Submitted Fall, 2006
Department of Music and Performing Arts
Music Assessment Report
Assessment procedures for the Department of Music meet accreditation standards with the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). These procedures continue to be reviewed, evaluated and refined in light of the stated mission of the department and Learning Objectives including:
- Students will experience personal artistic achievement and develop understanding of the styles and performance practices of diverse musical eras through applied study, solo and ensemble performance, and attendance at numerous concerts, recitals, musicals, operas, master classes, and music for special events.
- Students will achieve broad intellectual and interpretive skills and understanding as related to core musicianship requirements and degree-specific curricula in the areas of music theory, music history, music education, music business, music pedagogy, musical theatre, opera, conducting, and the appreciation of music.
- Students will develop musical understanding and critical artistic judgment as they participate in a wide range of rewarding solo and ensemble performance experiences for the enhancement of the arts at the university and in the community.
- Upon completion of the course of study leading to a music degree, minor, or program endorsement in music, students will be prepared to seek professional placement in the competitive job market within their chosen field or pursue and advanced degree in a related field of study.
DEPARTMENTAL ASSESSMENT TOOLS
Student Learning Objectives are measured in the following ways:
- Entrance Audition—Performance, Sight Reading/Singing, Theory, Keyboard Completion of Application for Admission to a Music Academic Program (A, B, C, D Provides standard baseline in performance/academic areas)
- Applied Juries and Advanced Standing— Performance for faculty Jury each semester of applied study. Requirements specific to each instrument/voice (A, B, C, D)
- Freshman and Sophomore Evaluations—Department faculty review of student progress at freshman level in music academic coursework (Theory, Sight Singing/Ear Training, Piano), applied principal instrument or voice, and ensemble participation. (A, B, C, D)
- Recital Hearing—Performance for area faculty for permission to perform recital (A, C, D)
- Recital Performance—Student non-degree and degree recitals, Length and repertoire determined by area faculty (A, B, C, D)
- Piano Proficiency Examination—Exam highlighting applied theory and keyboard skills in the areas of Technique, Sight Reading, Harmonization and Transposition, Repertoire. Exam requirements by degree and area of applied study, four levels. (B, D)
- Student Portfolio—Requirements by degree program; reviewed by area faculty (C, D)
- Field Experience in Music Education—Reviewed and assessed by Music Education Advisors (B, D)
- Field Experience in Music Business—Reviewed and assessed by Music Business Advisor (B, D)
- Internship in Piano Teaching—Reviewed and assessed by Piano Pedagogy Advisor (B, D)
- Internship in Music Business—Reviewed assessed by Music Business Advisor (B, D)
- Graduating Senior Survey—Administered during final semester of music study (A, B, C, D)
- Alumni Survey (in progress) (A, B, C, D)
2005-06 ASSESSMENT REPORT
Students seeking to major or minor in music are required to complete proficiency assessments in the following areas:
1. Performance Audition—Students must declare a major instrument or voice upon entrance, perform two pieces of contrasting style for the area applied faculty (instrumental, piano, voice), and pass minimum performance requirements according to the following standards:
Instrumental—MENC Level 4 Selective Music List
Piano/Organ—Level of a Bach Two-part Invention
Voice—Any material in the MENC Selective Music List
Further, students are required to sight read on their major instrument or voice for the area applied faculty. Students who do not perform with adequate technique, tone quality, and musicianship may be admitted provisionally under MUS 135 (applied non-major) to prepare for a formal audition. MUS 135 hours do not count toward degree requirements for the major in music.
2. Theory and Ear Training Examination—Students must take a basic music theory and ear training examination at the time of the entrance audition to determine possible deficiencies. Students who pass the exam will enroll in MUS 200 Music Theory I and MUS 199 Sight Singing and Ear Training during the first fall semester of their enrollment. Students who fail the theory examination are advised to take MUS 098 Fundamentals of Music, during the summer prior to enrollment in MUS 200.
3. Piano Placement Examination—All students will take a piano placement examination prior to their first semester of enrollment in the music program. The placement examination is given by the piano faculty; determination of level is based on number of years of applied study, knowledge of theory fundamentals, two-staff reading ability, and keyboard facility. Those with little or no keyboard background are required to enroll in MUS 140 Piano Techniques I during the first fall semester of their music studies or may be required to enroll in the GS non-major piano class if they cannot demonstrate basic music reading ability; those with previous keyboard study and no theory background will be placed into MUS 141 Piano Techniques II and are required to enroll in the spring semester of their first year of music studies; those with extended keyboard study, with at least a year of music theory study will be placed into MUS 240 Piano Techniques III during the first fall semester of their music studies; and all keyboard principals/majors and others with extensive applied study, excellent reading abilities and technical facility will be placed into MUS 260 Keyboard Harmonization in the spring of their first year of music studies.
