Standard #6: Assessment
The importance of assessment cannot be stressed enough. An educator must actively assess his students to ensure they are making progress, or if they need extra help in a particular area. As a music teacher, one must not only make assessments based on the nine National Standards of Music Education, but ensure the student is growing socially, emotionally, and physically as well. While playing tests, sight singing quizzes, and theory exams may be great for assessing students’ skill level or knowledge, group activities or a simple question and answer session are fine ways to engage the students in other areas of growth and assessment without stressing whether an answer is “right” or “wrong.”
Fall semester of 2011 I worked with the Muncie Youth Symphony as a mentor to the brass students. During that time, I was allowed to assess and help the students perform on their instruments to the best of their abilities. I’ve given some private lessons to students back home as well. I believe assessment, especially self-assessment, is equally as important as any other skill. When I practice I make an effort to record myself so that I can listen and assess myself. My MUSED classes have also given me some experience in assessing a classroom through microteachings. I’m confident that the more opportunities I get to teach students and be in front of a classroom, the more effective I can be in this area.
Observation, practice, and overall experience will be the most important tools for developing this area of teaching. Teachers all have different strategies and concepts about assessing their students, and experimenting with these ideas, along with my own, will be vital in my understanding of effective assessment. This summer, in hopes to learn more about teaching and develop other principles such as this one, I plan to attend a few Music Education clinics or brass camps and get a job with a marching band.