Choir Karate:: A Sequential Assessment Program for Middle School Singers

  • Publish Date: 2015-01-18
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Lisa E Owens
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As choir directors, we are constantly challenged to find ways to balance fun with music performance and theory. We want our students to be successful and enjoy their musical experience with us. Assessment is an essential part of what we do. We need to be able to see what our students really understand and we don't want to leave anything out. What if your students were so excited to show you what they know that they came to you and asked for tests? I created this program for my students because they used to get nervous when it was time to test. Sight-reading tests were particularly stressful. I was in Karate at the time, and I noticed how the karate students were always excited to test. The tests were short, and there was a reward for success. I decided to start making a game out of testing for my choir students. Now, my students ask me for tests! They are going online and looking at the concepts before I teach them in class, and they are having fun learning. They are excited to show me what they can do and their musicianship has reached a new level! My students are taking ownership of their progress and becoming independent musicians. How the program works... The concepts for Middle School Singers are divided into seven sections, with levels for first through third year middle school singers. The tests get more challenging as the students progress through the program. The Yellow Belt level is designed for quick success, and the higher Belt Levels are designed to be completed within a six-week time period. The program contains a study guide for each level, as well as a student tracking form for each year in choir, written theory tests, and oral sight-reading and rhythm-reading tests. There are printable certificates at the end of the book for each level, and a printable reward pass (but you can always make your own reward system). With my students, I also create a sticker chart so that my singers can view their successes and get a visual idea of what they still need to accomplish. I can also look at the chart to see what individual classes need at a glance when I am planning for the next week. This program would be a great tool for district alignment and common assessments. You can rest assured that you are covering concepts that your students need to know before they move on to high school.