Report: Records of performance, theory, sight reading,, and piano placement examinations for all entering freshmen and transfer students are maintained by the department for reference at summer advising sessions. Beginning in the fall, 2004, the department has required all new and transfer students to complete a Request for Admission to a Music Academic Program form. The form requires a student to choose a primary performance area, desired music degree program(s),and record all completed audition and examination dates. Students who have not completed entrance requirements must do so by the third day of the semester. Each student application form is then reviewed by the entire music faculty at the first meeting (first week of classes) for approval or recommendations for provisional admittance to the program. This procedure has been instrumental in making certain that all majors and minors are enrolled in the appropriate classes, confirm student selection of instrument/degree programs, and “catch” students who have not gone through the formal admissions process. In the past, there were several problems with “walk-on” and transfer students. Of the forty-three entering students (2006F), thirty have been formally approved for admission to music degree programs; seven have been given provisional status based on the lack of pre-college preparation in the applied area of study appropriate to their chosen degree program; and six have indicated some indecision regarding degree program choice. These students will be assessed again at the time of their first jury performance and be formally reviewed as part of Freshmen/Sophomore Evaluations in the spring semester.
During 2006-07, the department will track students who were recommended to take the summer MUS 098 Music Fundamentals online course, comparing the thirteen students who enrolled in the course with those who neither took the class nor passed the entrance examination, to help determine possible differences in retention rates in the theory and ear training sequence. Based on the evidence of its findings, the department will consider making the MUS 098 course a requirement for those who do not successfully pass the entrance examination prior to enrollment into the freshman level MUS 200 sequence.
The department is still in the process of producing lists of specific repertoire requirements for entrance auditions by instrument/voice: Brass, Strings, Percussion, Guitar, Woodwinds, Voice, Piano, and Organ. The intent is for the requirements to be available on the department’s website and mailed to prospective students to assist them in preparation for the performance audition. The goal is to clarify the minimum standards of performance level for collegiate level study. At the time of this report, repertoire requirements are available for piano, organ, and guitar. In all areas, students are required to perform two pieces of contrasting character for the entrance audition. During the 2006-07 academic year, requirements for brass, percussion, strings, voice, and woodwinds will be developed.
Piano placement data indicates the following recommendations: Piano Technique I (42); Piano Techniques II (10); Piano Techniques III (5); and Keyboard Harmonization (11). The results show a decrease in the level of pre-college music training in piano for entering freshmen and transfer students. As a result, an additional section of Piano Techniques I was added to the fall, 2006 class schedule. No change in the placement assessment is being considered.
Each student enrolled in applied music is required to perform for a faculty jury at the end of each semester. Repertoire and technique requirements are specific to each area (instrumental, keyboard, voice) and level of study. Each area also provides repertoire sheets and critique forms on which students are graded in specific areas such as Tone (beauty, characteristic timbre, control); Intonation; Technique (articulation, fingering, breathing, embouchure, facility, balance and voicing); Musicianship (tempo, rhythm, phrasing, dynamics, stylistic interpretation); Memorization; Diction; and Stage Presence; along with written comments and an overall grade from each adjudicator. The jury grade is incorporated into the course final grade. The Jury performance assessment forms are kept in student files maintained by each instructor with copies, providing evidence of progress, to be included in student portfolios. Refinements of the jury evaluation process continue, with faculty from each performance division responsible for implementation of suggested changes.
Report: The applied jury continues to serve as the main measure of performance progress for all music majors and minors. No changes in the forms are planned; however, one observation that may be made is that not all faculty provide students with grades/feedback in the areas listed above. Faculty will be encouraged to provide specific feedback, particularly in areas of concern. This will provide historic data for tracking student progress in support of future recommendations/denials on the Advanced Standing jury and recital hearings.
As part of the jury process, typically at the end of the third semester of study (instrumentalists/pianists) and fourth semester (vocalists), students apply for admission to Advanced Standing. Due to the highly varied repertoire of each applied instrument, specific performance requirements are determined by area applied faculty. We are in the process of standardizing repertoire level requirements from each area within the instrumental division (brass, percussion, woodwinds). The string faculty have developed specific requirements for scales and arpeggios, exercises, etudes, along with standard literature at the level of a Beethoven Sonata or Lalo Concerto (cello) and the unaccompanied works of J.S. Bach, concerti/sonatas of Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and concert pieces at the level of the Kreisler Praeludium and Allegro in the Style of Paganini or the Kodaly Adagio (violin/viola) for achievement of advanced standing status. Guitar students must demonstrate technical facility in scale, chord, arpeggio, and exercise playing, a knowledge of chord positions and various classical/jazz styles. Sample repertoire at the advanced level is still needed as a benchmark for student admittance to upper level study. During 2006-07, specific repertoire level requirements will be developed for Advanced Standing in the areas of high brass, low brass, woodwinds, and percussion.
The keyboard division (piano) has determined that the minimum Advanced Standing requirement is the level of a fast movement of a Mozart Sonata and a three-part/voice invention or fugue of Bach; for organ, a performance of three pieces at the level of works from a suggested literature list along with hymn preparation and a demonstration of manual and pedal technique are required. In addition, students must submit a cumulative list of performance repertoire studied and performed at UNK. The Assessment of Learning Outcomes includes specific grades for Skills: Note/Rhythm Accuracy, Tempo, Technique/Facility, Pedaling, Balance and Voicing, Phrasing and Articulation, Tone Color and Dynamics, Stylistic Interpretation.
