• Grading Policy for Music ClassesThree Musicians - Pablo Picasso
    Report card grades for Music reflect the students' progress in their development towards meeting our state and national standards in Music Education. Students will earn a 4, 3, 2, or 1 on their report card each marking period; these numbers indicate:
    4: Exceeds standards. Extends concepts, processes, and skills. Consistently works beyond grade-level benchmarks.
    3: Achieves standards. Consistently grasps and applies concepts, processes, and skills. Successfully meets grade-level benchmarks.
    2: Approaching standards. Beginning to grasp and apply concepts, processes, and skills. Progressing toward benchmarks.
    1: Needs support. Not grasping concepts, processes, and essential skills. Area of concern that requires support.
    The students are assessed several times each marking period on a variety of skills and activities to determine the marking period grade. Although we occasionally do writing-based activities, Music is primarily a performance-based subject, so most skills are assessed with a performance rubric. The students are given an assessment for a skill during an activity or immediately afterwards so that the evaluation of each skill is accurate and objective. Students may be evaluated on different skills and concepts each marking period, or they may be evaluated several times during the year or on the same skill (singing, rhythm, etc.) but at different difficulty levels, as this is an essential part of the music learning process. Some examples of activities that are assessed (this will vary by grade level or time of year) include:
    • Moving to the beat or playing/clapping the beat without wavering in tempo
    • Echoing rhythm patterns accurately 
    • Singing a short song or phrase with accurate pitch and rhythm  
    • Singing the resting tone of a song or tonality or echoing tonal or melodic patterns with accurate pitch
    • Performing songs or patterns on instruments with accuracy, using instruments appropriately
    • Moving to music or performing music with appropriate expression
    • Improvising or composing music following specific criteria 
    • Performing/reading music from notation with accuracy and independence
    • Accurately identifying specific pitches or rhythms from musical notation
    • Writing musical notation following specific instructions
    • Following instructions and cooperating with others to perform singing games or folk dances
    • Demonstrating age-appropriate and safe movement skills during dance/movement activities
    • Participating in class discussions about composers, musicians, or types of music
    • Demonstrating knowledge about composers, musicians, instruments, or other musical elements
    • Being prepared for class and following instrument rules (4th Grade recorders) 
    All activities and skills assessed are part of the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts (see below) and/or other New Jersey educational standards, or they are an important step of the learning process towards meeting these standards. 
    Students are also assessed weekly on their participation in music class activities, including level of effort, cooperation with others, and ability to follow directions. Participation is an important part of the learning process and is essential to the students' success in learning skills and concepts. The students' progress in demonstrating these behaviors will be indicated on the report card with the following descriptors:
    Music Education Standards

    Activities in Mary S. Shoemaker School music classes and our MSS music curriculum are based on the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for the Performing Arts and the National Standards for Music Education. 

    The New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for the Visual and Performing Arts include:
    • 1.1 The Creative ProcessAll students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements and principles that govern the creation of works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
    • 1.2 History of the Arts and Culture: All students will understand the role, development, and influence of the arts throughout history and across cultures.
    • 1.3 Performance: All students will synthesize those skills, media, methods, and technologies appropriate to creating, performing, and/or presenting works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
    • 1.4 Aesthetic Responses & Critique Methodologies: All students will demonstrate and apply an understanding of arts philosophies, judgment, and analysis to works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.

    For some answers to FAQ's about the NJCCCS for the Visual and Performing Arts, visihttp://www.state.nj.us/education/aps/cccs/arts/faq.htm, and you can read a more detailed version of the standards with objectives by grade level here.