Guidelines for Teachers
Why enter pupils in a Festival?
To give them performing experience; to let them hear what other children - and adults - in their age group achieve; to give them an incentive to work intensively.
What about the “competitive element”?
At Hatfield, we feel that a certain amount of competition is no bad thing, but much more emphasis is laid on encouragement, positive feedback and the enjoyment of making music. Candidates can, of course, also take advantage of the “non competitive” option and have an unmarked assessment.
What about marks?
We have found that children seem to appreciate being given marks - they give a concrete evaluation which can then be improved upon. The policy at Hatfield is to announce only the marks of the first three places and the Merit certificates. Each competitor is given a mark sheet with the Adjudicator’s remarks at the end of each class, along with the Merit certificate, where applicable.
What levels or grades of performance are expected?
We welcome entrants of all abilities and since all music is own choice, each entrant is assessed on his/her merit. Obviously, fluency, musicality and a well-prepared programme are important, but the most advanced entrant in the class is not necessarily the winner. In the Piano, String and Woodwind sections, there are Recital Classes for the more gifted pupils. Teachers may also enter these pupils in higher age classes
Why have a Finalists’ Competition?
To give the winner, who may well be an advanced student, the valuable experience of playing a concerto - a test of nerve and musicianship which is a necessary part of a professional musician’s training.
What about the Duo and Ensemble Classes?
These classes are intended for those young musicians who are not happy as soloists but who enjoy playing with their friends in a group; in addition, duo or ensemble playing is an excellent training in musicianship and should be very enjoyable. We hope that the emphasis on performance in the GCSE Music syllabus will encourage entry in these classes.
Why offer prizes?
We feel that hard work and dedication need some reward, and that learning to be a musician is a very expensive business. The prize money can be used to buy music, necessary equipment or a special lesson.