In the voice area, students must successfully prepare four selections at the level of 1) an Italian art song by composers such as Caldara, Pergolesi, Cesti, Gluck, Bellini, Donizetti or Donaudy; 2) an art song in English by a 20th c. composers such as Barber, Duke, Copland, Rorem, or Quilter; 3) an early song or appropriate oratorio selection by Purcell, Jandel, Scarlatti, or Vivaldi for performance at the Advanced Standing jury. If the student is a musical theatre major, an appropriate musical theatre piece may be performed. If the student has completed French/German diction or has other significant language facility, a selection in another language may also be chosen.
Students who pass the admission requirements to Advanced Standing may enroll in upper division applied lessons (MUS 350/351). Each degree program has a minimum semester requirement for study at the upper level division: BA-Music (minimum three semesters upper level); BM-Performance (minimum four semesters upper level); BM-Musical Theatre (minimum four semesters upper level); BM Music Business Emphasis (minimum one semester upper level); BAEd-Music K-12 (minimum three semesters upper level); Pre-Music Therapy (minimum three semesters upper level); and the Piano Pedagogy Certificate (minimum two semesters upper level). Students who do not pass the Advanced Standing barrier are required to continue enrollment in the lower level applied lessons until the Advanced Standing has been passed. In this case, the faculty provide a written statement of what areas need additional work. Records of Advanced Standing are kept in the applied faculty files; copies are given to the students for inclusion in the Portfolio and to the main office for accreditation records.
Report: During the 2005-06 academic year, twenty-one students (five instrumentalists, eleven vocalists, and five pianists) passed the Advanced Standing requirements and are currently enrolled in upper division applied lessons. Only one student was reported as having received an Incomplete on his Advanced Standing in the spring, 2006; he has subsequently completed the requirements for Advanced Standing (August, 2006). No students were reported has having failed the Advanced Standing performance examination; however, records indicate that of the twenty-one students who were awarded Advanced Standing status, seven passed the barrier at the end of their third semester, seven passed after four semesters, six passed after five semesters, and one passed after six semesters of study. A further review indicates that four of these later exams were taken by transfer students and does not indicate a lower performance level. Of the remaining students who took more than four semesters to pass the exam, all were effectively advised by their applied instructors to postpone application for the Advanced Standing to better prepare for the exam. No changes in this assessment are being considered.
Since 2005, faculty have been providing the chair with copies of the completed Advanced Standing forms for the office assessment files. Data indicates that students who take the Advanced Standing are well-prepared and making adequate progress in applied studies. Of note, the instrumental faculty are very specific in their grading procedures—i.e. specific grades are given in the areas of Tone, Intonation, Technique, Interpretation, Musical Effect and Sight Reading. The piano faculty record a + for “commendable” and – for “needs attention” in the following areas: Note/Rhythm Accuracy, Tempo, Technique/Facility, Pedaling, Balance and Voicing, Phrasing and Articulation, Tone Color and Dynamics, and Stylistic Interpretation. One area of assessment that may need to be added to the piano form is that of Memorization. Instrumental, voice, and keyboard faculty require a cumulative repertoire list and all forms include a space for written commentary to explain additional requirements for those who have not me the performance standards. During the 2006-07 academic year, the voice faculty will be encouraged to use a form that has comparable learning outcome assessment areas, including some that are specific to the voice, to assist students in recognizing their performance strengths and weaknesses.
The Advanced Standing barrier in applied study has proven it to be one of the department’s most effective tools in relaying standardized technical and musical criteria for the move to upper division applied study to both students and faculty. Data collected shows that students who have earned upper division status demonstrate a high level of preparation over the course of the first two years of study; these are the students who successfully complete the degree requirements for graduation. We have found that students who lack the technical skills or lack consistent practice habits are not likely to study beyond the lower division and change degree programs. This barrier allows the department to maintain high standards of musicianship, not only for those in performance degrees, but for students majoring in all fields of music study.
Students enrolled in all music degree programs are evaluated by the entire music faculty. In the spring semester of the freshman and sophomore years, students must submit lists of previous/current courses taken (including transfer courses) along with earned grades and names of course instructors, performance activities (solo, chamber and ensemble) and music-related organizations, honor societies and scholarship awards. All faculty have the opportunity to submit written commentary on student progress and, with permission of the student, faculty meet to discuss each student’s progress in the areas of performance, academics and participation in departmental activities. The department chair then writes a letter to every student, acknowledging his or her progress and offering encouragement toward the completion of the degree; or relays perceived areas of weakness and suggestions for improvement; or recommends that the student reconsider another degree program.
Report: The department has developed a new Music Student Records form, to better enable us to formally track student academic and performance achievement, to assist in the evaluation process. Part I, Student Degree Information, tracks entrance records on performance audition, theory test, piano placement, major instrument/voice, and application for a specific degree program; Part II tracks core music course enrollment and grades, including results of the Piano Proficiency Exam and Advanced Standing; Part III includes written commentary of Freshman/Sophomore Evaluations; Part IV tracks Capstone Experiences in various degree programs such as 1) Music Performance/Musical Theatre Degree Recitals, 2) Music Business Internships, 3) Music Education Student Teaching; and 4) Other, including Piano Pedagogy Internships, and a record of Independent Studies; and Part V, records the degree program, date and advisor for the final Portfolio Review. In the spring semester, all currently enrolled Freshman and Sophomore music students were entered into this system; it will be updated on an annual basis for faculty assistance with evaluations and advising.
