What do we value? Product? Process? Reflection?
It began with a conversation on Voxer.
How do we know?
My #OLW, Curious, led me on an interesting quest.
So how does this work in real life?
The first group began. All brass. They blew a few sounds through their mouthpieces. They were newcomers. Section by section. Each small group played. Then the entire brass group played two songs.
Same process for the woodwinds. A few sounds. Section by section sound off. Then the entire woodwind group played two songs.
The Premiere of THE 5th Grade Beginning Band (copied from the program) then played two songs. Their first practice together – the brass and the woodwinds. Their first practice EVER. During a performance. In front of a gym packed with family and friends.
How would you assess this 5th grade group in their first public appearance?
The number of students that participated?
How the three groups sounded?
How they have grown in the six weeks since 5th grade band began?
What comparisons would you make between assessing this instrumental group and other “assessments of 5th grade learners?”
I watched instrumental musicians last night representing grades 5-12 in the Central DeWitt school district. This was my second consecutive year to attend the fall Parade of Bands. It’s a 90 minute extravaganza led by two directors that showcases the performance levels of students in October each year. This year that was a total of 325 band students in grades 5-12: 215 students in grades 5-8 (She is simply amazing!) and 115 students in high school.
What if . . .
What if all students had to take an identical screener in the fall, winter and spring?
What if the results of the screener was then used to determine which instrument students should play?
What if the students had to pass a “basic knowledge test” before they could choose an instrument?
Would there be 325 students in band if a general “proficiency test” was required of all students?
Again, how is success measured?
Is it measured by the “1 Superior” rating at state marching contest?
Is it measured by the new band uniforms provided by a community drive?
Is it measured by the audience that packed the gym?
Is it measured by the funds raised during the dinner before the Parade of Bands?
Is it measured by the applause of the audience?
Is it measured by the number of students who continue to participate in band year after year?
Is it measured by the distance that audience members travel to attend the concert? (195 miles one way for me)
Is it measured by the “JOY” of the students who continue to participate?
Product? Process? Reflection?
Is there any ONE measure that captures the essence of success?
The original conversation began with writing. Is this a conversation that needs to be a part of every content area in every school building?
What do we value?
What do we support?
How do we know?
Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Kelsey, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum from Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.
Full Disclosure: I’ve followed this band director for decades – to concerts and competitions, to the Alamo Bowl, and to the Orange Bowl so I’m
a wee bit biased. Band opened the doors for me to travel in the US and abroad. I attended this concert with his grandmother, mother, wife and daughter. I’ve known him and his work ethic for 40 years, and YET I also know that FUN and a passion for music is also a part of his agenda. He’s my nephew!