Concert Reflection Pieces for Stakeholders

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    It came up in a meeting with a principal (one who has been very good to our music department) the effect of the Common Core Standards in music education. Result: the concert assessment. Although it is easy for us as music educators as well as other musicians to realize the work and progress made in the music classroom, not everyone who attends our concerts are so musically savvy. This is no longer the assessment given to us by our administrators, colleagues, or even ourselves – this is the evaluation given to us by the other stakeholders: the parents, and the school board. So then, how can we document or even collect data to use showing our 85% achievement?

    Our brainstorm:  Well, one can collect data by simply using the gradebook and argue the daily participation grade. To participate in class equals success. Yet this does not influence the other stakeholders, nor does it provide a solid-no-grey-area artifact. So then what about the existing reflection piece? After every concert I hand out a paper with specific questions guiding the students to reflect on their performance, as well as the time leading up to it (practicing at home as well as school rehearsals). So what if we incorporated some kind of ‘reflection’ piece for those ‘Concert Adjudicators’? Even knowing they are not all musically knowledgeable or those unfortunate parents who are just looking to leave, we could still incorporate a very basic questionnaire with comments for those interested. In addition, and to deviate away from the ‘I liked this song, not that one’, we could also hone into those parents/community members who ARE musically savvy and give them a rubric of their own to grade our performance. Going even one step further, it would be beneficial for other music educators to grade our performance (based upon a rubric).

    It was amazing brainstorm, but it leaves even more questions. Has anyone ever tried anything like this before – how did it go? Would the ‘Concert Adjudicators’ even be open to the idea of feedback, or would it be something else they feel they have to do? Would people feel qualified to fill something out even if they had very little choir/band experience of their own? Do people even want to bother with something when they are there for pure enjoyment?


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