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Grading: Grading Rubrics for choirs

Dear Listers,

Following is a compilation of replies to my query about rubrics for
choirs. (Sorry for delay; we just finished our musical and this
project has had to take a back seat.) When permitted, I credited
each contributor. in addition, I received several responses by

Thanks for your patience!

Margaret Anne

"The important thing in music is what is not the notes." -- Pablo Casals


When I taught jr. high, I had a rubric like this:

50% participation (attitude, ready when bell rings, attends all
concerts unless in event of illness or family emergency, brings
appropriate materials, etc.)
25% singing skills (based on having parts learned, being able to sing
them fluently in parts, etc.) Some teacher do this via singing
tests; I did it by walking around the room.
25% written work. Once a week we would do some theory work, and this
would be a part of their grade.

I did not do self evaluation but I am sure it is a great thing.

Hope this helps!

Gretchen Liechty Lynch
(Now I teach elementary school)


Believe it or not there is a book that has some answers for you. The
book is titled "Tools for Powerful Student Evaluation: A Practical Source
of Authentic Assessment Strategies for Music Teachers" by Susan R.
Farrell. It is published by Meredith Music Publications You can order
it from It has some really good ideas that I know
will be very useful for you. In my doctoral research I looked at
assessment in the choral music classroom. If you are interested in
obtaining a copy of my dissertation it is available from UMI ProQuest
Digital Dissertations at
The title of my study is Assessment practices in the choral music
classroom: A survey of Ohio high school choral music teachers and college
choral methods teachers. Case Western Reserve University, 2001 AAT
3036343. In my research I identified 12 assessment strategies from
general education literature and music education literature. I surveyed
Ohio high school choral music teachers and college choral methods
teachers to see if either they used or taught the 12 strategies in their
classes. I identify the 12 assessment strategies and discuss how they
might be used in the choral music classroom. I think that you would find
it very helpful as well. If you go to the UMI sight you can see the
first 24 pages of my paper and you will get an idea if you would like to
order it. You could also get it through interlibrary loan. It is in the
library at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Best of luck to you in your teaching.


Dr. E. James Kotora, Jr.
Director of Choral Activities
John Carroll University
University Heights, OH


Attached is the choir evaluation form that I inherited from my
cooperating teacher. It's nice because it's based mostly on effort and
not talent. The only problem is that I have to fill it out for all 130
of my students for midterm and quarter grades. But, it gives them a
concrete explanation of their grade and areas in which they can improve.

Attachment converted: Users:Choir Evaluation Form.doc (WDBN/MSWD)
(003DEE71) on?


I have attached an .xls and a .doc which includes evaluating
individual student performance as well as individual teacher


Jeff Vallier
Jefferson High School Choirs
Lafayette, IN > Evaluation Sheet>> > evaluation 2003.doc>>

Attachment converted: Users:Performance Evaluation Sheet.DO
(WDBN/MSWD) (003F1561)
Content-Type: application/;
name="Vocal Performance Rubric.XLS"
Content-Description: Vocal Performance Rubric
Content-Disposition: attachment;
filename="Vocal Performance Rubric.XLS"

Attachment converted: Users:Vocal Performance Rubric.XLS (XLS8/XCEL) (003F1562)
Content-Type: application/msword;
name="teacher evaluation 2003.doc"
Content-Description: teacher evaluation 2003.doc
Content-Disposition: attachment;
filename="teacher evaluation 2003.doc"

Attachment converted: Users:teacher evaluation 2003.doc (WDBN/MSWD) (003F1563)


I've attached a copy of my portfolio project. Feel free to use or
not use whatever you wish. Good Luck!!!

Rebecca Fields
Director of Choirs
Pulaski High School
1040 S. St. Augustine
Pulaski, WI 54162


I hope this helps. The kids grade themselves. I also gave them a sheet
explaining my definition of a 4,3,2,1 etc. They like seeing things in
writing, and in their terms. Good Luck- kathy

Katherine K. Tuinstra
Jefferson HS Vocal Music
700 W. Milwaukee Ave.
Jefferson, WI 53549
fax: 920-675-1120


This is a very basic rubric I use for evaluation following a concert.
You will need to adapt it to fit your situation!

1. I am consistently singing accurate pitches.
1 2 3 4 5

2. I am consistently singing accurate rhythms.
1 2 3 4 5

3. I am singing lyrical, musical phrases.
1 2 3 4 5

4. My tone quality is clear and well supported at all times.
1 2 3 4 5

5. I am truly expressing the style of the composers' intent.
1 2 3 4 5

6. My effort is 100%
1 2 3 4 5

7. My attention in class is consistently 100%
1 2 3 4 5

8. My attitude is always positive and encouraging!
1 2 3 4 5

Write a brief synopsis of your performance at the first concert.
Give examples of areas in which we can improve. Be sure to include
your feelings about the selections as well as the actual event
including warm-up, performance, behavior, etc. Use the back of this

My students are pretty honest and rarely give themselves a 5 where it
is undeserved!

I hope this helps!

Amy Gelsone
Anthony Wayne HS
Whitehouse, OH


Hi..... I got the original from Dr. Carol Krueger at Univ. of South
Carolina, Columbia and I expanded it and adapted it for my students. I've
just used it last week and the kids will take it home this week with their
report cards and get it signed. Hope it helps!

Phil Suggs
York, SC

Attachment converted: Users:Choir Self-Eval..doc (WDBN/MSWD) (00468F89)


Attachment converted: Users:Portfolio 03-04.DOC (WDBN/MSWD) (003F1565)
Attachment converted: Users:JHS Choir Contract.doc (WDBN/MSWD) (003F171A)


Margaret Anne Butterfield
Upper School Choir Director
Wilmington Friends School
101 School Road, Alapocas
Wilmington, DE 19803


- Ryan Nichols wrote:

> grading systems that have worked well for you?

Here is an excerpt from my Chorus Handbook:


Your grade will be derived from several sources.
Written assignments and tests will be given to
reinforce and to evaluate knowledge of the musical
concepts we learn in class. Your vocal technique and
knowledge of the music we prepare for concerts will be
evaluated through periodic singing tests. You will
also be graded on your participation and by the amount
of effort you put forth in rehearsals. Lastly, you
will receive a performance grade, reflecting
attendance and good effort made at all concerts and
after-school rehearsals.

Written Classwork 30%
• assignments
• projects

Tests 20%
• written tests
• singing tests

Participation 30%
• materials (pencil, music, theory book, etc.)
• posture
• singing effort and classroom contribution
• attendance
• abiding by classroom rules and procedures

Performance 20%
• attendance
• quality

Missing grades due to excused absences may be made up.
The director reserves the right to substitute an
appropriate assignment for one that was missed due to
an excused absence. If you miss a performance with an
excused absence, you must sing the music for me from
the entire concert missed within one week of your
return to school. It is up to you to schedule all
make-up work or performances with me. Work or
performances missed due to unexcused absences may not
be made up.

Carolyn Dwyer
US/MS Choral Director
Holy Innocents' Episcopal School
Atlanta, Georgia

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