Playing Assessments

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    How do you do playing tests? Is there a push in your district to have everyone doing “common” assessments? Do you test scales? If so, do you test all 12? Chromatic? I’m very interested to find out how others are doing this.


    This response is obviously a little late, but here it is. I have created a portfolio assessment, with rubrics, that aligns with the Wyoming State Fine Arts Standards. As part of the assessment for Standard One (Perform), throughout the year, I test on 12 major scales, chromatic scales, and other items, including music excerpts, etudes, etc. I use multiple methods of assessing: Sometimes, I have the student either sound record or video record and email or text it to me. This method works very well, because it doesn’t take time out of class AND I can email/text each student feedback. It also takes the nerve factor out, because the kid can record it in a practice room or at home, and re-record it if they need to. I also assess during sectionals, where I can give direct feedback immediately, as well as corrective instruction.

    One thing to keep in mind, I think, is that if we want to be treated as an academic area, we have to teach and assess with high expectations and clear standards. We can say that not every student is capable of playing all 12 major scales, but couldn’t the same be said for Geometry? And yet, the Geometry teacher is being held to the standard that every child CAN learn. To quote the amazing Diane Knutson, “Every child deserves a music education.” Which means we care about them enough to push them towards excellence, and assess along the way to inform our instruction.

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