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The development of an assessment tool to gather evidence and evaluate the progress of performance skills of students in the Edgerton High School Band

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Gaffney, Valerie Frizzell
Apr 30, 2005
School music--Instruction and study--Wisconsin--Edgerton.; Music--Performance--Testing
Because of the block schedule and the lack of certain basic music skills among the incoming band students at Edgerton High School, it is necessary to create a system to help students establish their basic performance skills. The purpose of this project is to design a set of assessment tools that will help students define and perform basic musical skills. A series of quarterly study sheets allows the student to study scales, rhythms, tone, and expression in a progressive manner through all grade levels. The student is required to master each form and the skill level demonstrated serves as a portion of his or her final grade. It is also necessary to have a way to assess the students’ skills. This project uses literature and methods from a variety of sources to develop a set of tools that will accomplish both of these objectives. This project focuses on the four areas of skills basic to musical performance on a musical instrument including scales and arpeggios, rhythm, tone, and expression. The study of scales, arpeggios, and rhythm has been systematically designed to increase the technical skill of students on their instruments. Students will have studied the major, minor, and chromatic scales and arpeggios in a systematic method over a four-year course of study. Each term for four years (16 terms), the student will have studied one major scale, the relative minor scale, arpeggios, and the chromatic scale. In addition, the student will have studied a specific rhythm pattern each term. The chromatic scale study has been coordinated to the rhythm study for each term to help reinforce the rhythm pattern. The rhythm patterns began with the easiest whole rhythms (whole, half, and quarter notes) and get progressively more difficult with each term. In addressing tone quality, the teacher will have assigned a phrase of music from the literature studied by the band. The student will have performed the phrase with the best tone quality he/she can produce. A rubric has been developed to assess the student’s level of tone production quality and to help the student begin to identify the qualities of an excellent tone. Musical expression has been addressed in two manners. The first has been through a demonstration of expression during the same performance of the tone quality assignment. Students have been assessed on a rubric similar to the one designed for tone quality. In addition, the student has been presented with a blank phrase of music. The student then adds expression markings that they feel are appropriate and performs the excerpt. Again, a rubric has been designed to assess the work of the student.
Project chair, Dr. Glenn C. Hayes.
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