Entry #6

The candidate understands how to use multiple measures to monitor and assess individual student learning, engage learners in self-assessment, and use data to make decisions. 

As a music teacher, I will use my professional experience to monitor and assess individual students’ learning and use the data to make decisions. I have taught ear training, french horn lessons, and an instrumentation class that required different ways of approaching assessment. My ear training class required a subjective way of grading sight singing. In order to compensate for this challenge, I created a rubric to make sure that my grading was fair and to give students individual feedback on their progress. In my private french horn studio, my assessment is more informal. There is not a grading system so my assessment on the students’ progress is based on my notes after every lesson. I comment on tone production, reading skills, and musical accuracy. I am then able to adjust my lessons accordingly. My instrumentation class is a bit more subjective, similar to the ear training classes. The challenge with this class was grading a student's creative work. This assessment required more flexibility and sensitivity. Points were given out based on set criteria that students were aware of ahead of time. I also provided lots of feedback from my own experience as a composer to assist students in future arranging endeavors. I found that this type of feedback is much more helpful to students than just receiving a grade. Lastly, my future students will have many opportunities for self assessment on a weekly basis. My secondary unit involved many creative activities where I felt the best form of assessment was for students to look at their own work and give feedback regarding their strong suits and where they still feel they need development. After reading through each students’ reflections, I can use my findings to adjust my lesson plans for the students’ future instructional needs. 

Students will benefit from my assessment because I am willing to go the extra step to give individual feedback on every assignment. Students will receive grades and ratings in my class, but everything will be supplemented with an explanation and suggestions on how to move forward. Students are developing musicians and the journey to mastery never really ends. There is always room for improvement.

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