Student Assessment
Primary Grades
Intermediate Grades
Extra Credit for Intermediate Grades

Primary Grades:
Grades are recorded in these main areas:
     * Musical Skills: Steady Beat, Pitch Matching (Singing Voice)
        (Later: rhythm, melody, and coordination)
     * Participation/Effort
    

In all fairness to the child, it is quite difficult for me to obtain an accurate picture of a young child's skill level when music class is held only once weekly for thirty minutes. If they have music class on Mondays or Fridays, they miss almost a complete quarter of music instruction! Please help advocate locally to include music 2-3 times per week for grades K-3!
In the area of musical skills, I observe how each child is developing to the best of my ability.
In my records, I note whether a particular skill is "not yet evident", "emerging", "developing", or "consistent". Please remember that all children develop at different rates. This year, your child may not be matching pitch. It can suddenly happen at any time as the ear, muscles and mind are developing. You can help your child at home by reading together, singing together, and listening to good music. I would be happy to recommend recordings for you to use at home.
All students are expected to participate in class in a way that does not interfere with the learning process; and to be a positive, contributing member of the group.

Now, about that report card...

As the student report card does not yet display the level of musical skills and class participation as "not yet evident", "emerging", etc., I must report the level of student work as "Good", "Satisfactory", or "Needs Improvement". To me and probably to you as a parent, these categories do not deliver much information. Please interpret them from my point of view, which is:

      *Good: The student almost always participates in class activities and discussions at a high level; is
        a positive, contributing member of the group; is showing consistency in the skills of rhythm and pitch matching, etc.

          at their grade level.

      *Satisfactory: The student is doing just fine! He/She is regularly participating in activities and
        class discussions; is a positive, contributing member of the group most of the time; musical skills
        are mostly emerging or developing. If a student is
struggling with musical skills, but working     
        diligently and is positive and productive in class; the skills will eventually become evident,
        and I will record an "S" on the report card. If a student shows highly developed musical skills,
        but is not positive or productive in class, I will also record an "S" rather than a "G".

      *Needs Improvement: The student regularly does not participate in class activities and
       discussions; is not a positive or contributing influence in class (i.e. off-task, disruptive, negative); or musical
       skills are not evident at this time.

Intermediate Grades
Assessment is recorded in three main areas: Musical Skills, Participation/Effort, Listening/Watching, and Classwork/Homework. Content in these areas will vary depending on what the particular lesson includes. The "big picture" musical concepts are melody and rhythm, with different expectations at each grade level. Other musical concepts include: form, harmony, timbre, expression, technique, style, composition and improvisation.

A grade of "4" is earned when a student:
      * Almost always participates at a high level in class activities and discussions; and behaves as a    
         positive, contributing member of the group.
      * Is appropriately and consistently using, applying, and  synthesizing musical skills.
      * Arrives prepared for class, completes and turns in work on time, follows directions given, and class/homeworkshows understanding and use of applicable musical concepts.

A grade of "3" is earned when a student:
     * Regularly participates in class activities and discussions at a high level; and mostly behaves as a  
        positive, contributing member of the group.
     * Is appropriately using musical skills; and is working to apply and synthesize skills learned in a musical context.
     * Completes and turns in work mostly on time, follows directions given, and work shows
        understanding and development of applicable musical concepts.
     * Please remember, a "3" is an above-average grade. This means your child is performing above average for his/her grade level.
    

A grade of "2" will be earned when a student:
     * Participates in class activities and discussions at an average level; behaves mostly appropriately,
        but not regularly as a positive, contributing member of the group.
     * Displays emerging or developing applicable musical skills.
     * Completes and turns in classwork (not always timely), follows most directions given, and work
        shows emergence or early development and limited understanding of applicable musical concepts.

 A grade of "1" will be earned when a student:
     * Often does not participate in class activities and discussions at an age-appropriate level, or
        only sometimes behaves as a positive, productive member of the group.
     * Rarely displays evidence of emerging applicable musical skills.
     * Rarely completes and turns in work on time, often does not follow directions given, or
        work does not show emergence or understanding of applicable musical concepts.

 A grade of "0" will be earned when a student:
     *Makes little or no effort to participate in class activities and discussions at an age-appropriate level,
       or does not behave as a positive, contributing member of the group.
     * Does not display evidence of emerging applicable musical skills.
     * Does not complete or turn in work on time, rarely follows directions, or work shows little or no
        evidence of use or understanding of applicable musical concepts.
       
Extra Credit (Grades 4-6)
Extra Credit is for students who do their work in class! Extra credit can be earned to help raise a borderline grade when students attend a musical performance approved by me.
Pre-approved performances include: School District #2 Band, Orchestra, Choir, or Honor Group concerts given by grades 4-12 (most of these are free); Billings Symphony Orchestra concerts, The Nutcracker, most Alberta Bair Theatre musical performances (parents, please be aware of program content); Yellowstone Chamber Players; College student Senior recitals; piano/violin, etc. recitals; and most Billings Studio Theater/Venture Theater musicals (see me).

Students wishing to have extra credit recorded will need to submit a program or copy of the program from the performance they attended with their name and class (M-4, etc.) clearly marked on the front of the program. All programs will be returned. Credit will be earned for the term when the program was submitted. Any programs submitted two weeks before the end of a term will be recorded on the following term. All programs need to be submitted by May 15, 2016.

The Billings Symphony and Alberta Bair Theater offer half-price student tickets, and rush tickets for adults prior to showtime. Call them for exact times of rush ticket sales.
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