my vibe solo, Wind, composed by David Friedman, question on performance

I may have some of the terminology wrong, as well as the way the song is to be titled, but please bare with this non-musician, while I try to explain what I am looking for.

Recently my 17 yr old son, a junior in high school, played one of Mr. Friedman’s songs, Wind, a solo on the vibe at a percussion bash at our high school. I am assuming the name of the song is Wind. He said something about it being a movement in the book (?) Mirror from Another. I'm sure once you hear the song, you'll automatically know the name of it.

He went to a state solo competition, and the judge (who is suppose to be a musician/director) gave him a 2, stating that he needed to play it faster, 20 – 40 beats faster than what he did. The percussion director said that he played it the way the composer had written it and at the right tempo. The judge disagreed. The percussion director said that was the way he (the director)was taught, and he was taught from someone that was taught by you, so he knows it was played right. (if I remember the story of who taught who correctly)

I have been desperately trying to find the song on the internet to compare the way my son played it to the way it should be played. I know it is to late to have anything done, but I would like to at least see if the judge is correct or if my son actually played it correctly. I found one person performing it, and by reading the comments, he was playing it way to fast. I want to know this more for me, than anything. But, if the judge is wrong, I would like him to know it so that he doesn’t cheat another child out of a good score. My son’s two favorite instruments during symphonic concert season is the marimba and the vibe. He’s a drummer during marching season.

You can view it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAzGSCxdlOo , if you would like to see it. This was videoed during the percussion bash. There is one spot that my son did say he messed up on, towards the end, in this video. I do not have it on video from the competition, but according to the percussion director, he played it the same way.
I would appreciate any help/advice that you can give.

Thank you in advance,
Toni

And welcome on VibesWorkshop!

To confirm, this tune named "Wind" is one of the 6 solo pieces for vibraphone from David Fiedman's book "Mirror from another": http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/title/1529492

If needed, here is another interpretation on Youtube, where the tempo is much faster, but with a surprised comment below about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_5euFfe1Y4

Anyway, I'm sure David will answer your questions: you're at the right place!

Good luck!

MN

thanks Marie,
I did see that one on youtube, and it was played a lot faster than what Jack, my son played it. Thats what got me to thinking that someone is playing it wrong, and this is where i hope Mr. Friedman can say if it was actually played right or wrong.
I am also going to send your website to our percussion director. He is awesome.

Always a Bon Voyage!

Toni Reed
The Cruise Lady
281-478-5458 (home/office)
www.cruisegals.com

i listened to a little bit. i have to run. he's good. don't worry about what that judge said.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

Thanks Tony,
I think he pretty much is over what the judge said. i dont know if you got the chance to look at any of his other solos on you tube, but you can tell he loves to play. We have one more year of this in high school, and hopefully he will go to state next year. He's made it to district, region and area. So, STATE next year. I told him what you said, and he agreed. Thank you for your time and your response. I'll tell him to log on tonight.

Always a Bon Voyage!

Toni Reed
The Cruise Lady
281-478-5458 (home/office)
www.cruisegals.com

Hi Toni,

I don't know if I would encourage Jack to compete. In my opinion competition in music is not such a healthy thing.

Gustavo

they have to compete. It is part of their grades. Every school in every state does it. You can go on youtube and key in a schools name, then look for marching competition. you'll find one. Heres one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGnZGx4WpFA
They have marching competitions (U.I.L., which is mandatory. Its schools vs. schools. Judges from all over the district come in. Then they pick the top so many schools, who then go on to compete against the other schools that made it. then they pick the top 10, then the top 5. Top school gets the trophy. Schools get trophies on performance, percussion, winds, best overall, etc. etc. They have solo U.I.L's, they have state U.I.L's.. When students start the process, they perform in front of the teachers, if they play enough there, they try out for district UIL, if they make it past that, then its region UIL, then area UIL, then state. Its an honor to get to state. You have to beat out hundreds upon hundreds of other students from all over the state, to get your spot in the state ensemble. Only the best get there. only a few make it.
And all of your participation is part of your grade. You dont participate, you dont get a grade. I'm not quite sure what you mean by healthy.

Always a Bon Voyage!

Toni Reed
The Cruise Lady
281-478-5458 (home/office)
www.cruisegals.com

Hi Toni,

To me competition in music is not healthy because it corrodes a person's sensitivity to the music. In my opinion music is an art, not a race. The nature of your inquiry is a good example of what I mean, "slow vs fast".

