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"Cut-throat" competition


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I have heard several people say violin competition in music

camps and schools isn't nearly as "cut-throat" as piano competition.

I've also heard other people say violin competition is more

intense. Also, please tell me if I'm wrong, but it seems

fiddlers and celtic people are more forgiving and

friendly at music-camp-like places. I absolutely have nothing against

classical music and right now that's what I'm playing most of,

it just seems the fiddling atmosphere is gentler. Sorry if this

post is utterly confusing.

-Michael L.

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Pianists or violinists - they're all about the same. Because there are so few opportunities in proportion to the number of students, anyone on any instrument will gleefully do anything to destroy their competition. Even worse are competitions. It's very hard to find an "honest" one - too frequently, the judges know who you are, even if they're not supposed to and they'll almost always vote for their own students, or those of their friends. As if this wasn't enough, if they don't like your teacher, it doesn't matter how well you play, they'll be out to get you. Of course there are real competitions out there, but you have to do some digging and research to find them. Same pretty much goes for schools. I don't know anything about the fiddle and celtic scene. Sorry if this seems depressing. The most important thing to remember, however, is to always be true to yourself.

About our other discussion:

I haven't read the story, but I would like to. Is it just online midi files that won't play, or can you not play them in general?

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I've been in music competitions before where the teachers weren't allowed to judge their own students. It was at the University of NM. It was divided into groups and was all figured out so that music teachers could only judge students that weren't their own. Is this rare? I can't believe such biased things as what you mentioned going on in esteemed places like Juilliard.

It seems that all this ugly, shameless, biased competition would get in the way of the music!

-Michael L.

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The judging situation you described is normal, however, there are lots of ways to get around it - the teacher could enter their student under an assistant's name, the teacher could have a friend vote for their student, or at least against everyone else, or the rule could be ignored altogether. I've seen all three situations.

Here's an extreme example of what can go on at schools. At Curtis, I heard about a piano student whose application was rejected with a note that if they went to another teacher, they could get in. They followed the advice, resubmitted their application, and were accepted. This is hearsay from the teacher, but I've heard similar stories from other people. I'm not familiar with Juilliard, but I'd guess that it isn't as bad there because it's a larger school.

I'm not saying that this always happens, the majority of students go to these schools on their own merit, but when things like this go on, the music tends to be forgotten in the interest of political games, and I for one find it disgusting.

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: The judging situation you described is normal, however, there are lots of ways to get around it - the teacher could enter their student under an assistant's name, the teacher could have a friend vote for their student, or at least against everyone else, or the rule could be ignored altogether. I've seen all three situations.

: Here's an extreme example of what can go on at schools. At Curtis, I heard about a piano student whose application was rejected with a note that if they went to another teacher, they could get in. They followed the advice, resubmitted their application, and were accepted. This is hearsay from the teacher, but I've heard similar stories from other people. I'm not familiar with Juilliard, but I'd guess that it isn't as bad there because it's a larger school.

: I'm not saying that this always happens, the majority of students go to these schools on their own merit, but when things like this go on, the music tends to be forgotten in the interest of political games, and I for one find it disgusting.

:This is the way the world we live in goes. Now a days when you go to audition for a job, you need to play perfectly, because if you don't, the next guy. That is the quality of playing out there now. People play believe it or not, perfectly now. Technically any how.

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:People play believe it or not, perfectly now. Technically any how.

Well... That depends on what "perfect playing" means. To me, it's playing in-tune and articulated. Most people don't. I can give specific examples, but that would be pointless. However, I've heard a lot of playing from Curtis and Juilliard students and grads that's really not so good - sloppy and out-of-tune, just for starters. That goes for some of the famous ones too. Therefore, I find the notion that everyone plays perfectly false. Remember, I'm not the one who brought this up, so I'm not going to argue with you. You have your opinions, and I have mine.

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