Dear Music Educators – My name is Nathan Sheffer and I am currently a graduate student enrolled in the music education program at Kutztown University. During the fall semester of 2020 I had conducted preliminary research pertaining to instrumental festival adjudication. You are receiving this email as your knowledge of that adjudication process is important. Due to this year’s COVID-19 pandemic my research has been extended to collect additional data on the virtual adjudication processes being carried out throughout secondary instrumental programs in the United States. This includes district, region, and state orchestra, band, and jazz band festivals. My research topic is: What is the Reliability and Impact of a Virtual Adjudication Process for Festival Auditions on Secondary Instrumental Music Programs as It Relates to the Need for Adjudication Training in Instrumental Music for the Music Educator?
 
This study specifically looks at secondary instrumental music educator’s involvement in the district, region, and state instrumental festivals. Please feel free to share this link by email and other media sources with music educators in your community.

The purpose of this survey is to gather information concerning the individual training and comfort level with the virtual adjudication process at instrumental festivals throughout the United States.  

All information shared is anonymous. There is no identifying information being collected in this survey. It will be impossible for me to know who has responded. There are also no risks or benefits to participating in this survey.

Participation is completely voluntary. I expect the survey to take 6 - 10 minutes to complete.

By completing and submitting the survey you are indicating you are 18 years of age or older and voluntarily consent to participate. 

If you have any questions now or later regarding this research, please feel free to contact Nathan O. Sheffer at nshef421@live.kutztown.edu.

If you have any questions or concerns about the rights of research participants, please contact the IRB Committee at Kutztown University at 484-646-4167.

Thank you for your help in helping me move the research forward concerning the rationale for adjudication training in instrumental music and  the reliability and impact of virtual adjudications for festival auditions on secondary instrumental music programs as it relates to the need for adjudication training in instrumental music for the music educator?

This survey has been designated as "exempt" through IRB review, ##07022021

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* 1. Please select your gender.

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* 2. Please select your primary instrument.

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* 3. Please select your secondary instrument.

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* 4. Which descriptor best describes your current teaching position as a music educator?

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* 5. How many years have you been a music educator?

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* 6. How many years have you been a member of a professional music association? (Ex: PMEA, NYSSMA, TMEA)

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* 7. In which state are you currently employed?

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* 8. Did you complete the fall 2020 survey, A Rationale for Adjudication Training in Instrumental Music for the Music Educator, published by Nathan Sheffer?

The following questions reflect a typical instrumental festival season, pre COVID-19.
Instrumental festivals include any district, region, or state adjudicated festival.

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* 9. Have you had students participate in an adjudicated instrumental festival for a district, region, or state music ensemble? (district, region, or state/orchestra, band or jazz band)

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* 10. In the past 5 years, have you regularly had students participate in adjudicated instrumental festivals?

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* 11. Do you regularly adjudicate instrumental festivals?

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* 12. As an adjudicator, have you evaluated instruments on which you have/had students auditioning?

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* 13. When attending instrumental festival adjudications, what role have you performed most frequently?

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* 14. As an adjudicator, what instrument have you judged most frequently?

The following questions reflect the current 2020-2021 festival season and how COVID-19 has impacted the adjudication process. (district, region or state /orchestra, band and jazz band)

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* 15. Do/Did you have students preparing for an adjudicated instrumental festival?

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* 16. Will you have students preparing for an adjudicated instrumental festival this year?

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* 17. Do you currently have students placed in a district band and/or orchestra festival?

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* 18. Do you currently have students placed in All-State band and/or orchestra festival?

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* 19. Are/Were you an adjudicator for any instrumental festivals in the 2020-2021 year for your district or state?

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* 20. Does your school district have students participating in any adjudication process for the 2020-2021 instrumental festival season? (Ex: You are the band director and there is an orchestra participant.)

The following questions ask you to reflect on participation in the virtual adjudication process.

Very Positive - more students wish to participate
Positive - roughly the same number of students wish to participate
Negative - fewer students are participating
Very Negative - students from my ensembles chose to not participate 

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* 21. Knowing that the adjudication process is completely virtual, has this impacted your decision to participate negatively or positively?

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* 22. Knowing that the adjudication process is completely virtual, has this impacted your students' decision to participate positively or negatively?

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* 23. Knowing that the adjudication process is completely virtual, has this impacted your school district's support for participation positively or negatively?

The following questions are a reflection on the district band and orchestra virtual adjudication process. (Regardless of your current or past involvement in the process. If you did not adjudicate the instrument group ask yourself how prepared would you feel adjudicating that group?)

Unprepared - did not have a copy of the solo, no prior experience on the instrument being adjudicated
Not Prepared - received a copy of the solo days before the adjudication, minimum experience on instrument being adjudicated 
Prepared - own the solo, often work with the instrument being adjudicated
Very Prepared - own the solo, have studied and/or played the solo, regularly work with the instrument being adjudicated 

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* 24. How prepared did/would you feel adjudicating woodwinds at festivals?

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* 25. How prepared did/would you feel adjudicating brass at festivals?

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* 26. How prepared did/would you feel adjudicating mallet percussion at festivals?

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* 27. How prepared did/would you feel adjudicating battery percussion?

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* 28. How prepared did/would you feel adjudicating strings at festivals?

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* 29. How prepared did/would you feel adjudicating scales at festivals?

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* 30. How prepared are you to adjudicate the standard solo repertoire for strings at festivals?

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* 31. How prepared are you to adjudicate the standard solo repertoire for woodwinds at festivals?

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* 32. How prepared are you to adjudicate the standard solo repertoire for brass at festivals?

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* 33. How prepared are you to adjudicate the standard solo repertoire for percussion (mallet and battery) at festivals?

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* 34. How comfortable would you be as a substitute adjudicator for a virtual festival? (not judging one of your primary or secondary instruments)

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* 35. What role did you perform in the 2020-2021 district band and orchestra festival's virtual audition process?

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* 36. As an adjudicator did you evaluate an instrument on which you had students auditioning?

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* 37. As an adjudicator did you evaluate your primary instrument?

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* 38. As an adjudicator did you evaluate your secondary instrument?

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* 39. If your role consisted of adjudicating a specific instrument, please select which instrument group best describes that role.

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* 40. How did your role in the 2020-2021 district band and orchestra festival audition process differ from previous years?

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* 41. In what form were the district band and orchestra auditions submitted?

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* 42. How were the video submissions viewed on the day of the auditions?

The following questions pertain to a scenario where festival organizers continue to offer virtual adjudications and in-person festivals. 

Negative = anticipate fewer students participating, decrease student involvement
Positive = anticipate same amount or more students participating, increase student involvement

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* 43. If virtual auditions continue, how would your student's future involvement in festivals be impacted?

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* 44. If virtual auditions continued, how would your future involvement in festivals be impacted?

The following questions pertain to future instrumental festivals given the recent wide spread adoption of a virtual adjudication process. They are also asked with the assumption that future festivals will be held in-person.

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* 45. How beneficial is it to make virtual auditions available to all students?

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* 46. How beneficial is it to continue holding in-person auditions for all students?

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* 47. How beneficial is it to only offer a virtual adjudication process to students?

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* 48. Knowing that the registration cost would decrease due to the reduction in transportation, facility, and personnel expenses, how beneficial would it be to offer a 100% virtual adjudication option?

Thank you for taking the time to participate in this survey.
Nathan O. Sheffer
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