Music Education B.A. Assessment Plan

Mission Statement

The University of Nevada, Reno Department of Music provides education in the history, performance, theory, and pedagogy of music. Its mission is to help students acquire the skills and knowledge to enable them to successfully contribute as performers, scholars, and educators. At the same time, the Department stands committed to supporting the creative endeavors of its faculty, and to fostering a close relationship with the greater Northern Nevada community.

To this end, and following the mission of the University as a whole, the Department of Music resolves to:

  • provide high quality, accredited, undergraduate and graduate degree programs in music performance, education, and research.
  • offer music courses, ensembles, and concerts that reflect the diversity and richness of the world's cultures.
  • maintain a learning environment where student performers and scholars may regularly interact with professional teacher/mentors.
  • encourage faculty to produce outstanding creative work in performance, composition, and scholarship.
  • serve the University's College of Arts and Sciences by providing Core Curriculum courses and contributing to College committees.
  • promote the musical life of the Northern Nevada community at large by participating in or sponsoring a broad array of concerts, workshops, course offerings, and performance institutions.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Students will be able to perform on an instrument or voice at a semi-professional level.

Performance Indicators

  • Be able to perform a variety of Western Classical repertoire on their respective instrument. Demonstrate an excellent technical command of their instrument and the ability to interpret, phrase and play musically.

Assessment Method

  • Jury exam performances every semester where faculty committees grade and advise all majors in performance at the end of each semester.
  • Upper division performance barriers where all Music Education majors must pass a barrier exam in performance in order to gain upper division standing in applied lessons.
  • Senior Recital where all Music Education majors must satisfactorily complete a recital performance juried by a music faculty committee of three.

2. Students will be able to demonstrate mastery of basic musicianship skills (piano, rhythm, pitch discrimination).

Performance Indicators

  • Pitch recognition, melodic and harmonic aural skills
  • Rhythmic acuity
  • Music Instruction/Methods

Assessment Method

  • All Bachelor of Music Education majors must pass a series of "Music Lab" tests that measure a student's ability to hear melodies and chords as part of our Sight-Singing and Dictation course sequence. They must also pass a 30 minute rhythmic, singing and listening final examination with one of the sight-singing faculty upon completion of Music 212.
  • All Bachelor of Music Education majors must pass a comprehensive piano proficiency exam before they are allowed in the student internship program.
  • All Bachelor of Music Education majors must pass a series of "Tap" rhythm tests as part of our Sight-Singing and Dictation course sequence. They must also read and count various examples from the Robert Starer "Rhythmic Training" textbook.
  • Upper division vocal Music Education barrier exam includes the performance of works in English, French, German and Italian. Additional requirements include preparation of an assigned work over a 24 hour period with no faculty coaching and singing/reading various intervals, scales, chords and melodies. All students must pass this exam to gain upper division standing in applied lessons.
  • All Bachelor of Music Education students are required to take 10 credits of Methods course work in their chosen track of study: instrumental, vocal or general elementary.
  • Upper division continuation exam where all Bachelor of Music Education majors must pass an extensive written theory examination and a 30 minute sight-singing examination. Both must be passed as a prerequisite for most 300 level music courses. These examinations are routinely scheduled after completion of Music 302 Music Theory IV and Music 312 Sight-singing and Dictation. All transfer students must take the examinations.

3. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of basic musical arranging/composing concepts.

Performance Indicators

  • Counterpoint
  • Orchestration

Assessment Method

  • All music education majors are evaluated on their ability to write multiple musical lines in counterpoint as part of the 4 semester Music Theory sequence.
  • All music education majors are evaluated on their ability to write for various musical instruments as part of the requirements of their Orchestration class. The class includes an arranging barrier exam: a "live" performance of their own arrangement.

4. Students will be able to demonstrate the necessary professional/teaching skills in order to be successful in the classroom.

Performance Indicators

  • Instrumental, vocal and general music pedagogy
  • Classroom management
  • Planning and delivery of instruction
  • Diversity among students and learning environments
  • Student assessment
  • Commitment to the profession

Assessment Method

  • All music education majors are evaluated on their ability to perform at a basic level on brass, woodwind, string and percussion instruments and voice as part of their music methods courses.
  • All music education majors are evaluated on their ability to teach in real classroom situations during their required 14-week student internship in public schools. Evaluators include an assigned master teacher and members of the music education faculty.
  • All Music Education majors are evaluated on their ability to create and execute lesson plans for the instrumental, vocal and general music settings, K-12.
  • All Music Education students are evaluated on their ability to differentiate instruction in various learning environments with differing student populations through observations, simulated and real classroom teaching and lesson plans in their music education and education coursework.
  • All Music Education students are evaluated in five domains as defined by the College of Education (Students and learning environments; Planning; Delivery and management; Assessment; Professionalism) through a portfolio completed as part of the student intern application. This portfolio contains "artifacts" such as lesson plans, observation reflections, recorded teaching examples, position papers and workshop notes.