Music Assessment for Better Ensembles

ISBN : 9780190603144

Brian P. Shaw
240 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Nov 2018
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Assessment is central to ensemble music. Yet, teachers do not always have the expertise to harness its potential to improve rehearsals and performances, and promote and document student learning. Written specifically for band, choir, and orchestra teachers at all levels, this book contains all of the information necessary to design and use assessment in a thriving music classroom. The first section addresses foundations such as learning targets, metacognition, and growth mindset. Assessment jargon such as formative assessment, summative assessment, Assessment for Learning, self and peer assessment, and authentic assessment is clarified and illustrated with music examples. Readers will learn practical strategies for choosing which concepts to assess, which methods to use, and how to use results to provide accurate and effective feedback to students. The second section brings assessment fundamentals into the music room. Filled with practical advice, each chapter examines a different facet of musicianship. Sample assessments in all performance areas are provided, including music literacy, fundamentals and technique, terminology, interpretation, evaluation and critique, composition and improvisation, beliefs and attitudes, and more. There is an entire chapter devoted to tips for applying assessment and feedback strategies in rehearsals, which can result in a fresh and effective approach to performance preparation. The final section is an examination of grading practices in music classes. Readers will gain information about ensemble grades that communicate what students know and are able to do, rather than whether they remembered their black socks. A variety of approaches, including Standards-Based Grading, are evaluated in light of music teachers' unique situations. The book concludes with ways for music educators to take their first steps toward implementing these strategies in their own teaching, including the use of instructional technology. Assessing like an expert is possible, and this book is just what teachers need to get started.


Section One: Foundations
Chapter 1: Why Assessment?
Chapter 2: Assessment and Curriculum
Chapter 3: Gathering Information
Chapter 4: Evaluation and Feedback
Section Two: Applications
Chapter 5: Musical Understandings
Chapter 6: Fundamental Skills
Chapter 7: Concert Preparation
Section Three: Grades
Chapter 8: Grading Basics
Chapter 9: Grading in the Ensemble Classroom
Chapter 10: Beginning Your Own Journey
Further Reading for Teachers

About the author: 

Brian Shaw teaches music education at The Ohio State University. An award-winning music teacher and administrator, he has led workshops and given presentations on assessment across the country. He studied music education at Indiana University, the University of Illinois, and Ohio State, and educational administration at DePaul University.

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