Based on data entered on the Music Student Records form, the chair has developed a standard format letter to send to all Freshmen and Sophomores relaying results of the review and evaluation process, providing guidance toward the successful completion of degree requirements. The letter addresses I. Student Degree Information: A. Degree Program (University Records), B. Major Instrument/Voice, C. Degree Program Approval (if the student has not yet been formally approved by the faculty, reasons for this are outlined) and II. Student Evaluation: A. Academic/Performance Progress (if the student is not making progress, the letter explains the areas of concern by faculty—poor attendance, lack of comprehension, lack of consistent study habits, lack of adequate practice, lack of sufficient progress in major applied area, lack of participation in music ensembles, lack of consistent enrollment in core music courses) and B. Recommendations (written recommendation from the faculty). The letter and form provide the faculty with clear and efficient record-keeping. In addition, this individualized approach to freshman/sophomore evaluations is intended to acknowledge areas of achievement while also providing students with clearly stated guidelines for future success in the program.
During the spring semester, 2006, of the 77 students reviewed, 56 received notification of formal degree program approval by the faculty; 19 received notification that university records did not match the degree program for which they applied and were advised to make the change through Academic Advising. Of these same 77 students, the following results of the Freshman/Sophomore Evaluations were reported to students—37 received positive commendation from the faculty; 40 were notified of some concern by faculty members regarding their progress (some with more than one concern): 15—poor attendance, 7—lack of comprehension, 9—insufficient practice/study, 8—lack of continuous enrollment in sequential music courses, and 1—failure to formally audition on applied principal instrument. These students were advised to contact their advisor or the department chair regarding enrollment, minimum practice requirements, and/or making arrangements for outside tutoring sessions with faculty or student tutors. It was further discovered that four students, who were listed as music majors or minors with Academic Advising, had not yet enrolled in music courses. These students were advised to either contact the department chair to begin enrollment in the academic program or to change degree programs with Academic Advising.
The letters sent to each freshman/sophomore with faculty commendations or concerns and recommendations provide communications with students on their progress (or lack thereof) with the intention not only of accurate record-keeping but of making students aware of the expectations for continued enrollment as a music major or minor. Our goal is to provide students with honest feedback in the early stages of their program that serves to guide future choices in degree planning and encourages their development as musicians and scholars through dedicated practice and study. We believe this individualized evaluation process lets the students know that we are sincerely interested in providing whatever assistance we can toward successful completion of their chosen degree programs. As a result of the detailed letters, a number of students have subsequently enrolled in proper coursework, completed admission application/change of degree program forms, changed to proper degree programs with Academic Advising, and/or sought academic assistance. In recognition that a number of students may need additional help in music core coursework such as music theory, sight singing/ear training, piano, in addition to supporting students enrolled in GS music courses, the department has devoted a portion of its budget to fund music tutors for five hours per week.
Recital Hearing, Performance and Senior Projects
Students in all Bachelor of Music-Performance and Bachelor of Music-Musical Theatre degrees are required to perform degree recitals (MUS 488). A special evaluation process, the Recital Hearing, is set up within each of the applied areas of study, instrumental, piano and vocal. Students are required to perform a Recital Hearing at least two weeks in advance of a scheduled performance. The hearing is graded on a pass/fail basis. Those who pass may proceed with developing the final program, scheduling the recording technician, the piano tuner, and a news release. Those who fail are required to cancel their reserved recital date and reschedule a hearing at a later time to be determined by their applied instructor. The final assessment of the recital is made by the instructor, via a course grade. The recital may be taken as an H Option for those in the Honors Program. For all others, Senior Projects are generally determined by the student’s primary instructor and taken as an Independent Study. Copies of all Independent Study project plans, with title, content, outline of study, and final grade, are housed in the Music Office for NASM accreditation review.
Report: During the 2005-06 academic year, ten students (six vocalists, one composition student, two pianists, and one instrumentalist) enrolled in MUS 488/488H Recital. One composition, four voice, and two piano students successfully passed recital hearing and performance requirements. No students were reported as having failed the recital hearing and recital performance requirements; however, one vocalist and one instrumentalist elected to postpone their performance dates, taking an Incomplete for the course; they will be required to perform the hearing and recital during the 2006-07 academic year; one voice student withdrew. No changes in this assessment plan are currently being considered.
During 2005-06 academic year, a new form was developed to track enrollment, project title, content, requirements for completion and final grades for all students enrolled in Independent Study. This form will replace the past practice of having entire research projects housed in the music office. Individual faculty members will keep copies of all projects in their respective office files; the original record forms are kept in the music office; students keep a copy of the form for their portfolios. From fall of 2005, through the summer session in 2006, thirteen students enrolled for MUS 460/460H. Projects include specialized studies in chamber music research and performance, piano pedagogy study of exercises and etudes, music therapy, music composition, piano literature, woodwind techniques, song literature interpretation, collaborative performance, and musical theatre choreography, musical theatre history, and two vocal competitions. Learning outcomes are individualized according to the type of study undertaken; project grades are determined by the individual faculty member. No further changes in assessment are being
Piano Proficiency Examination
The Piano Proficiency Examination is administered to all music majors and minors (various levels determined by varied degree programs). The exam is one of the department’s primary assessment tools, designed to test the student’s ability to comprehend and apply theoretical principals (scale and chord construction and function, harmonization, transposition); competency in keyboard reading and facility (basic technique, sight reading, score reading, repertoire); and listening and creative functional skills (harmonization, accompanying solo performer, varying accompanying patterns in harmonization pieces).
