Tag Archives: music report cards

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

Elementary Music Report Card Comments

Some of my American teacher friends are already finished school, but for many teachers you are into the home stretch and looking forward to the end of the school year.

Report cards are not anyone’s favorite job, but it’s important to communicate how the students have progressed in music.  If we don’t assess, evaluate and report on what we’ve taught, it’s possible that parents will look at music as a “frill” or “something extra” that we do if we have time, and not as a subject area that’s really valuable to our students.

 A teacher in the Musicplay Teacher’s Group on Facebook asked for samples of report card comments, so I’ve gathered some samples for you to peruse.  Every district (and sometimes every school) has a different reporting policy.  Some allow and encourage lengthy comments, and some limit you to just 1-2 sentences.  Here are some categorized comments:

 Attitude

The student:

  • is an enthusiastic learner who seems to enjoy music class.
  • exhibits a positive outlook and attitude in the music classroom.
  • is a positive influence on other students in music class.
  • participates with enthusiasm when singing
  • participates with enthusiasm when playing instruments
  • shows enthusiasm for music classroom activities.
  • volunteers ideas and suggestions in musical activities
  • strives to always do their best in music class.
  • is committed to doing their best in music class
  • enjoys problem solving and challenges in music class.
  • takes responsibility for their learning in music class.

Behavior

The student:

  • cooperates with the teacher and other students.
  • participates appropriately when playing musical games
  • transitions easily between musical activities without distraction.
  • is courteous and shows good manners in the classroom.
  • follows music classroom rules.
  • conducts themselves with maturity.
  • responds appropriately when corrected.
  • remains focused on the activity.
  • resists the urge to be distracted by other students.
  • is kind and helpful to everyone in the classroom.
  • sets an example of excellence in behavior and cooperation.
  • shows respect for teachers and peers.
  • treats the instruments with care and respect.

Participation

The following comments are leveled.

1 – Developing

  • Beginning to participate appropriately and actively in music class.  Requires frequent teacher reminders.

2 – Satisfactory

  • Sometimes participates appropriately and actively in music class.  Requires teacher reminders.

3 – Proficient

  • – Participates appropriately and actively in music class.  Occasionally requires teacher prompts.

4 – Excellent

  • Participates appropriately and actively in all music classes.

Skills

The following comments are leveled.

1 – Developing

  • Beginning to perform some instrument and singing parts with teacher support

2 – Satisfactory

  • Can perform some instrument and singing parts with teacher support. 

3 – Proficient

  • Can perform instrument and singing parts.  Requires prompts from the teacher.

4 – Excellent

  • Can perform all instrument and singing parts independently.

 Concepts

The following comments are leveled.

1 – Developing

  • With teacher support, beginning to read, write, and identify some grade level beat and rhythm concepts.

2 – Satisfactory

  • With teacher support, reads, writes, and identifies some grade level beat and rhythm concepts. 

3 – Proficient

  • With teacher prompts, reads, writes, and identifies all grade level beat and rhythm concepts. 

4 – Excellent

  • Independently reads, writes, and identifies all grade level beat and rhythm concepts.