Tag Archives: elementary music assessment

Easy Assessments in the Music Class

For some of our American teachers, you’re already at the end of the school year.  For many Canadian teachers the last day is June 30th.

I hope everyone’s had a great school year.
These are  skills that I hope students will develop during the school year:
Sing, Play, Move, Listen and Analyze, Read/Write, and Create.  So, these are the areas in which I want to assess student growth at the end of the year.  Where possible, I’ve been doing assessments throughout the year so I can now see student growth. Here are some easy ways to assess these skill areas.

Sing in Tune
1.  Hello Attendance:
– sing “Hello” to students, and they sing “Hello” back to you.  (on so-mi)
– use this as your attendance
* . With all of these assessments, it’s easiest to line children up in class-list order!
2. Three Second Listen:
– put on a recording of a song the children have worked on for several listens
– line students up in class list order, and listen to each child for a few seconds
– this is all that’s need to tell if they match the pitch of the recording
3.  Guessing Games
– play one of the Musicplay guessing games, where children sing solos
– assess pitch matching as the children sing the solo
Gr. 1 – Mr. Potato, Gr. 2 – Doggie, Gr. 3 – Closet Key, Number Concentation . Gr. 4 – Jolly Rhythm,  Gr. 5 – Concentration

Play instruments keeping a Steady Beat
1.  Give students unpitched instruments.  Play a piece of recorded music and have them play along.  Observe and assess on your class list.  (Can use #36-37 in listen Kit 1)
Move to Steady Beat
1.  Play a drum or a woodblock, and tell your students to move to the beat.  Observe and assess.
2. Invite students to be leaders in the Copycat game. In the Listening Kit 1 these include:  (All in the listening section at www.musicplayonline.com)
28 “Balletmusik,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
29 “Contradance II,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
30 “Balletmusik IX,” Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
32 “Galliard Battaglia,” Samuel Scheidt
36 Gigue, Handel
37 Gigue, Handel
38 Minuet from Water Music Suite, Handel
You could also play the Copycat game – 4 students each repetition can be assessed.

Create Movement
1.  Play a drum or a woodblock, and tell your students to move to the beat.  When the beat stops tell them to freeze and make a statue.
2.  Find a short listening example and invite all the students to create movement to the recording.  Use the above examples for creating movement.  In the Mozart Examples listed above, the sections are 32 beats long – invite the children to create movement for 32 beats, and then try the movement with the recording.

Rhythm Reading
1.  put 8-10 pairs of flashcards in the pocket chart.  Have individual students read and assess.
2.  Use the Rhythm Reading Assessments activity in the Rhythm Practice section of www.musicplayonline.com    There are movies with 4 beat and 8 beat assessments.  Each movie is less than 5 minutes long and has enough examples for a class of 25-35 students.

Solfa Melody Reading
1.  put 8-10 solfa flashcards in the pocket chart.  Have individual students read and assess.
2.  Use the Read Notation activity in the Solfa Practice section of www.musicplayonline.com    There are movies 8-10 solfa patterns.  Each movie is less than 2 minutes long. Repeat as needed.

Rhythm Dictation
1.  Give students paper and pencil and have them number the paper from #1-5.  Clap a pattern.  They clap back, then write down what they heard.
2.  Use the Rhythm Dictation Assessments activity in the Rhythm Practice section of www.musicplayonline.com    There are movies with 4 beat  assessments that give both questions and answers.

Melodic Dictation
1.  Give students paper and pencil and have them number the paper from #1-4 or 5.  Sing (to loo) or Play on a keyboard a solfa pattern.  so mi so-so mi  Students write down what they heard:  s m ss m
2.  Use the Melodic Dictation Assessments activity in the Solfa Practice section of www.musicplayonline.com    There are movies with solfa assessments that give both questions and answers.

Improvise Rhythms
1.  Do a question-answer warmup with your students.  Give each student a question using a variety of body percussion, and your students will improvise an answer.
2.  Have your students form a circle in class list order.  Keep a steady beat on a woodblock or cowbell.  Give the students Boomwhackers or other unpitched instrument.  Have each student improvise 4-8 beats (fewer for younger, more for older) and have the class echo the improvisation.  There is an example of this in the Musicplay 6 Digital Resources.