Now, a lot of human beings are competitive, which I think is Tony's view on the subject. It's probably in our nature and it has more to do with survival. But we've taken that to too far, I think. Being aware of the fact that there are other musicians out there working on refining their craft is one thing (and also very inspiring), thinking of competing with them is another.

By what you are saying it sound as if there's no way out of the competition. Then I guess all I've just said will be irrelevant to your son.

Best,

Gustavo

----------------------
Gustavo Agatiello

it does not corrode a persons sensitivity to music. i'm sorry but i really really disagree with that statement. that's just not true. i'm not saying i'm into being competitive. but that statement is so not true. i can even be afraid of competition personally which is why i don't like it so much. i imagine many of us are.

healthy competition is what makes many of us want to get better and better, grow and grow. it can be taken too far, and some guys are way too into it. and some of these guys that are way too into it are also very sensitive and great musicians.

if you play something great, and that makes me want to play it also and maybe even try to play it better than you. that's competition.

ultimately healthy competition can be very healthy and good for musicians.

there are musicians that are super competitive and incredible, there are musicians that are not competitive that are incredible. there are mean and nasty musicians that are incredible, and nice musicians, and musicians with humble egos and those with huge egos. musicians on drugs.... and on and on.

i remember reading about the cutting sessions with the stride pianists back in the day. there's know way being competitive muffled their sensitivity.

if i didn't know so many amazing competitive musicians it would be different. but i do and have too many stories to not respond to a statement like that.

you don't have to be a good person to make great music, don't have to be any color, don't have to have any certain personality traits, or anything else. just have to have the desire to want to be great. too bad because there are a lot of great musicians who i wish for many reasons that they weren't as good as they are!

at this point i'm not arguing about competition, but rather the notion that that quality erodes a persons sensitivity to music.

and if you don't believe me, we should have a competition about it.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

reading back what i said. i guess i could be wrong, my wife who is a therapist agreed with me that competition one way or another is a deciding factor on a musicians sensitivity.

i was going to make a joke and say that hearing certainly does make a difference, and then i thought of that deaf woman percussionist.

IMHO trying to figure people out and what makes what has proven to be a useless endeavor for.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

Tony,

I think we have a pretty different idea about competition (well it's quite obvious we do). All I can say is that I have competed (never in music) quite a lot for quite a while and I would never put music in that context.

Gustavo

----------------------
Gustavo Agatiello

if you guys every get a chance and are passing a used book store they all have old copies of the inner game of tennis (if you haven't read it). i love his talk about competition. that really influenced me and changed my opinion from one that was more in line with gustavo.

i've also heard many sax/tpt/drum battles that were pretty bad, but man i've heard some amazing ones as well.

regardless what an interesting discussion this turned out to be.

now i think we should vote on who said the hippest stuff on this page. and then we should have the first two people compete to see who can make a better argument.

personally i like gary's debate analogy. everything in stride right?

and one last thing for gary. i get it about not like someone's music because they're jerks. but here's the thing. there's been players who's playing i LOVED and then when i met them, or heard the stories i didn't dig them at all. however before i knew about their personality i loved their music. right? so, it's not like they were playing and you could tell you wouldn't dig there personality and ultimately their music. in most cases that came after you met them or read about them.

the one player's music i can't hate even though i know he was a total prick, is mingus. i just love mingus. but i wouldn't want to hang out with him!!!

also, to be honest i have a difficult time when people say what 'music' is supposed to be, or how it's supposed to be played and what it's supposed to mean. what art's purpose is. and i know i'm guilty of that myself. i do speak in absolutes. but there's no one purpose or reason for music, maybe there's your reason that you believe in, but to say music is for this, or for that, i think we need to qualify it with 'I' statements. i find myself saying things in class all the time about what art or music 'is'. if i catch myself i warn the students that this is just my opinion. sometimes i don't catch myself.

i always tell students to get second opinions when i talk in absolutes. and i tell them 'never trust authority'. don't believe your teachers opinions without careful scrutiny.

i'm widening the scope aren't i?

i think we need more mom's on the site!

cu
tony

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

I've always had mixed feelings about musicians competing with each other, so I am sympathetic to Gustavo's strong stand against it, while also understanding Tony's examples of players doing their best to "out play" each other when on stage. This seems like two separate things to me. During my years as a teacher and clinician, I always felt contests, and the intense preparation that precedes such events, distort the learning process for students. It shouldn't be about playing higher, louder, faster, etc. It's supposed to be about bringing meaning to a piece of music. As much as I don't much care for competitions at school jazz festivals, which sometimes resemble athletic events complete with cheering from parents and fans, it is even worse in the classical field. Indeed, the route to a career as a major soloist in the classical field is through entering grueling competitions hoping to win here and there sufficiently to make a name for yourself. And, yet so much of music's attributes are subjective instead of literal, particularly at the higher level of performance where much of that competition takes place.

