Originally posted by mound:
it sounds like he's in a position of hiring church players, maybe he's the director of music ministry at his church.. I thought his post was pretty clear. In the "real world" a list of repertoir is as worthless as a RCM "grade level" -if you can play, you'll get the job
Precisely. Though I'm not the director of music, I help out where I can. Often that involves hiring supplemental musicians. I don't care about their skill level in general, only as specific to the type playing I need. I also get hired for church and other gigs. Do they like my playing? the only way I can know is if the phone rings again and I have another gig. Similarly, when I hire somebody, I'll never say anything bad about them, to their face or to others. But if they didn't play well, I don't call again, nor recommend them to others.
The example I gave of playing hymns is a very narrow specific requirement. It tells nothing about accomplishment in general. It is simply one example of very quantifiable, operational definitions of skill level. And market forces determine whether you have succeeded or not.
There's at least one flaw in using the "hired again" evaluation process. Sometimes I don't hire a good player because he's a jerk. (sometimes I suspect I've been hired over better players because I'm generally a nice guy) But generally it works. For those who make their living playing, it works too well.
If you never play for hire, maybe this doesn't apply to you. But maybe you should try it. Like being hanged in the morning, it tends to focus the mind. I learned to transpose Bb treble by doing it live in front of a paying drunken crowd - sink or swim. Several decades later it hasn't faded.