Foundations of Music Education


Lecture:  Music Teaching

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No matter what kind of music is being taught;


elementary, secondary

vocal, instrumental

classical, popular

private studio, classroom

academic, performance


our goal is the same:

to take the student from 'where they are' and to move them forward to 'where we want them to be.'

Sounds very simple.  No problem.

We've all  done it.  We've all done it without even thinking.




Teacher tells student to play a scale.

Student plays a wrong note.


Teacher corrects the wrong note,

tells student to play it again.

Student plays scale correctly.  Voile!!

Point A to Point B


But what about larger goals?

What about huge goals?

How can we plan the most productive route from Point A to Point B in accomplishing larger goals for students?


Remember from the first week to


question all assumptions


Challenge all aspects of music education. 

Consider each assumption and define how it leads to enriching the lives of all students.



Judith Jellison gave a speech entitled "It's About Time" in which she spoke on behalf of all music educators who struggle with implementing their goals for their students with a limited amount of face-to-face time.  The speech was then printed in the Journal of Research in Music Education.  Please read the article linked below:


"It's About Time"




Why assess?


1.  for accountability (to motivate behavior)




Example:  Tiffany does not like to study history, but Tiffany is trying to keep her grades up so she can continue to be a cheerleader.  So, Tiffany studies for her history exam.  If there was no assessment of Tiffany's knowledge of history, she might not study.

Example:  The A&M system requires that all of its employees be aware of current laws and policies regarding privacy, sexual harassment, disabilities, safety, and other topics.  To make sure that the employees learn the material, they are tested.  The material is presented in a friendly online format, but the tests given must be passed with 100%.  The institutions are accountable to the state by requiring and recording the completion of the tests.  The institutions make their employees accountable by requiring them to take the tests.



Why assess?


2.  to gain information (feedback)




Mr. Green teaches math.  He has explained a concept and has given his students practice problems.  He wants to make sure that his students can do the problems independently before he introduces the next step, so he gives his class a quiz.

The examples given above are not related to music education. 

How are these two assessment purposes used in music classrooms?

What kind of assessment tools do you use?


Here are some links you might find useful:


Music Teachers National Association Assessment Tools for the Independent Music Teacher

Music Assessment Site from Michigan

Music Assessment Site from New York

Let me know if you have a helpful link to add here!





Works Cited

Asmus, E. P. (1999). Music Assessment Concepts. Music Educators Journal, 86(2), 19-24.

Jellison, J. A. (2005). It's About Time. Arts Education Policy Review, 106(5), 29-36.



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