The examination is divided into four parts, generally given on separate exam days periodically throughout the final semester of study for those enrolled in piano classes or given in a single 30-40 minute period for those with adequate skills to cover all materials without coursework (applied piano faculty determine class placement at the time of the entrance audition). The examination is further divided into four levels of difficulty, Level I being the easiest and Level V the most difficult. Included are also slightly varied requirements for instrumental versus vocal majors (i.e. preparing and performing an instrumental score vs. choral score on the exam or playing an accompaniment featuring the student’s major voice or instrument); however, the level of difficulty of instrumental and voice majors for each degree program is comparable whereas all piano majors and principals have more difficult requirements in the areas of Technique, Sight Reading and Repertoire. The examination is administered by the course instructor for LEVEL I (Piano Tech II—Music Minors); by at least two keyboard faculty members for LEVEL II (Piano Tech III—Music Minor-ElEd Majors; Music Business Majors; Liberal Arts-Music Majors), LEVEL III (Piano Tech IV—Music Education Majors, Music Performance Majors, Musical Theatre Majors, and Pre-Music Therapy principals), LEVEL IV/V (Keyboard Harmonization—Keyboard Majors and Principals in all degree programs). The exam is graded on a P/F basis; letter grades may be assigned for each exam segment as determined by the course instructor for students currently enrolled in piano classes.
FOUR-PART EXAMINATION—AREAS OF ASSESSMENT
(Varied by degree program, primary instrument)
PART I: TECHNIQUE (M/m Scales, Inversions, Progressions-Primary and Extended)
PART II: SIGHT READING (Elem. Song, Transposed Melodies, Scores)
PART III: HARMONIZATION AND TRANSPOSITION (M/m –Transposed, SR Chord Symbols)
PART IV: REPERTOIRE (Accompaniment, Anthems, Prepared Scores, Solo)
REPORT: (DECEMBER, 2005 andMAY, 2006 Examinations - Completion Record)
Level I Music Minor
(Piano Tech II)
Voice – 7; Instrumental – 6
Level II Music Minor-Elementary Ed Major/Music Business/Liberal Arts-Music
(Piano Tech III)
Music Business-Voice – 4; Instrumental – 6; Keyboard - 7
Level III Music Education, Music Performance, Musical Theatre, Pre-Music Therapy
(Piano Tech IV and Keyboard Harmonization)
Voice – 5; Instrumental – 4
Level IV/V Piano Majors and Principals
Performance – 1
HISTORICAL RESULTS REPORT BY DEGREE PROGRAM/PRIMARY INSTRUMENT (2002 - 2006)
Music/Minor (Piano Tech II)
Voice –16; Instrumental – 12; Keyboard –3
Music Minor-Elementary Ed Major/Music Business/Liberal Arts-Music (Piano Tech III)
ElEd Major/Music Minor – Voice – 2; Instrumental – 5; Keyboard – 3
Music Business – Voice – 9; Instrumental – 14; Keyboard – 3
Liberal Arts – Voice – 3; Instrumental – 2; Keyboard – 7
Music Education, Music Performance, Musical Theatre, Pre-Music Therapy(Piano Tech IV and Keyboard Harmonization)
Music Education – Voice – 12
Music Education – Instrumental – 17
Music Education – Keyboard – 8 [these students have also passed the Level IV/V exam for keyboard principals]
Music Performance and Musical Theatre – Voice - 22
Music Performance - Instrumental – 3
Music Performance – Keyboard – 5 [these students have also passed the Level IV/V exam for keyboard principals]
Pre-Music Therapy – Voice – 2
Pre-Music Therapy – Instrumental – 1
Pre-Music Therapy – Keyboard – 1 [this student has also passed the Level IV exam for keyboard principals]
Report: Incomplete Examinations
(Student failure on all or part of examination, 2002 - 2006)
Retake PART I TECHNIQUE – 6
Retake PART II SIGHT READING – 3
Retake PART III HARMON/TRANSP – 7
Retake PART IV REPERTOIRE – 3
Students required to retake entire course, Piano Tech IV – 3
Students who do not pass one or two parts of the examination may retake the examination by appointment or at the regularly scheduled exam dates with the keyboard faculty committee. Those currently enrolled in a piano class failing to meet the examination requirements will be given an Incomplete for the course and must retake the exam within one year to receive a passing grade. The Piano Proficiency Examination, along with Advanced Standing in Private Instruction, provides the faculty with tools to assess fundamental musicianship skills of all music majors and minors. To that end, students may not enroll in Student Teaching, Music Business Internship, or Sr. Recital without passing the piano proficiency examination.
As a result of the historical record kept on the Piano Proficiency Examination, the faculty are better able to identify students who have experienced problems with the exam and to take steps toward addressing the areas which may require attention in placement or curriculum. In the past, it was determined that the students who experienced problems were mainly transfer students or those who had no keyboard experience prior to enrollment at UNK. The transfer students generally had weaker theory backgrounds and often less disciplined work habits. The department has instituted three means for a more consistent student success rate: 1) Initial placement into Piano Tech II, III, and IV will require strong theory skills; 2) As the course is a four-level sequence, students will not be allowed to pass into upper levels without at least a strong C average. Those who have not developed strong reading skills by the end of Piano Tech II, are advised to retake the course; and 3) Tutors will be made available for students enrolled in any
piano tech course.
