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EXPLORING THE EFFECTS OF MULTIPLE ASSESSMENT TOOLS ON TEACHERS’ EVALUATIONS OF STUDENTS’ MUSICAL PERFORMANCES - David J. Bridgewater Public

In the field of music education, teachers often wonder how effective they are in assessing students’ musical performance abilities. The purpose of this study is to explore the effects of multiple assessment tools on teachers’ evaluations of students’ musical performances. Three research studies (Abeles, 1973; Rothlisberger, 1992; Saunders and Holahan, 1997) indicate the reliability of assessment tools utilized for assessing general musical performances of individual band students. The three assessment tools utilized in this study include the Clarinet Performance Rating Scale, Audition Performance Rating Scale, and the Woodwind/Brass Solo Evaluation Form. A sample of 19 adolescent band musicians and five band directors with experience in evaluating individual student’s musical performances were acquired for this research study. Interjudge and intrajudge reliability were calculated to measure the consistency of the judges’ evaluations. All findings for interjudge reliability were statistically significant. Articulation had the highest reliability of the six categories explored among the three assessment tools. The Clarinet Performance Rating Scale had the highest reliability for the overall scores, however the Woodwind/Brass Solo Evaluation Form and the Audition Performance Rating Scale did have similar reliability. The calculations for intrajudge reliability revealed that one of the five judges had non-significant findings for the categories of tone, rhythm, tempo, and interpretation. Band directors must be careful when selecting or designing an assessment tool for evaluating students’ musical performances. Articulation may have been the most reliable category because teachers compare what they hear from a student’s performance to what they see on music written by the composer. Recommendations for future educational research include acquiring larger samples of adolescent band musicians and band directors. The experience of the band directors should be determined by a certain number of years with teaching band in the public schools.