EDPO 540: Refining Assessment in the Music Classroom-RW

EDPO 540:  Refining Assessment in the Music Classroom, K-12,


Rob Westerberg, Instructor

COURSE DATES for 2015-2016:
This course meets on two weekend sessions:
Friday, Sept. 25 (4-8pm), Saturday, Sept. 26 (8-4pm) 
Friday, Feb. 12 (4-8pm), Saturday, Feb. 13 (8-4pm)
Burlington College
351 North Avenue
Burlington, VT 05401

“Only the curious will learn… the quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.” ~ Edmund S. Wilson (1895-1972)

National and regional activity around assessment in the Arts has taken dramatic and exciting steps over the past few years. This course will serve to take a critical look at these assessment practices and the philosophies that support them for Music Education. The general music classroom, the large group ensemble and the specialized music course each possess unique challenges for instruction and assessment. This course will identify those challenges and discuss practical solutions for each. Doing so through improved utilization of technology and online resources will likewise be a primary focus.

“The principal goal of education is to create people who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.” ~ Jean Piaget (1896-1980)

Looking closely at our assessment practices through a collaborative and fine tuned lens can provide unique opportunities for growth. Connecting new assessment practices to our instructional practices can bring exciting changes to how we approach our students and their learning. Participants will discuss how to best apply recent Music assessment work to their own unique situations in their own school music programs. This will lead them to create their own personalized plan for implementing new strategies.

“The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action.” ~ Herbert Spencer (1820–1903)

The primary outcome of this course will be to have participants implementing new instructional and assessment strategies into their own classrooms, and then sharing that work with other participants. Evolving first from the study of assessment practices, through the process of identifying those that are an exciting fit for each individual participant, culminating in a practical application of them in the classroom will not only provide a tangible outcome but will serve as a model for ongoing professional growth.

The course will formally meet in two face-to-face sessions, and will also include extensive inter-session and post-session work.  This course is approved by the Maine Department of Education for re-certification, and is designed exclusively for K-12 music educators.  Credit is granted through our academic partnership with Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.


  • A  laptop is required.
  • All of the resources for the course will be accessible to participants on a wiki site and some pre-reading materials will be required.
  • Additional hand-outs will be provided.


  • Upon successful completion of this course, educators will be able to:
  • Articulate recent trends in assessment and clear connections to their own classrooms.
  • Develop and implement a personalized plan of instruction and assessment to their own classrooms.
  • Network ideas and strategies with other music and Arts colleagues in the field.
  • Develop a meaningful approach to ongoing analysis and modification of their own instructional practices.
  • Articulate a clear connection between music assessment and music advocacy in their own schools and communities.