In a review of the previous year’s historical record of Incomplete Examinations, it was determined that the initial placement of students with piano background to lower level piano classes would result in a higher success rate in proficiency exam completion. The number of students required to retake a portion or several parts of the exam, particularly in the area of Technique, has dropped significantly (from 14 to 6).
The Piano Proficiency Examination underwent a complete review in the spring of 2004 by the entire music faculty. It was determined that the examination requirements for all non-keyboard majors and principals was adequate and did not need further revision; however, the keyboard faculty determined that the standards for piano performance majors and principals needed to be revised. The keyboard faculty made changes, primarily in the area of technique, for all piano students, requiring a higher level of facility in scales, arpeggios, inversions and progressions (all major and minor keys). As a result, an increase in technical proficiency of performance principals, that is more in line with national standards, is evident among those who have taken the exam in the past year.
Students are required to present a complete portfolio for faculty consideration during the final semester before graduation. Included in the portfolio are sections related to solo, chamber and ensemble performance, jury sheets, repertoire sheets, Advanced Standing forms, recital programs, samples of academic achievements, honors and awards, extracurricular participation, and areas related to the specific degree program. Portfolios are also informally reviewed by area faculty at each music jury to assess progress toward the completed document. Studio teachers and faculty advisors provide guidance to each student in areas of acceptable portfolio organization and content as determined by their specific degree programs.
Report: Written evaluation, by faculty, of student portfolio content and organization will now be used as one of the final assessments of student achievement in preparation for a career in music or for graduate studies. To track evaluations of student portfolios, a packet, with a list of portfolio requirements, by degree program, may be used a check-list for reporting purposes. The following revision of student portfolio requirements has been distributed to all students and faculty in the fall, 2006:
Music Student Portfolio
PURPOSEThe purpose of the Student Portfolio is:
- to guide each student in creating a personalized document that reflects his or her best work done at the University of Nebraska at Kearney;
- to offer a process through which each student will view his/her own strengths and weaknesses before degree completion;
- to provide each graduating music student with a tangible, well-organized representation of his or her professional skills and experiences which may be used to prepare a credential file for prospective employers and/or graduate schools.
- STUDENT DEGREE PROGRAM/VITA
- Copies of performance programs (solo recitals, departmental recitals, ensemble performances, musical/opera productions)
- Audio and/or Video recordings with examples from solo or chamber performances, conducting projects, compositions, or arrangements.
- Evidence of outstanding academic work which may include term papers from music related classes, publications, poster sessions, original arrangements or compositions, or other large scale projects completed while at the university.
- PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
- Documentation of activity and/or leadership in student or professional organizations such as MENC, MTNA, and NAMM.
- Materials which signify attendance and/or participation in state, regional, or national meetings of professional organizations.
- SPECIAL AWARDS AND RECOGNITION
- Documentation of special awards or recognition received such as scholarships, dean’s list, honorary societies (such as Mortar Board or Phi Kappa Phi), fraternities (such as Tau Beta Sigma, Delta Omicron), letters of thanks or commendations, or other activities and beyond the normal curriculum.
- DOCUMENTATION—DEGREE PROGRAM
- Materials which help to describe the student’s particular professional expertise:
- MUSIC BUSINESS STUDENTS
- A typewritten statement describing why the student is interested in pursuing a degree in music business and the student’s professional goals and career objectives.
- The Internship Notebook with a daily log of activities and various other evidence of the internship experience.
- Documentation of other experiences in the music industry such as employment, managing or producing an act, working with music marketing or merchandising, etc.
- The Graduating Senior Exit Assessment
- Any other materials which relater to your potential for success as a professional music educator.
- MUSIC EDUCATION AND PEDAGOGY STUDENTS
- A typewritten, well-composed philosophy of music education. It should reflect the student’s personal beliefs, and also reflect a familiarity with contemporary issues within the profession.
- Evidence of the student teaching/pedagogy internship experience in the form of programs, journals, notebooks, evaluation forms, curricular materials, audio/video recordings of teaching.
- Documentation of other teaching experiences including private lesson teaching, leadership positions within ensembles, clinics or voluntary assistance with school music programs, adjudication experience, etc.
- A typewritten statement describing why the student is interested in pursuing a degree in music education/pedagogy, and/or the student’s professional goals and career objectives.
- Curriculum guides, literature surveys or lists, bibliographies of teaching resources assembled by the student, or other related materials.
- Any other materials which relate to your potential for success as a professional music educator.
- MUSIC PERFORMANCE/MUSICAL THEATRE STUDENTS
- A typewritten, well-composed statement describing the student’s philosophy of music, or philosophy or music performance.
- A typewritten, well-composed description of the student’s reason for pursuing a performance degree, and/or description of career goals and objectives.
- Documentation of the university solo recital experience in the form of programs, audio/video recordings, and any other appropriate materials including research related to performance.
- Evidence of other solo or chamber music performance within or outside of the university in the form of programs and audio/video tapes. Pianists should provide documentation of accompanying experiences.
- Materials which describe participation in performance competitions, master classes, performance-related conferences and festivals either within the university or outside the University.
