Under the moderation of Andy Zweibel, the first ever #MusEdChat took place on March 1st, 2010 on Twitter. The topic being discussed was “What are effective methods of assessment in a performance based class?” With 20 people participating from around the world (and probably many others watching), many ideas and resources were discussed. To read the full transcript, visit the transcript page for this chat.
First, many people posed relevent questions about the grading of performance. Questions like “Objectivity vs. subjectivity? How do you all quantify this? (@pisanojm)” and ” Can you grade creativity? If so, how? (@Guitarguy73)” were posed and discussed. Some replied that you can grade creativity through assessing students’ ability to compose within standards, while other responses suggested grading according to assessment of a combination of things such as attendence, participation, and preparation. The use of rubrics as a grading aid was also suggested.
Andy (@Zweibz7) then posed the question, “Those of you who don’t teach general music, what areas do you feel should factor into a student’s grade?” There were quite a few responses to this question. One response was, “Honestly mine is purely based on attendance in rehearsal and heavily on performance. (@kgard)”. Others cited progression and participation as elements of grading.
The conversation then briefly shifted to common technology used in grading music. The use of blogs in the music classroom was discussed. One thought was to record rehearsals, and have students blog about their thoughts and ideas for that particular rehearsal. Other technological programs included SmartMusic, Voicethread and Moodle. Thoughts were even shared about online lessons via Skype. Then the group discussed the effectiveness of having students record themselves for purposes like self-assessment. Products like Audacity and Myna were cited as making this process easier.
During this time, another conversation was happening on the same chat.This conversation dealt with assessing composition. Just like the other topics, there were a variety of opinions. As stated by @MusicEdTech,”Here’s my rubric for assessing a composition assignment- 1) Did you fulfill the basic requirements of the project? 2) did you work diligently during class? That’s it.” Another suggestion was to use strict rules, but to allow them to be creative in some aspects as well. It seemed as though many of the teachers in the chat used either Noteflight or Musescore to facilitate this in their classrooms.
Then the participants began discussing how to grade private lessons in grades 3-6. It seemed as though most of them used a pass/fail method for grading. The suggestion then came to just give every student in these grades an A. The argument for this method was that a negative grade will turn students away from music. Others disagreed with this argument stating that students need to have actual feedback, otherwise they will not progress and will quit anyway. @iteachmusic65 then commented that the younger students should mostly get A’s, but then as they get older, the teacher should raise the bar, causing them to acheive higher goals.
As you can see, in just one hour, an impressive amount of valuable information was transmitted between 20 people involved in Music Education. To see the entire transcript of the chat, check out (link to transcript). To make searching through the information easier, here is a list of links that were shared in this chat:
- Performance Rubric Provided by @thomasjwest – http://bit.ly/bmYtRO
- Article about using cameras in performance-based assessment by @teaching_music – http://bit.ly/dvphu1
- High School rubric from @teaching_music – http://tinyurl.com/yz2yo4b
- Jim Frankel’s post on the future of the iPad in music education posted by @katiesw1 – http://tinyurl.com/ycho6ps
- A composition project in @thomasjwest’s class – http://bit.ly/c1pwjP
- A link to Voicethread posted by @mpdownton – http://www.voicethread.com
- Article entitled, “Minds on Music” posted by @alexruthmann – http://bit.ly/aHrXIG
- Article on Performance Assessment in Music posted by @cybraryman1 – http://bit.ly/aBWjh7
- Art – Infused Composing with Noteflight posted by @alexruthmann – http://bit.ly/9odXXk
- Article on “How Pop Musicians Learn” posted by @MiamiFlute – http://bit.ly/ag87wy
- Musescore posted by @pisanojm – http://musescore.org
- Books by Lucy Green poste by @alexruthmann – http://bit.ly/cQrecl
- Post on Hyperscore posted by @FamiliarLtlFrog – http://on.ted.com/8Ajs
- Pop music call for papers posted by @MiamiFlute – http://bit.ly/aAKs7n
This Week’s Chat
If you would like to take part in an invaluable learning experience with music educators around the world, join in the discussion on Twitter at 8PM EST on Monday nights under the hashtag #musedchat! The topic for this weeks chat is, “How does music education fit into the education reforms coming to the U.S. in the next 5 years?”