Tag Archives: easy music assessment

Assess Rhythm Reading and Writing

As we approach the end of the school year for some of our American friends, I wanted to share some easy and quick ways to assess the students’ ability to read and write rhythms.
 

1. Flashcard Attendance ~ Rhythm Reading Assessment
In the Musicplay teacher’s guides I sometimes suggest starting your class with flashcard attendance.  We don’t always have to take attendance, but in schools where you do, make taking the attendance into an opportunity for a quick evaluation.
In flashcard attendance, I would take the pile of cardstock flashcards that the students were working on.  I’d call a child’s name, hold up the flashcard and the child would read it.
4 – student accurately and fluently claps and says the pattern
3 – student is mostly accurate and mostly fluent in clapping and saying the pattern
2 – student is somewhat accurate and somewhat fluent in clapping and saying the pattern
1 – student has many inaccuracies clapping and saying the pattern and is not able to keep a steady beat
Themes & Variations publishes a set of 100 rhythm flashcards that are printed on colored cardstock.  The color coding indicates the patterns included in the set and helps you to quickly find the set that each class is working on.
Purchase our great set of Flashcards
TeachersPayTeachers – Rhythm Flashcards
Order Cardstock Flashcards from Musicplay Canada     
Order Cardstock Flashcards – USA   
 
At www.musicplayonline.com, we’ve taken the flashcards and made this into a very quick and easy to use movie – just press play.  There are 25-35 patterns in each set.   There are fewer patterns for very easy sets as younger classes are usually smaller (we hope!) and more patterns in the harder or longer sets for your older students.  In the easier sets, we’ve given you both 4 beat assessments and 8 beat assessments. You can choose the set that you want to assess.
 
The Rhythm Practice Menu is on the left menu (on computers).  Select Rhythm Practice, then select Assessments.  There are 15 levels for rhythm assessments from K all the way to Grade 8.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhythm Reading Assessment at www.musicplayonline.com.  To make this really easy, line your students up or seat them in class list order.  Student 1 on your class list will read the first rhythm pattern, then student 2, etc.
 
For the first 2 patterns, the voice says “ready go.” After the first 2 patterns, “ready go” is replaced with “click click.”  There is a 2 beat pause at the end of the pattern, where you can say the name of the next student.  If your students need the “ready go” prompt you can say it with the clicks.
 

 

 
This graphic illustrates where I think that rhythm assessments fall on Blooms taxonomy.  Naming the rhythm as ta or ti-ti would be remembering.  Reading rhythms with a steady beat would fall into understanding/applying.  When you do rhythm dictation, this is even higher up the taxonomy – this is applying/evaluating.  When you have students create their own rhythm compositions, you’re at the highest level.
 
Rhythm Dictation Assessments
You can do this with the videos at www.musicplayonline.com or you can do this by clapping the rhythms yourself.
 
Scroll past the Rhythm Reading Assessments in the Assessment Section to Rhythm Dictation.  A PDF is given with the answer key, and it has a printable 4 Beat Rhythm Dictation worksheet for students to complete.  (If you want to save paper, use recycled paper and have students write their names at the top and number from 1-5.)
 
Play the question and pause.  Drag the video back to repeat, or clap it again for students if they need to hear it a second time.  Five questions are given.  The Answers follow.  I like to have students exchange papers and grade them in class, then I check them over and enter them into my gradebook.
 
 
Which Rhythm Do You Hear?  Another tool that’s available online and as a print product is Which Rhythm Do You Hear?
 
There are many levels to select from.   Choose your level, and you have 10 questions.  Press “play” and students choose the rhythm that they heard.  If you have a SMART Board, students can select the answers on the board.  Or you could have them hold up 1, 2 or 3 fingers to indicate which answer they choose.
 
If you want to use these as your assessment, Just press play, allow students to write down their answer, then go onto the next question without showing the answer.  I’ve found 5 questions are enough for a good assessment – I don’t need to do all 10.  There are printable answer sheets in the print product.
 
