Feb 15, 2011

Not Your Ordinary Playing Assessment

Here's an assignment that will help your students learn their music & get their parents involved too!  It requires only about 10 minutes time to complete.

The biggest benefits of this assignment are:

      1. It is self-reflective
      2. Helps develop critical listening skills
      3. Encourages parental involvement
      4. Communicates performance standards
In my opinion, this assignment address two concerns.  First, we don't teach our students to listen and assess their own playing enough.  When students are at home practicing, they have to be their own problem solvers.  Teaching them how to listen is critical to their practice session success.  Second, students and parents need to understand what the performance standards are in your music program.  This assignment is an opportunity to communicate those standards.  Your students need to know what is expected of them and a rubric like the one below is a great way to address these standards.  

I create a few of these assignment throughout the year using the students' band music.  The parental feedback is overwhelmingly positive.  This assignment can be tailored to anything.  From scales to the Star Spangled Banner, the possibilities are numerous!

Assignment (handed-out in class, posted on blog & emailed home)
Parents, please help your child complete this assignment by being an active listener.  Directions are on the assignment.  You don't have to have a music background to be an active listener.  How does your child’s instrument sound (also called tone)?  How is their posture?  Were they unsure of notes or fingerings - did they hesitate? And, tap your foot to keep the beat and see if they stay with you.

Here is an example of what the assessment should look like when it is completed:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.


  1. very informative post... keep posting.

  2. Nancy Moser7/28/11, 8:13 PM

    Wow Keith, great! Imma steal it! :)