- Any other materials which relate to your potential for success as a professional musician.
Students should be aware that the format and presentation of the portfolio is as important as the content. The portfolio is a document which describes your professional potential. For that reason, the student should work to create the most orderly, neat, complete, and wellconstructed presentation as possible. The following guidelines should be helpful:
- The portfolio may take the form of a large, heavy-duty, three-ring binder. If a binder is used, all materials must be secured in some fashion. Audio or Video recordings must be secured in the binder or supplementary packet. The exact format will vary from student to student. Students may elect to prepare an ePortfolio.
- The outside of the binder must be labeled (typewritten) with the student’s full name, degree program, anticipated year of graduation, as well as the name of the institution (University of Nebraska at Kearney).
- When the binder is opened, the first document should be a typewritten table of contents. Although page numbers may be impractical, the table of contents should provide the reader with an immediate understanding of what is in the document and the order in which it is presented.
- The remainder of the contents must be organized in sections, and each section should have an organizer tab or divider. The sections identified in the table of contents should correspond to the labels on each of the tabs or dividers. Tabs or dividers should be labeled in type.
- During the fourth semester of study, the student should begin constructing a resume. The resume will then be included in the portfolio and should appear immediately following the table of contents.
Student Portfolio Assessment
||_____Does not meet Approval
||_____Does not meet Approval
DATE OF FINAL PRESENTATION/APPROVAL ____________________________________________
FACULTY ADVISOR(S) ____________________________________________________________
During the 2006-07 academic year, faculty advisors, in collaboration with each student’s applied music instructor, will be responsible for the final review and assessment of portfolios for all graduating seniors during their final semester. Portfolio assessment results will be recorded on each student’s Music Student Records form for future assessment reports, the department’s APR Self Study, and NASM accreditation review.
Graduating Senior Survey
During 2005-06, the existing Graduating Senior Survey (which had been developed but never distributed) was revised to include question specific to various degree programs and converted to Opinio for electronic distribution. Of fifteen students graduating in May, 2006, ten students completed the survey.
UNK MUSIC - GRADUATING SENIOR SURVEY
How would you rate your level of learning in the following areas:
- Overall, how would you rate the level of instruction you received in music classes? [10 responses—3.8]
- Ability to read music in both treble and bass clefs [10 responses—4.4]
- Ability to take music dictation (melodic, rhythmic, harmonic) [9 responses—4.1]
- Ability to analyze linear and chordal harmony [10 responses—4.0]
- Ability to perform linear and chordal harmony on the keyboard [10 responses—3.6]
- Ability to analyze compositional form [10 responses—3.5]
- Ability to arrange and compose vocal and instrumental music [9 responses—3.33]
- Demonstrate knowledge of major periods of music history and literature including knowledge of composers, philosophies, and music styles [10 responses—4.1]
- Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary music [10 responses—3.5]
- Demonstrate knowledge of American jazz [9 responses—2.77]
- Understand and explain the relationship between culture and music throughout history [10 responses—3.9]
- Conduct basic beat patterns of all meters at various tempi [9 responses—4.0]
- Conduct multiple types of music from all periods with appropriate stylistic interpretation [9 responses 3.1]
- Ability to perform in vocal and/or instrumental ensembles [10 responses—4.7]
- Ability to perform as a soloist [10 responses—4.4]
- Demonstrate proficiency at the keyboard [10 responses—3.9]
- Possess an understanding of computer skills for music purposes [9 responses—3.55]
QUESTIONS FOR SPECIFIC DEGREE PROGRAMS
- I will be completing the following degree program:
2. BAEd-Music K-12 Teaching—4
3. BM-Music Business—1
8. BM-Music Performance (Vocal Emphasis)—1
10. Music Minor—3
Questions 19-34 are for students majoring in Music Education
Questions 35-42 are for students majoring in Music Business
Questions 43-50 are for students majoring in Music Performance
Questions 51-56 are for students majoring in Musical Theatre
(please go to the appropriate section for your degree program):
MUSIC EDUCATION STUDENTS ONLY (Questions 19-34)
How would you rate your level of learning in the following areas:
- Demonstrate competence in conducting, technique and gestural vocabulary to create accurate and musically expressive performances [5 responses—4.2]
- Ablity to arrange and adapt music to meet the needs and ability levels of individuals [5 responses—3.4]
- Functional performance abilities in keyboard [5 responses—3.4]
- Functional performance/beginning teaching abilities in voice [5 responses—3.4]
- Functional performance/beginning teaching abilities in woodwinds [4 responses—3.25]
- Functional performance/beginning teaching abilities in brass [4 responses—3.25]
- Functional performance/beginning teaching abilities in percussion [4 responses—3.25]
- Functional performance/beginning teaching abilities in strings [4 responses—2.5]
- Ability to analyze/develop curriculum, lesson plans, daily classroom and performance activities [4 responses—4.75]
- Knowledge of content/methods/philosophy/materials/technology to teach general music [5 responses—4.0]
- Knowledge of literature/methods/philosophy/materials/technology to teach choral music [5 responses—3.6]
- Knowledge of literature/methods/philosophy/materials/technology to teach instrumental music [5 responses—3.6]
- Access to laboratory experiences in partner schools [5 responses—3.8]
