Attitudes toward Music Contests: the pros and cons:

Society values competition as a vestige from our past—a “true” measure of value or worth. Modern research points to the havoc that competition can create in the educational or developmental process.
Its strength lies in the stimulation given students to do their best. Its weakness lies in the fact that winning may become an end in itself.
Receiving a high rating makes the band feel good. Winning often became the primary goal rather than improvement and learning.
Contests raises standards of performance. Difficult to see where the athletic field ends and class room begins.
Contest raises the spirit of the band. Jealousy is born, strife is bred.
Fostering an at-large interest in music. Competition focuses attention and energy on an external force— the fellow competitor—rather than the performance at hand.
The idea [of music contests] is successful because it brings out the instincts of rivalry and conquest. There is enough of heated struggle in life without deliberately and unnecessarily fanning the spark in childhood
The importance of learning “citizenship” through a competitive music program while improving motivation and public relations. Concern for those students who do not achieve success in competition and are unprepared for the consequences of losing.
Competition has educational benefits for students including: 1) incentive for hard work, 2) a standard for performance 3) a good “social education. A person taught to be highly competitive in an intergroup setting (one group united against another) may transfer the competitive feelings to members of his/her own group (intragroup competition).
Fear about reduction of standards with the removal of competitive element. The stress of competition may cause children to avoid involvement altogether.
Contests defended on the basis of its ability to elicit virtuoso effort. Negative experiences can lead to an “overconcern for perfection” that cause students to drop out.
(1) the use of better music, (2) the improvement of instrumentation, (3) increased interest in school music by parents and students, (4) adjudicators’ comments, and (5) the opportunity for students to hear other groups 1) an overemphasis on the competitive aspect, 2) too much time spent on festival pieces, 3) poor adjudication, 4) de-emphasis of the other fine ensembles performing at an event.