Take the above example of the student who plays a piece at a different tempo than it is usually performed. Let's just say that Glenn Gould with his eccentric interpretations of classic piano repertoire would most likely never have won a piano competition. And thank goodness he didn't adjust his playing to accommodate the tastes of the majority.

As for improvisers "competing" on stage in Tony's example, that strikes me as just a fun way to inspire each other. In my own experience of playing back and forth with other players, it never feels like I'm trying to subdue the other player. Maybe another analogy explains it better. Two people are having a debate on stage, and I am trying to win the audience's approval with my argument over that of another person making a different argument. It comes down to who can be he most convincing and compelling. It's more like who can win the hearts and minds of the audience most successfully.

I've had the good fortune to play on stage with a lot of great vibists: Milt Jackson, Red Norvo, Lionel Hampton, Joe Locke, Bobby Hutcherson, Terry Gibbs, and Cal Tjader, that I can recall. I always wanted to play my best, of course, but I wanted them to play their best, too. It never occurred to me that somehow there would be a winner at the end of the performance.

My two cents worth, anyway. I always come back to the word fun when I think about music. It doesn't always seem like fun when you're struggling to learn a new piece and working on your skills. But, you know what musician's always say to each other as they go out on stage? Actors say "break a leg" (meaning do well enough to earn the right to take bows...breaking the leg), but musicians? We say, "Have fun." Think about it, that's what we all say to each other when we go out to play. We even call it "playing" a concert, "playing" an instrument. It's a fun thing.

that's what i think is healthy competition. you play your best and they play their best. i realize that people get way too serious about it and i don't dig that.

my points are:

healthy competition is ok and good for musicians and:

a competitive nature or competition does not imply a degrade in a persons musicality or not. unfortunately those rules don't apply. anyone can be a great musician as i've seen in my life, and some of the people are total mean jerks, and they're totally competitive and they play great. oh well. i wish only kind nice people were great musicians!

we're fortunate here that all the masters on this site seem to be soooo great and inspiring.

maybe that's it, whatever inspires you to be better inspires you to be better.

i keep thinking of wagner who as i understand it was a mean, jealous, competitive jerk. and a musical genius.

then i thought of benny and glenn miller. if i have the story right, you did not out shine them on the gig or you were out of the band. they were very competitive by nature and phenomenal players.

anyway, off to rehearsal. and i'm gonna play better than the other musicians, i'll show them. :-) :-) (you get it. it's a joke right?)

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

Hey Tony, you've touched on a topic I've always wondered about. While most of the "great" musicians are known to be generous, gracious, kind, patient, etc., etc., there are also some others, also truly great players, who are known to be mean, vindictive, jealous, rude, arrogant, etc., etc. I even have known a few of these ogres personally! And I have to tell you when I hear a recording by any of these guys (one of them in particular), it affects my ability to just sit back and enjoy the music. I can't separate the person from the playing. So, I generally prefer not to get to close to those players considered "difficult."

The important fact, though, is that personality and generosity of spirit doesn't seem to be a determining factor when it comes to artistic talent. It's nice to see someone who has a great gift and the resulting fame and success show some humility and goodness, but it doesn't seem to be related to talent. It would seem like in a fair world, it should make a difference, but then again as Jimmy Carter once said, "Life isn't fair." And he should know.

I would be really interested to know who some mean musicians are. It's always funny to me. I've heard Buddy Rich was a jerk. If I had to guess who you were talking about, I would guess that their initials are KJ.
-Joe Doubleday

http://myspace.com/samhinsonproject
http://www.youtube.com/user/Issossk

Joe D.,

I highly recommend you to go to Gary's corner here: http://www.vibesworkshop.com/corner

He wrote long and really great talks about the musicians he met. I think you'll find some answers to your questions...

Enjoy your reading!

MN

I completely agree with you Gary: artistic and human qualities are not always related.

