If you follow carefully this random list, you will be guaranteed a IV, III, or II rating at the festival. If you observe 90 percent or more you can earn a IV; 50 percent will get you by with a III. It is possible to earn a II if you follow only 25 percent. Face the bitter truth that if you adhere to only 10 or 15 percent, you might receive a superior.

  1. Never pay attention to 2nd and 3rd clarinet and trumpet parts or inner voices.
  2. Never encourage students to play the horn. After beats are no fun.
  3. Pay attention to mouthpieces. Any old one will do.
  4. Never hurt an oboe players feelings. Let them ruin your performance.
  5. Be sure your flutes play sharp, especially C#.
  6. Keep it a secret about sharp and flat partials on brass instruments.
  7. Never use a third valve slide.
  8. Be sure that the tubas play all short notes too long.
  9. Never connect notes in legato passages.
  10. Never separate staccato notes.
  11. Always assume that an accent means hit it hard.
  12. At all costs avoid dynamic contrasts.
  13. Be sure to allow tied and dotted notes to run into the next note.
  14. Never separate accented notes.
  15. Always allow short notes to attach themselves to the preceding note.
  16. If it says ff, be sure that everyone is playing ff.
  17. If a solo is indicated to be playing pp, be sure no one hears it.
  18. Let all sustained tones sag at the end.
  19. Spend too much time on scales; a bored band is a happy band.
  20. Always play scales loud and never let the students hear themselves.
  21. Be sure that the trumpets play loud enough to cover everyone.
  22. Never play a chorale, but if you do, make it a complicated one like in a lot of sharps.
  23. Choose too difficult music. It will impress the judge.
  24. Be sure to always conduct never teach.
  25. Always let the melody be covered by something else.
  26. Encourage poor posture—slouching, elbows on knees, legs crossed, etc.
  27. Never practice your own instrument or play for your students.
  28. Be sure the woodwinds have sufficient broken reeds. Never have a “set-up” with a specific place for each chair and student.
  29. Don’t number music folders, or label them or have a place for them.
  30. Pass out music only at rehearsals. Better yet, let a student with grade and attitude problems do it. 32. Always be sure that your rehearsal is cluttered with books, coats, broken instruments, music, etc.
  31. Keep a friendly rehearsal environment. Let everyone talk all the time.
  32. Never start or stop rehearsal on time. Parents and teachers like this.
  33. Be sure that you never hurt a troublemaker’s feelings by suggesting that he/she leave the rehearsal.
  34. Always assume that judges are dishonest, incompetent or prejudiced.
  35. Don’t keep a bulletin board. It is better to take time to answer each student’s questions individually.
  36. Never, never study a score. It is better to learn from the first reading.Never learn from a colleague; they are surely out to get you.

GOOD LUCK! There are many more ways to qualify for a low rating but that will have to wait for a later edition.