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NSW Department of Education and Communities

Curriculum support for NSW Public Schools

Assessment in music

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The material below is taken from the Stages 4 & 5 Music syllabus documents. Links to the Board of Studies' advice on programming and assessment as well as Stage 6 performance bands and marking guidelines are also provided.

Click here to visit ARC (the Assessment Resource Centre) at the Board of Studies. 

Click here for support material about Consistency of Teacher Judgement.

 

Download the Music 7-10 support document with advice on programming and assessment.

Click on ICT on the left hand menu to view Year 8 Composing on Computers including assessment activity and work samples with examples of peer and self assessment.

 

Click here for HSC assessment policies and documents

Click here to link to draft performance bands and practical marking guidelines for Music 1, Music 2 and Extension.

Click here for links to the Board of Studies' Standards Packages 2001 and 2002.

The following information comes from the Music 7-10 Syllabus (pp 59-61):

"Assessment is used to determine the students’ initial knowledge, understanding and skills, to monitor student progress and to collect information to report student achievement. The assessment cycle is continuous; students receive and give themselves feedback on what they have learnt, and what needs to be done to continue their learning. Students gain information about their learning through feedback from teachers and from self-assessment and peer assessment. The challenge and complexity of assessment tasks increase to enable students to develop evaluative independence as they assess their own knowledge, understanding and skills, and determine ways to improve their learning.

"Teachers of Music should employ a range of assessment strategies to ensure that information is being gathered regarding the knowledge and understanding that are being acquired, and the skills that are being developed. Strategies should be appropriate to the outcomes being addressed, be manageable in number and be supportive of the learning process. Teachers could work collaboratively in planning appropriate assessment strategies. Working collaboratively leads teachers to develop a shared understanding of the syllabus standards and also supports teachers in making consistent and comparable judgements of student achievement in relation to these standards.

"In planning for assessment in Music it is important for teachers to consider:

  • the requirements of the syllabus
  • the accessibility of the proposed activity in terms of language requirements
  • the appropriateness of the challenge presented to individual students
  • resource availability
  • how the task will be administered
  • the way in which feedback will be provided.

"In planning for assessment, teachers of Music need to consider how results will be recorded, with a view to ensuring that there is sufficient and appropriate information collected for making an on-balance holistic judgement of the standard achieved by the student at the end of the stage. The evidence collected should enable teachers of Music to make consistent judgements to meet the various reporting requirements that the system, school and community may have.

"Music particularly lends itself to the following assessment techniques:

Performance                                                                                                                                top                                                                                                                           

student playing guitar

"Performance is an integral part of music and is one of the learning experiences. It allows students to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills in the musical concepts as well as their own musical skills. Performances can occur in solo and/or ensemble situations; these may be performances of their own compositions as well as the performance of others’ compositions.

"When performance is used for assessment purposes, students could be assessed on their ability to demonstrate their:

  • understanding of solo and/or ensemble playing
  • understanding of the musical style, period or genre being studied
  • understanding of the manipulation of musical concepts in the context of live performance
  • interpretation of a range of repertoire
  • improvisation skills.

Composition                                                                                                   top                                                                                                              

score excerpt "Composition is an integral part of music and is one of the learning experiences. It allows students to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills in the musical concepts through exploring, experimenting, improvising, arranging and composing in a range of styles, periods and genres. Composition allows students to explore the capabilities of instruments and provides students with the opportunity to explore various forms of notation appropriate to various musical contexts.

"When composition is used for assessment purposes, students could be assessed on their ability to demonstrate their:

  • understanding of the manipulation of musical concepts in the context of creating music
  • ability to notate compositions, making choices as to the most appropriate method to use
  • use of technologies in the composition process
  • ability to structure musical works
  • understanding of the stylistic features of a range of styles, periods and genres.

Listening                                                                                                                                         top  

 student playing bass guitar"Listening is an integral part of music and is one of the learning experiences. It allows students to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skills in the musical concepts through the analysis, comparison and discussion of music from a range of musical styles, periods and genres. Listening fosters an awareness of the social, cultural and historical contexts that music as an artform exists in. It provides a pathway to musical literacy through score reading, interpretation and analysis.

"When listening is used for assessment purposes, students could be assessed on their ability to demonstrate their:

  • understanding of how composers have manipulated the musical concepts in various styles, periods and genres
  • analytical and comparative skills when investigating music in various styles, periods and genres
  • aural skills
  • understanding of scoring techniques, styles and conventions
  • ability to interpret a variety of musical scores and musical notation
  • ability to apply appropriate terminology when analysing music, either through aural or written form.

Projects and presentations                                                                                                         top  

 students singing around microphone"Projects and presentations can form an important part of an assessment schedule. They can be used to develop analytical skills, organisational skills and problem-solving strategies. They may take the form of research tasks and assignments that use a variety of primary and secondary sources and may be delivered in oral and/or written form, or with the use of tools such as multimedia technologies. These presentations could focus on critiques of performances, descriptive profiles of composers’ works, interviews, debates and viva voces.

Peer assessment                                                                                                                           top  

 part of stave and quaver "Music encourages the active involvement of students in the learning process. Opportunities exist for individual and collaborative work. Activities involving peer assessment might include evaluating the contribution of individuals to a group task such as a performance or composition, and reflecting on a peer performances and compositions.

Self-assessment                                                                                                                           top   

 part of a treble clef "In Music students are encouraged to acquire skills to become self-directed learners. Opportunities exist for students to reflect on their progress towards the achievement of the syllabus outcomes. This reflection provides the basis for improving their learning. Developing self-assessment skills is an ongoing process, becoming increasingly more sophisticated and self-initiated as a student progresses."

 

 

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