For some, it’s even the opposite: their difficult human natures gave birth to a beautiful art. I met some, and other famous ones had their own reputation, which didn’t prevent them from being adulated for their talent (even after their death when more truths are told). Surely better not knowing them in person, and just enjoying their art! :o)

But yes, when human and artistic qualities are present in one person… wow!

Still no one is perfect! I too believe that being an artist means having a special life, seeing the world through specific eyes… But that’s another subject!

MN

I agree with Gary and Gustavo about the whole competetion thing. Placing the emphasis on musical competition is such an unhealthy thing to do in terms of one's overall development in music. I think it goes against everything that we are trying to do with music. I've had students in the past who were practicing for a competition. It was obvious that the process of learning and development was interrupted and stifled by the goal of winning. Most often, the judging criteria in these competetions is based upon factors that have nothing do to with a "musical" performance.

Whether it's a big band competition, marching band competition or individual soloist category, most of the playing is stilted, unpersonal, loud, fast and "in your face" type of playing. Musicality, nuance and personal interpretation are usually overlooked or non-existent. When preparing a band for competition, most big band directors don't focus on teaching the students about the intricacies of playing music and the art of improvisation. There's no time for that. In the end, the students lose out and it sends a very bad message to everyone involved. I've had students who were heavily into that approach both in the big band and marching bands. Unfortunately, I feel that their playing has been affected in a very negative way and is very difficult to correct.

While the "cutting contests" on stage can be fun and entertaining, most often that type of playing leads to "showboating" and some very unmusical playing. I like Gary's take on how that should be approached when doing that sort of thing.

Music is about enjoying the process and fostering humanity through our music. Music and competition is an oxymoron to me.

Ed
----------------------
Ed Saindon
http://www.edsaindon.com
Check out my cds: http://micelimusic.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=24_4

Exactly right.

I went to High School at a school here in Oklahoma. Oklahoma is extremely competitive when it comes to big band. My High School has won many many state championships in jazz. The director emphasized playing clean and perfect. Actually he was one of the few band directors that tried to not just do flashy things for the sake of being flashy. We would play some pretty good tune. If I can remember correctly, the last time we won state we played Queen Bee, Bright Eyes, Cruisin for a Bluesin, and Lover Man. His main focus for us was STYLE. The last few years of me being in that band was when we didn't win the State title. We were beat by some flashy stuff. In that situation I feel like competition was unhealthy. I remember how angry everyone was and how stressed out everyone was.

The band director never talked about improvisation. I had to figure out how to improvise on my own. I just got online and looked at what the chord symbols meant and went from there. I never fully understood it. Most of the pieces didn't have improv solos, as in the solos were written out. If we ever did have a solo section that wasnt written out, I ended up playing it (and I Honesty didnt know what I was doing), unless it was a blues of course. If it was a blues he would just tell everyone the 7 notes to play and give a ton of people a solo. He would just focus on the bands strengths (makes sense for competition of course). The people who weren't already good at something would never get the chance. It makes me wonder who got left behind. We may have left behind a "would be" John Coltrane because they never got the chance. I don't know of any of the top schools that knew how to improvise and that really bothers me. Improvisation is the essence of jazz!

The judges would grade solos. Grading solos is a touchy subject for me. I just don't feel that you can rank someone's solo to be better than another persons. If they are truly improvising then great for them. When you improvise you are playing what is INSIDE of you. You are playing you're personality. The judges don't have a right to tell someone that their personality is worse or better than someone else's.

I saw a video with Gary Burton and Milt Jackson playing together. I would never say either one of them were better. They are just different. Different personalities. They went through different things.

Now when we had solo and ensemble competitions it was a different thing. Every solo that I ever did, I got a "1". From my experience, the judges were looking more at if you were prepared or not. It was usually pretty stress free and it encouraged us to practice. We weren't really competing against other people, we were competing against ourselves. You would get a "2" if you didnt have whatever you were playing memorized or if you had it memorized and just messed up a lot. A lot of times they would give lower scores even if you played it perfectly but they felt that you could have played something better than that. I really enjoyed these types of competitions. I always had a great time. Sometimes our ensembles would get a "2" but oh well. It just means we messed up a lot, which is probably true. These competitions didn't really matter at all. We weren't graded on it or anything. It was just something to work for at the end of the year. Just have you're solo or duet or whatever ready for district competition and then on to state. You get a little generic medallion thing. I literally have like 40 of these little medals. They usually give critiques on a little sheet that tell about how you can fix you're technique or how you could use more dynamics or work on you're rudiments, tuning for timpani, posture, etc... It was always a good experience for me.

