I went back to school a few years ago upon the realization that I really don't want any job I'm qualified for and in the process I learned a few things about myself. The biggest thing is that - while I find private music instruction to be one of the more rewarding things I've ever done with my life - I never want to teach music in an institutional way. I figure that I never want to be the guy who almost made it, or just flat out didn't make it (since close is arbitrary and debatable and completely beside the point) who takes that out on a class full of students, year after year. I didn't pursue a degree teaching music. I wound up going for an English degree after becoming terrified of the institutions I was visiting in the education program. Again, not the point.
The point is that I never wanted to stand in judgement of music. I'm not sure I'm even qualified to do so. I mean, it's all pretty subjective, what we like and what we don't. But Friday I will be one of three judges in a battle of the bands. The bands are exactly the demographic I want to avoid, they're young.
I'm nervous. I want to try to stick to the things that can define. Where they need to improve and where I think they did well, y'know, encouraging stuff. I'm not sure I can bring myself to say I think that the song is wrong. Maybe that I think the song is unfinished, unrealized. I don't know. This is going to be hard for me because I worship the song.
But, like I said, I don't know how to judge a thing that is inherently subjective. This is not to say that I don't have a definition of quality, it's just that I doubt the efficacy of that definition. By this I mean to say that I'm not sure I can impose my standards on another: One person's "That song doesn't go anywhere" is another's complete vision.
What I am going to do is take notes and share how it goes.
Wish me luck and check back.