students, and many instructors want to play these tapes for their students. I had a student once that was struggling on rack, and a judge literally called him out over and over and over again. This poor kid had been working his butt off all season, and if I had played the tape for him, it would have crushed him and he might never have played again. So I was faced with the choice of editing the tape, or not playing the tape for the kids at all (which would have been awkward considering I always play the tapes for them). That kid is now my center marimba. It can be tempting to rail on that bass drummer who can't keep his feet in time, or the vibraphone player who's playing way too loud. Mention it once, then leave it alone.


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Re: Re:

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:54 pm



joe356 wrote:
Obviously there is a fine line, and you don't want silence when there are things to comment on. You don't want to zone out and fail to give comments when you should, but by no means should you feel compelled to talk for the entire tape.

.
yeah...I think that was more of what I was getting at...not to just blab, but to make sure that there are relevant quality comments happening. Once again, I am used to getting pretty much blank tapes as far as commentary goes...and then at the end they will sometimes even say "I hope my commentary has been helpful."
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

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Re:

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:56 pm



does anybody here have boxes on the percussion sheet that demand commentary on marching technique? Just wondering...
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

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Its' All about the Parking Lot - Watterson Drumline
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Re: Judging advice

Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:29 pm



I've never once seen marching technique on a percussion sheet. Now, if I see a visual that they are attempting that is affecting their playing, I may make mention to address that in rehearsal. The only reason I'll do that, is usually the visual judges are watching the band proper during higher demand percussion parts, which are typically seen in drum features.
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Re: Judging advice

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:01 am



billc36 wrote:I've never once seen marching technique on a percussion sheet. Now, if I see a visual that they are attempting that is affecting their playing, I may make mention to address that in rehearsal. The only reason I'll do that, is usually the visual judges are watching the band proper during higher demand percussion parts, which are typically seen in drum features.
yeah, i could understand doing this, and would appreciate it from a judge...to me tha twould not be going out of caption. I just wonder since body vis is becoming the norm, if we will see places for commentary on that spoecifically on the field. Also, a lot of times, i want to comment on feet timing, or just how bad marching can totally effect the hands...
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

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Its' All about the Parking Lot - Watterson Drumline
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Pearl
Zildjian
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Re: Judging advice

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:40 am



I'll occasionally comment on feet being out of time and to look at that at rehearsal. I'll even make a not that it's out of my caption.
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Re: Re:

Posted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:37 pm



sxetnrdrmr wrote:
joe356 wrote:
Obviously there is a fine line, and you don't want silence when there are things to comment on. You don't want to zone out and fail to give comments when you should, but by no means should you feel compelled to talk for the entire tape.

.
yeah...I think that was more of what I was getting at...not to just blab, but to make sure that there are relevant quality comments happening. Once again, I am used to getting pretty much blank tapes as far as commentary goes...and then at the end they will sometimes even say "I hope my commentary has been helpful."

Yeah, absolutely. I've gotten those kinds of tapes before. But the more frustrating ones are the ones where they literally talk the entire time. I've done my share of judging and I can tell you, if I'm talking, I'm not fully processing what's happening on the field, so there's no way I'm actually getting a good read. I've talked to a couple of judges that will literally sit on their comments for the first two or three minutes trying to get a read on technique, uniformity, musicality etc, writing the occasional note and highlighting trends, and then as soon as the show is over, its comment dump times. Sometimes those are really useful tapes.


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Re: Judging advice

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 6:46 am



Use the sheet! Try to address each of the criteria on the sheet, whether positive or negative. For most groups, there's at least something on the sheet that is good. They deserve credit for that. Once you have gone through all the criteria on the sheet, you might have a better idea of where their focus needs to be. For example, maybe their hands and feet look good, but they just aren't playing together. That could be an issue of not being clean yet or it could just be a bad run. If you didn't look at their technique and all the other factors on the sheet, you couldn't tell them why it isn't clean and couldn't help them fix it. When you are scoring, ask if each skill set on the sheet is happening some of the time, most of the time, or all of the time. That should tell you what ballpark of what box they should be in. Then compare to groups you have already seen and leave room in the box for groups you haven't seen yet. The score should be determined by a balance of where they are in the box and where they rank among the other units. If you can manage the numbers well in that capacity, then you have a good answer to an instructor who is upset about a score.


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Re:

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 11:57 pm



I think that number management is the hardest part by far...with knowing where your own definition in each part of the box is. Like how you define a "box 3" performance....keeping that definition steady is the hardest thing
Iv'e got sXe!!!!
NAATD!!!!
Up the Antix!!!!

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Pearl
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Remo/Evans


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