It’s All about the Singing: Choral Assessment and RTI

 It’s All about the Singing:
Choral Assessment and RTI

By NAfME Member Tresa Maneval


We all have heard it: “You can’t compare apples to oranges.”

Their obvious differences make for a completely different fruit experience. But how can we make these things qualify: meaning how can we make these two things dance the same dance, sing the same song, fit into the same basket?

apple / Patrick Miko

In the academic world, students not only deal with an array of “fruits.” They also experience a wholeness out of the make-up of the variety and perspectives of their day. Let’s face it, the arts are “oranges” and to stay in the fruit basket, it may be time for us to think of ways we can clarify our objectives and track students’ skills as any other class.

Data Collection

This is no easy task, and at this very time, in your school, you could very well be trying to implement a data collection process that works for you and successfully tracks student learning and mastery.

We cannot track as more objective classes can. We must utilize a system by which we can clearly assess a student’s growth in highly subjective forums. This is no small feat; but it can be done.

The “It’s All about the Singing” data collection system provides a step-by-step plan that can effectively track your students in the skills YOU want to assess. This plan is designed for you, as the teacher, to change, revamp, restructure, add to or take away at your discretion. It is your classroom. There are many ways to use this system and be successful.

Tracking Student Progress

During the work shop this November I’ll be sharing with you how I implemented this assessment plan and the successes and failures I faced. You will receive hard copies of the entire plan as well as receive directions to my Facebook page to download each page so you can adapt them to your liking. There is also a complete folder that has written instructions for each step.

My favorite part is being able to track each individual student’s progress. For those with larger ensembles, it is very difficult to keep track of each singer personally, and I have found I can, with some effort, keep 55 singers on an assessment track that I can follow. This results in building closer personal relationships with my students and tailor-making our concerts.

We as choir teachers can truly show relative, meaningful data that we can track.

I’m looking forward to sharing a wonderful story of my student, Kayleigh. A beautiful soul, gone too soon from the Joplin tornado of 2011. She taught me that to know my students and communicate to them that I see them, I hear them, and I appreciate them is a priceless gift.

choir / Highwaystarz-Photography

We as choir teachers can truly show relative, meaningful data that we can track. Your principals will love you. Mine even says, “You’re being maybe a little too thorough.”

About the author:

choral director

NAfME member Tresa Maneval is in her 24th year as a public school choral director and music educator, teaching in Kansas, Illinois, and Missouri.

A graduate of Missouri Southern State University in 1989, she has attended Missouri State for Graduate work in School Administration and is currently working on her Graduate degree in Choral Conducting and Music Education at Pittsburg State University.

Twenty-four years in education has given her years to develop various instruction strategies and styles to meet the needs of all students. Tresa frequently conducts workshops and seminars sharing all she has learned over the years.

Tresa now teacher in Jasper, Missouri, her home town as a child, where she teachers K-12 Vocal Music. She keeps busy in her spare time with a beautiful grown daughter and love for cooking.

Tresa Maneval will be presenting on her topic ” ‘It’s All About the Singing’: Self Assessments, Data Collection and RTI for the choral classroom” at the 2016 NAfME National In-Service Conference this November in Grapevine, TX! Register today!

music education

Join us for more than 100 innovative professional development sessions, nightly entertainment, extraordinary performances from across the country, and tons of networking opportunities with over 3,000+ other music educators! Learn more and register today: And follow the hashtag #NAfME2016!

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