Large Group Guitar Rubric?

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    For those of you who teach guitar ensembles, can you recommend a good rubric for judging them that might be used at festivals and contests, etc.?


    Any rubric for large ensemble evaluation may include a number of skills such as prescribed scales, major and minor, sight reading, posture, technique, and intonation. Large ensembles differ from small ensembles by the presence of a conductor. While it may not seem fair, a good rubric should include the conductor’s skills at controlling the group, procedure for taking the stage, conducting patterns, ability to control dynamics, tempo and overall musical expression. The rubric should also include the director’s ability to select music that is within the ensemble’s ability to perform, makes the group sound good and demonstrates contrasting styles and skills.


    Good points. I already sent Matt a large ensemble rubric as well as one for solists. The rubric I use for an ensemble performance is modeled from the FBA Concert Band rubric which focus on evaluating in detail several factors including musical and technical preparation and execution. With the focus on the performance, if the ensemble is well prepared the director can take credit. If the ensemble displays problems in the performance, they are noted in the rubric. I would be happy to it share with you.


    Guitar Ensemble Adjudication Group: ______________________________

    (Circle ONE number only)

    Tone (5 points) The ensemble’s tone quality:
    5 is full and rich in the majority of ranges and registers.
    4 is full and rich but is inconsistent in occasional passages.
    3 has some flaws in basic tone production.
    2 has several major flaws in basic tone production.
    1 is not a tone characteristic of the instrument.

    Intonation/Note Accuracy (5 points) The ensemble’s intonation and note accuracy:
    5 are accurate regardless of technical considerations throughout the instrument’s range.
    4 are accurate with isolated lapses.
    3 are mostly accurate but tuning or note accuracy is more problematic.
    2 suggest attempt at tuning and basic understanding of note reading.
    1 are not accurate. Serious intonation problems or serious flaws in note accuracy.

    Rhythmic Accuracy (5 points) The ensemble’s rhythm:
    5 is accurate throughout.
    4 is nearly accurate but lacked precise interpretation of some rhythm patterns.
    3 lacks accuracy on many patterns.
    2 is inconsistent on most rhythm patterns.
    1 is not accurate.

    Tempo (5 points) The ensemble’s tempo:
    5 is accurate and consistent with the printed tempo markings.
    4 approaches the printed tempo marking, yet the performed tempo does not detract significantly from the performance.
    3 is at a different tempo than the printed tempo marking, resulting in an inappropriate tempo for the selection.
    2 is performed with noticeable inconsistencies (i.e. rushing, dragging, inaccurate tempo changes).
    1 is not accurate or consistent, with major flaws including rushing or dragging.

    Interpretation (5 points) The ensemble demonstrates:
    5 the highest level of musicality. A model of musical expression.
    4 a high level of musicality, but some phrases or dynamics were not consistent with the musical demands of the selection.
    3 a moderate level of musicality and expression. Some attention to dynamics and stylistic demands are evident.
    2 a limited amount of musicality and expression.
    1 a lack of musicality and expression.

    Technique (5 total points possible) (circle ONE number per item) The performers demonstrate:
    1 0 appropriate right hand position.
    1 0 appropriate left hand position.
    1 0 awareness of proper fingering techniques.
    1 0 proper position of the guitar.
    1 0 use of techniques (rest stroke, free stroke, plectrum) appropriate to selection.

    Balance/Blend (5 total points possible) (circle ONE number per item) The ensemble members:
    1 0 maintain proper balance in all ranges.
    1 0 ensure that the melody is predominant.
    1 0 ensure equal harmony in all parts.
    1 0 appropriately interchange melodic and harmonic roles.
    1 0 adjust dynamic levels to achieve unity of sound.

    TOTAL SCORE_________ / 35, I:29-35, II:22-28, III:15-21, IV:8-14, V:0-7

    ________________________________ FINAL RATING __________
    Adjudicator’s Signature


    Hi, all. Just joined the forum. Glad to be here!

    One important thing that I teach my ensembles from the first piece we play is that the RELEASE is just as important as the attack. This is the first thing I notice when listening to large ensembles. When ensemble members release the same note at different times, it tends to sound sloppy. Guitar ensembles will sound tighter and more rhythmically accurate when attention by the ensemble is drawn to the release of the notes. As one student of mine told her classmates, “Respect the rests.”



    Excellent advice Darin… Respect the rest… love it.

    I call that “play the rest”. Another point is students need to mute all the strings when observing a rest/release so there are no overtones.

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