 
Which Rhythm? Print Version
 
 
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Rhythm Assessment

Quick and Easy Ideas for assessing Rhythm Reading and Notation
June 12, 2016

 Many of our American teachers are already on summer break, but the Canadian teachers have 3 weeks of teaching.  With your final report cards due soon, here are a few very easy assessment ideas for you to use this week.

  1. Flashcard Attendance ~ Rhythm Reading Assessment

In the Musicplay teacher’s guides I sometimes suggest starting your class with flashcard attendance.  We don’t always have to take attendance, but in schools where you do, make taking the attendance into an opportunity for a quick evaluation.

In flashcard attendance, I would take the pile of cardstock flashcards that the students were working on.  I’d call a child’s name, hold up the flashcard and the child would read it.

4 – student accurately and fluently claps and says the pattern
3 – student is mostly accurate and mostly fluent in clapping and saying the pattern
2 – student is somewhat accurate and somewhat fluent in clapping and saying the pattern
1 – student has many inaccuracies clapping and saying the pattern and is not able to keep a steady beat

Themes & Variations publishes a set of 100 rhythm flashcards that are printed on colored cardstock.  The color coding indicates the patterns included in the set and helps you to quickly find the set that each class is working on.

Link to Flashcards – Canada   http://shop.musicplaytext.ihoststores.com/category.aspx?categoryID=26

Link to Flashcards – USA   http://shop.musicplaytext1.ihoststores.com/category.aspx?categoryID=62

In www.musicplayonline.com, we’ve taken the flashcards and made this into a very quick and easy to use movie – just press play.  There are 25-35 patterns in each set.   There are fewer patterns for very easy sets as younger classes are usually smaller (we hope!) and more patterns in the harder or longer sets for your older students.  In the easier sets, we’ve given you both 4 beat assessments and 8 beat assessments. You can choose the set that you want to assess.

Rhythm Read 4 beats coverRhythm Read 4 beats pattern

Rhythm Read 8 beats cover

Rhythm Read 8 beats pattern

If you have already assessed rhythm reading, and want to take your students to higher level thinking skills, do a dictation assessment with them.

Reading the pattern is easy for most of your students.

Hearing a pattern and notating it, is more challenging.

Prepare the students by having them Listen, Clap and Say

With the cardstock flashcards, you clap a pattern and have the students clap it back and say the rhythm names while they clap.  You can use whatever system of rhythm names you prefer – Ta, Ti-ti, Takadimi, or Edwin Gordon.  I make this into a game by dividing the class into two groups:  the Allegros and the Vivaces.  I show the Allegros a flashcard and they clap it.  If they clap it correctly, they get a point.  The Vivaces have to correctly SAY the rhythm the other team clapped.  If they say it correctly, they get a point.  I can usually rig it so it’s a tie by the end of the class!

At www.musicplayonline.com this is given as a movie.

Students hear the rhythm played, then have to say what they heard.  The answer follows.  This is the preparation the students need to be successful at music dictation.

Listen Clap Say pattern

Listen Clap Say question blank

Listen Clap Say - answer

To do music Dictation using cardstock flashcards, I choose five cards at the level I want to assess.  I give the students a piece of paper (I use paper from the recyling in the school) and a pencil (I keep a class set in a container by the door)  and an old hard cover text to write on.  They write their name at the top and number 1-5.  I clap a pattern – they clap it back, then write it down.  I’ll give it a second time if they need it.   I write down my patterns as I go or keep my flashcards in order. Students exchange papers and correct them in class, so I don’t have to take home bags full of marking.  Yay!

Music Dictation at www.musicplayonline.com is done the same way.

Five questions are given.  Pause the movie between questions.  Immediately following the five questions are the answers.  Exchange papers and mark.

Rhythm Dictation cover

Rhythm Dictation how to use

Rhythm Dictation - question

Rhythm dictation - answers

Similar assessments can be done for melody reading, and similar movies are found in the solfa practice section.

I hope this makes getting those marks onto your report cards a little easier!

Visit www.musicplayonline.com to use the assessment tools in this post.

Visit www.musicplay.ca to find workshop opportunities with Denise Gagne.