Improvise Melodies
1.  Do a question-answer melody warmup with your students.  Sing each student a question using melodic notes that they are familiar with, and have each student sing (improvise) an answer.  For example:  Sing – What did you eat for breakfast?  Student sings back – I ate a buffalo.
2.  Have the class sing a melodic pattern from a flashcard (or notate on the board), and ask individual students to improvise an additional 4 beats of melody.
For example:  All Sing – s ml ss m .   Child sings:  ss mm dd d
3.  If you have barred instruments, do the same activity on instruments.

Create Rhythm or Melodic Composition
1.  Use the rhythm composition template in Musicplay 3 #11 Shake the Papaya.  Have students write a rhythm composition to use as a B section with the song.

Critically Analyse a Listening Selection
Have students complete a listening log from one of the Listening Resource Kit and use this as an assessment.

Artie and Denise #8 in Las Vegas July 25-26th

Artie Almeida and Denise Gagne have offered workshops for the past 7 years:  #1 – Cruise ship, #2 – Las Vegas, #3 – Nashville, #4 – Orlando, #5 – Branson, #6 – Dallas/Houston, #7 – Chicago and now in 2017 back in Las Vegas.  Meeting rooms on the strip are way too expensive ($10,000/day), so we are meeting at Griffith Elementary. Uber prices out the ride from Treasure Island to the school at $8-11, so if 4 teachers share, as little as $2/person.  We’ll bring in pizza and subs for lunch.  We’ll pick out some shows for evenings, and if you want to join us, we’ll have some great socializing time.
All teachers who attend will get a certificate of completion of 16 hours of professional development.  We videotape the workshop and make the videos available to attendees so you can remember all the fun activities.  All teachers who attend will receive a one year subscription to www.musicplayonline.com!  (Value $150 US / $200 Cdn)
Register now for Artie and Denise #8!
Information –  USA teachers .         Canadian Teachers – Info

Assessment of Performances

Assessment of Performances

If students have performed in a holiday concert, give them the opportunity to identify and give examples of their strengths and areas for growth as musical performers and as audience members.  There are different ways that they can evaluate their performance.

  1. Discussion

The teacher could ask the class questions. For example:
– If you were to perform this song again, what would you change and why?

– What parts of the song did you find challenging?
– What parts of the song did you find most interesting to sing? Why?

  1. Quick Self-Assessment

Show me 1 finger if you didn’t sing.
Show me 2 fingers if you sang, but you didn’t try your best.
Show me 3 fingers if you tried your very best, and sang with your best singing voice.

Use 1 finger, 2 fingers, 3 fingers as a reflective response for many other areas:

  • Were you a good listener in the concert?
    – Did you like the way you performed in the Christmas concert?
    – Did you behave well for the substitute teacher yesterday?
  • – When you were moving, did you try your best?
  1. Written Self-evaluation  (This is from Dec. Musicplay 6)
  2. I sang with my very best singing voice.

Always ___ Almost always ___ Sometimes ___ Seldom ___

I used my eyes and face to express the words of the song.
Always ___ Almost always ___ Sometimes ___ Seldom ___

I used good posture while singing.
Always ___ Almost always ___ Sometimes ___ Seldom ___

My eyes were focused on the conductor during the performance. Always ___ Usually ___ Sometimes ___ Seldom ___

I remember all (or most) of the words to the songs.
Always ___ Usually ___ Sometimes ___ Seldom ___

I was a good audience member for the other performers. Always ___ Usually ___ Sometimes ___ Seldom ___

 

Share what assessment tools you use!

Join the Musicplay Curriculum Facebook Page, and/or the Musicplay Teachers group and share your assessment tools.

Or – email denise at denisegagne1@gmail.com and I’ll post your ideas.

These materials come from the Musicplay curriculum.

For information on Musicplay visit www.musicpay.ca

Holiday Concert Scripts:  Last December I invited teachers to send in the scripts that they’ve written for their holiday concerts.  I’d love to get enough to put together a collection of scripts that teachers have used.  I have a few, but would very much like more!  If you’ve written a script, submit it for review.  If accepted, your script will be published and you’ll be paid a 10% pro-rated royalty.    Along with the script, we’ll need the list of songs you used and sources where other teachers can find them.

 

Videos of Themes & Variations songs:  We LOVE to see videos of your students performing music from one of our publications.  No special permissions are needed to take video of children in public performances, so the usual foip rules don’t apply.  Post the video on YouTube and send me the links.  We’ll share your performances with others.