Just giving a kids point of view so I'm sure my views are flawed, but as my dad says, "The wires in your brain aren't all connected yet!"

-Joe Doubleday

http://myspace.com/samhinsonproject
http://www.youtube.com/user/Issossk

well, i see some of your points. but over all i disagree with you ed.

i think it depends on the teachers and the students. i've seen some incredible high school bands, and some amazing drum corps all competing. they had talented students and talented teachers.

that being said, i would dread having to prepare a band for competition and would never want to do that.

bad teachers just make bad bands. those bands would be stifled and boring even without the competition. not that it doesn't get in the way at all. and i've seen plenty of bad high school bands and players and especially teachers, it had nothing to do with the competition.

i do like that you say 'Music and competition is an oxymoron to me.' that's totally cool to me. that is the 'to me' part. i think you're an open guy and realize that there are other opinions and ways of thinking. at least that's how i know you from talking to you.

i think with a dialogue like this it's important to have all these opinions and ideas and the let people figure out where they're at with all this.

the other cool thing is to realize that for many of us, our opinions might even change over time.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

i keep seeing gustavo say hi toni. and i read the emails also like he's talking to me. right toni is the mom. that's funny.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

if you haven't read the 'inner game of tennis'. check it out. a lot of musicians read that book and his concept of competition changed my view to more of what i'm saying here.

http://www.vibesworkshop.com/amazon/every-musician-should-read-book-even...

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

I think i've opened a can of worms here. I like the fact so many have a jumped in on this discussion. Seems there are so many different, yet same opinions on competitive competition, healthy competition and what knots. I, for one, have seemed to have learned more about it by all of ya'lls replies. I assume you saw my son's thoughts. He's a kid of few words.
Again, I do thank each and everyone of you for your thoughts and opinions. I do enjoy music, even though i am not a musician. I can not even whistle a tune with out being off key or beat. I like the marching season, because its non stop excitement for me. I love the symphonic band because it seems to be more relaxing, enjoyable, and a lot easier on the ears. Same with the philharmonic concert. I love listening to the kids play the marimba, the vibes and the xylophones. Theres something about watching them with 4 mallets, and the sounds that come from them.

Always a Bon Voyage!
Toni Reed
The Cruise Lady
281-478-5458 (home/office)
www.cruisegals.com

i kind of agree with gustavo, except that you graduate and then you spend the rest of your life competing. when you try and get gigs, when you apply for a job. we all compete all the time i think.

the inner game of tennis has a great chapter on competing.

i think competing sucks but one way or another you're going to do it the rest of your life, via dating, via driving and merging on the highway, via jobs and on and on. who has fallen in love and had to at some level 'compete' when you find out your lover is dating someone else and you want her for yourself.

and then i think internally we all compete all the time. even if someone plays great and you think man, i'll never be that good. you've just competed and lost.

and then there's healthy competition and unhealthy competition.

and in one sense, in the true sense, competition does spur people to grow and get better. i mean univ of the arts and every other university has competitions for tuition grants. i imagine we've all competed on that level.

damn what about getting an orchestra gig. or even trying to sub for someone on broadway and you play the gig and you know the next night someone else is coming in to try for the same gig.

when you apply for a grant you're competing. and competing really hard. you better make your stuff look better than everyone elses.

so while i agree with gustavo and understand what he means, i think it's not going to happen and that unless we change the world it's better kids know about competition.

and i go back and forth with this all the time!

one thing i will say, it looks like mom is certainly involved with the discussion, i hope son is as well. i'd love to hear his version of competition unaided by a parent. it would be interesting to discuss it with someone right in the middle of it all.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

I probably lean more toward Gustavo's point of view. My problem is that music competitions are evaluated with some kind of NUMERICAL evaluation scale - first place, second place, etc., or a number system grade of 1 through 5. And that type of grading isn't based in the real world because I tend to think that in real life, people aren't evaluated that way since so many other factors come into play (personality, dependability, communication skills, etc.). So I agree with Tony that we spend the rest of lives competing, but not in the same manner as in a music competition. We might be competing with ourselves to bring out the best within us as opposed to out-distancing someone else.

Or maybe I'm just completely naive about this.

