Friday, October 25, 2013

Student Learning Objective in Band and Choir

The State of Connecticut requires me to have two student learning objectives (SLOs).  Music does not have a standardized test so I must design the assessment.

Both band and choir have the SLOs:

  • Students will improve their musical sight-reading.
  • Students will improve their performance technique.
SLO's are fairly general.  I then must establish Indicators of Academic Growth and Development (IAGD).  These are fairly complicated but basically how many students will be moved to the proficient, goal, or advanced levels.

Our curriculum benchmark indicates students should be performing at a NYSSMA Level 4 and sight-reading at Level 3.  I score all assessments as an "All-State" judge.  A 10 on tone in my class is the same 10 in the All-State room.  It is the only way I can think of to stay consistent across grade levels and instruments.

In general I have focussed a lot on modeling sight-reading with the choirs, and a lot on scales with the band.  All groups have little to no experience with scales, reading, etc...  Most of my students are freshman.

We use Smartmusic for all of these assessments.  I have the green cursor on for sight-reading at this point.

At this point all choir students should have completed:
  • Benchmark.  Alma del Core solo.  They sang it once in September and again this week.
  • Level .5 (do-re) sight-reading.  They have done this three times.
  • Level 1 (do-do, no accidentals, some eighth, 4/4)).  They have done three exercises.
At this point all band students should have completed:
  • Band Music Benchmark.  Section of Gateway March (Level 1-1.5).  They have done this twice.
  • Level 1 sight-reading.  They have done this twice.
Results:
  • Choir results for Level .5 reading has improved dramatically.  I am seeing a number of perfect scores in the latest testing.  
  • Choir results have improved slightly for the Level 1 sight-reading.  They improved significantly when they read as a group in class.  I need to get Level 1 to a perfect score and move on to Level 2 with the senior class.
  • Students are understanding their benchmark solos much better.  Many more students have reached proficient range.  However, I have not seen as large an increase as I had hoped.  Many students have significant trouble singing by themselves to the accompaniment.
  • Band sight-reading has improved slightly.  
Findings:
  • Practice is definitely increasing.
  • Student conferences have more meaning.  I have a lot more data to use.
  • It is driving most of my lessons. 
  • We perform significantly below grade level.  This is the only way I can think of to change that.
Areas of improvement:
  • None of my students take private lessons.  They need 1-1 help.  I have 61 students and I am having trouble getting to all of them.  Many need significant help.
  • I need to develop academic leaders who help younger students.