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Standard 6: The teacher of PK-12 music can assess musical knowledge and skills.

The ability to assess students is one of the most crucial skills a teacher must possess in order to
have a successful classroom. Assessment of musical knowledge of and skills is critical to the
teacher being as informed as possible of their students’ progress. Teachers must constantly
assess student progress in order to know how to move forward with their classes.

In my time as an undergraduate, I have learned and experienced many ways to assess musical
knowledge and skill. I have grown my skills in assessing both my students and myself. I took
several education classes where self-evaluation was heavily emphasized, and I plan on taking
my skills for self-assessment into my classroom with me. An example of a time I was required to
evaluate myself as a teacher was after completing a prepared lesson at a middle school, I had to
reflect on what went well, what to improve on, and what I needed more work on
understanding. One of the most helpful classes for me when it came to learning how to assess
students was Educational Psychology. In this class, we learned about the way the young
student’s mind works and how it can affect their behavior inside and outside the classroom.
Knowing how the mind works is extremely important in being an effective teacher because it
has a huge impact on how students learn. When it comes to assessing musical skills and
knowledge, however, the most helpful classes were Collegiate Chorale and Choral Conducting.
In these classes, I held leadership positions and had to act as teacher for many rehearsals. I was
able to develop my ability to constantly assess the ensemble informally and know when formal
assessment was necessary. Informal assessment can take place in many ways, including group
discussion as well as listening to students perform specific material. One of my favorite formal
assessment activities is to have students do “Think-Pair-Share.” I’ve used this activity several
times in my education classes and it always helps me assess student knowledge and skills when
teaching.

My students will benefit from my knowledge about assessment because I possess the skills to
keep my classroom momentum moving at all times, constantly evaluating rehearsals and
deciding where to move next. When assessing students, informally or formally, the teacher
must always go back to the overall objective and goal of both individual lessons and the course
as a whole. Assessment is a very useful tool to help teachers gauge student learning and
promote success in the classroom. Staying true to my personal educational philosophy will help
me throughout the process of assessment and it will help me serve the needs of my students
while helping them develop better musicianship. Without proper assessment, students might
not be as successful, which could possibly discourage them from practicing music. I aim to keep
my assessment focused on my students and their individual growth while also helping my
ensembles grow. This will help my students develop their knowledge and musical skill both as
independent musicians and as ensemble members. In my classroom, my ability to assess will
help my students grow to their full potential and eventually become talented and intelligent
musicians.