Hi Toni,

First, please give my best regards to your son and thank him for playing my piece. It's not an easy one. There's a lot of technical acumen required in bringing out the melody, while keeping the accompaniment moving smoothly. He did an admirable job. I'm curious what the best score was? Was 2 a really bad score???

The fact is, in the original printing of the book the tempos were a bit fast and in the second printing I corrected some of the metronome markings, as well as other printing errors.
Frankly speaking, your son played the piece a little slower than I had intended, although I'm not sure of the metronome marking since, believe or not, I don't have the book at the moment. Don't be too upset. He's young and will, I'm sure enjoy playing the vibes for a long time to come. Anyway, it's about the joy of playing music, isn't it?

Best of luck to your son.

HI Mr. Friedman,
Thank you for responding to my post. The scores go from 1 -5, 1 being the best. 2 isnt bad, but its not what the directors thought they deserved. Of course, directors (and parents)always think their kids are better. Granted, the biggest disagreement was how it was to be played. So I guess it really boils down to what printing each person had as to who played it right. It was said that one judge told the director that had he been the judge for him, he would have had a 1. So, there again, it boils down to which printing the player and the judge had.
I showed him what you said, and he seems to be happy with it. I do appreciate the response, and I will let the director know. I'm not upset. I'm just glad that he does love the music, the vibes and the marimba. Music is something you have to have love to play, have to have an ear for it, and it has to almost come naturally. He has all those.

Always a Bon Voyage!

Toni Reed
The Cruise Lady
281-478-5458 (home/office)
www.cruisegals.com

Mom always was good at starting arguments ^_^

Anyway, as far as competition goes, it's a lot like water. Too much can kill you, but you still need SOME throughout your life. I think that a little competition between people helps fuel their drive to grow, as long as it stays friendly and doesn't escalate to anything malicious towards the "rivals". As Mr. Friedman said earlier, the main focus should be the joy of music.

But there is a need for some sort of competitiveness between musicians, especially students. If they picked chairs by who enjoyed playing the music the most, then we would have 20 first chair kids and a real problem when it came to splitting parts for concert season.

The solo contest in particular is a necessity, as it isn't as much a contest between many students as it is a contest with yourself, to see how well you can learn a piece and how you stack up in the eyes of a judge. I don't see how anything venomous to the art of music can come from trying to play a piece at its best.

As for the judge I had, I wasn't upset so much that I got a two instead of a one, but that his only comments to me were over tempo abuse. Tempo alone should not drop a full number score, in my opinion. What kind of feedback is that, that he only commented on what equates to about 5% of the piece? That completely defeats the purpose of the contest; to let someone else tell you your flaws and strengths so that you might eliminate the flaws and magnify the strengths. This guy left me nothing to magnify and next to nothing to work on.

Hey welcome on board Quizzical! Nice hearing your voice!
You sound sensible and great: go ahead!
Marie
P.S.: may we have your first name?

Of course. I'm Jack.

she started this whole discussion.

it's great! and i'm glad you're cool with it. you handle it well then. and that's cool also.

cu
tony

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

i like what you had to say here

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

I'm never one to disappoint ;)

jack,

did you ever imagine that your mom would post this and you would get replies from a list of players like this?

gary burton
david friedman
ed saindon (berklee faculty)
gustavo (berklee faculty)

and all the other heavy cats on the site. pretty cool huh?

that to me is unbelievable.

------------------------
Tony Miceli
s k y p e: tjazzvibe
i c h a t: tonymiceli
tony@tonymiceli.com
www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Miceli/604414578
www.myspace.com/tonymicelivibes

I could very easily see her posting something like this on the internet for all to see. You're definitely right about the player list though. A response from Mr. Friedman himself I certainly never saw coming.

I have to agree with Tony that all the thoughtful response from such an amazing group of of musicians is truly unbelievable. I'd imagine that this discussion could go on forever, but in the end your grandmother was right all along. "Everything in moderation."

What's interesting to me is that humans tend to favor black and white thinking no matter what the subject is. Why is that? It seems to me that whether competition is good or bad the music itself is tossed out the window as soon as the discussion starts. I play music because I like the way it makes me feel. And in psychiatry school I learned that feelings are neither good or bad.

My compliments to this young man for endeavoring to learn a challenging piece of music and perform it for others to enjoy too. In the end if he learned even a little bit about himself, increased his confidence and connected with that elusive essence of music then he is a big winner.

Bob Wesner

Yes... quite unbelievable... and great! :o)