Clavier Companion - May/June 2017 - 41
supportive tone. Positive comments can also be used
to make suggestions. For example, the adjudicator
can praise one beautifully shaped phrase and suggest
that other phrases in the piece be done with similar
My adjudication mantra is,
"What ONE thing will most
improve this perfomance?"
If the event is treated as a learning opportunity by
the student, the parent, the student's teacher, and
the adjudicating teacher, chances are that all will
benefit and grow.
Craig Sale is an adjudicator, workshop
clinician, and piano pedagogy specialist.
Now residing in Tucson, AZ, he was Director
of the Preparatory and Community Piano
Program at Concordia University Chicago
for thirty years. He is editor of The Success
Factor in Piano Teaching by Elvina Pearce,
and co-author of the Activities books for Levels 3 and 4
of The Music Tree.
Another common challenge for an adjudicator is to stay on schedule. All of the suggestions
above will help in this regard. Time restrictions
often make it so that the adjudicator must begin writing while the performer is playing. This
should be done discreetly.
Whether functioning as teacher or adjudicator,
it is a teacher who is responsible for the
students' positive experiences when they step
"outside" and perform in an adjudicated event.