Performance Assessment


A Level III choir class has spent an entire school year learning many diverse choral compositions. For each selection they prepared, they studied the career of the composer, the music form of the selection, and the technical performance problems. They also studied various interpretations of each composition and examined how historical and cultural contexts influenced the words and stylistic traditions of the music. During public performances, students presented explanations and visuals to demonstrate how compositions reflect the times and places of their origins.

These activities provided the class with many opportunities to learn and demonstrate student expectations in the Music TEKS. For example, the class fulfilled an expectation of the Music, Level III perception strand to "identify music forms of performance and listening repertoire" (§117.62(c)(1C)). Additionally, they practiced their ability to "perform expressively, from memory and notation, a varied repertoire of music representing styles from diverse cultures" (§117.62(c)(2C))—an expectation of the Music, Level III creative expression/performance strand.

For a final performance assessment in the class, each student performs a solo that is approved by the teacher and represents an appropriate level of difficulty for the student. Students select solos that represent a variety of historical and cultural periods, musical forms, composers, and song types. Each student performs the selection and presents each selection’s musical, historical/cultural, and personal significance. Some presentations include multimedia elements. Complete presentations last approximately ten minutes each.

Each presenter, other students in the class, and the teacher will assess performances on the following TEKS-based components:

  • Authenticity of the vocal performance with regard to technical facility, intonation and rhythmic accuracy, and diction
  • Accuracy of historical research and impact on interpretation
  • Criteria for evaluating the significance of the piece of music to the student
  • Creativity and originality in the vocal selection and presentation.

One fundamental response/evaluation expectation is for students to "evaluate musical performances by comparing them to similar or exemplary models and offering constructive suggestions for improvement" (§117.62 (c)(6A). Another key student expectation referred to in determining assessment criteria is §117.62 (c)(2A), wherein students are expected to "exhibit accurate intonation and rhythm, fundamental skills, and advanced techniques, using literature ranging from moderately difficult to difficult, while performing independently and in ensemble."