- Understanding effective management of rehearsals and classrooms [5 responses—4.2]
- Understanding of child growth and development [5 responses—3.8]
- Ability to develop assessment tools, assess student learning, evaluate musical progress [4 responses—4.25]
MUSIC BUSINESS STUDENTS ONLY (Questions 35-42)
How would you rate your level of learning in the following areas:
- Understand the basic workings of the music products industry [2 responses—3.5]
- Understand the basic workings of the recording industry [2 responses—2.0]
- Understand the basic workings of arts management and concert promotion [2 responses–2.0]
- Understand basic principles of publishing and copyright laws [2 responses—3.0]
- Understand basic principles of business marketing and selling [2 responses—3.0]
- Understand the basic principles of business management [2 responses—3.5]
- Understand the basic principles of digital audio and MIDI [2 responses—2.0]
- Understand the basic principles of synthesizers and samplers [2 responses—2.0]
MUSIC PERFORMANCE STUDENTS ONLY (Questions 43-50)
How would you rate your level of learning in the following areas (principal performance area):
- Possess an understanding of performance and practice techniques [2 responses—4.0]
- Demonstrate technical fluency/facility [2 responses—4.5]
- Demonstrate fluency in sight reading [2 responses—3.5]
- Possess a knowledge of the literature for your instrument/voice [2 responses—4.0]
- Understand principles of stylistic interpretation and performance practice of repertoire through the style periods [2 responses—4.5]
- Ability to perform a wide range of solo repertoire [2 responses—5.0]
- Ability to effectively rehearse and perform with others in collaborative venues [2 responses—4.5]
- Understand and demonstrate principles of pedagogy for your instrument/voice [2 responses—4.0]
MUSICAL THEATRE STUDENTS ONLY (Questions 51-56)
How would you rate your level of learning in the following areas:
- Understand musical theatre singing style and vocal techniques [0 response]
- Understand and demonstrate principles of vocal pedagogy [0 response]
- Understand basic principles of acting styles, periods, and techniques [0 response]
- Possess a basic understanding of creative movement and presence on stage [0 response]
- Understand and possess a variety of skills in dance techniques (e.g. tap, modern, ballet, ballroom) [0 response]
- Possess knowledge of musical theatre repertoire appropriate to your voice and character type [0 response]
APPLIED INSTRUCTION - FOR ALL STUDENTS:
- My principal applied performance area is:
- Rate the level of instruction you received in private lessons [10 responses—4.6]
- Rate the level of learning and retention you achieved in private lessons [10 responses—4.5]
- I have performed in the following vocal ensembles
- Rate the level of instruction you received in vocal ensembles [10 responses—3.3]
- Rate the level of learning and retention you achieved through vocal ensemble participation [10 responses—3.5]
- I have performed in the following instrumental ensembles
Kearney Area Symphony Orchestra—4
University Band (Marching)—5
- Rate the level of instruction you received in instrumental ensembles [7 responses—4.29]
- Rate the level of learning and retention you achieved through instrumental ensemble participation [7 responses—4.29]
- Rate your overall experience in ensemble participation [7 responses—4.29]
MUSIC FACILITIES AND EQUIPMENT
- Rate the overall quality and functionality of the music facility [10 responses—2.7]
- Rate the overall quality and functionality of music equipment [10 responses—3.1]
- Rate the quality of school-owned instruments [10 responses—2.9]
MUSIC FACULTY AND STAFF
- Rate your experiences with faculty advising [10 responses—4.1]
- Rate the level of professionalism of the faculty [10 responses—4.0]
- Did the music faculty care about you as an individual? [10 responses—4.1]
- Were you challenged to seek your greatest potential? [10 responses—4.3]
- What was the level of interest and support demonstrated by the Music Office Secretary, Student Staff, and Department Chair? [10 responses—4.3]
- How would you rate the student perception of the department as a whole? [10 responses—3.6]
- How would you rate the public perception of the department as a whole? [10 responses—3.7]
- Please use the space below to write any additional comments to the previous questions. [No comments]
- What do you believe are the department’s greatest strengths?
[Summary: The faculty—pushing students to excel; welcoming environment; availability; supportive and encouraging]
- What do you believe are the department’s weakness?
[Summary: Need more education in music technology; need for more specialized courses in recording, concert production, and promotion (music business); need for equitable opportunities; need more attention to the development of wind instrumental ensembles and private instruction, i.e. no low brass instructor; too many small scholarships—many to students with marginal ability—larger amounts should be given to best students; facilities inadequate for necessary storage; desire for more collaborative efforts among faculty; need for facility remodeling.]
- What suggestions do you have for improving the department?
(Facilities, Equipment, Faculty, Curriculum, Performances, Outreach, other)
[some refer back to question 79; building needs remodeling—it is not a good reflection of the department and may deter students from attending UNK—it reflects where the priorities of the campus are; larger scholarships to fewer students preferable; hire low brass teacher; require all students taking lessons to attend studio class and to perform on recitals; expand facility to include storage rooms and rehearsals room for smaller ensembles and studios; faculty need to keep focus on the students; the program deserves more funding – professors are excellent – majority of students excel; building inadequate—lack of temperature control, issues with rain damaging instruments, equipment, voices (worry about allergic reactions to mold and mildew); amazed that the music facilities seem to have been ignored by the administration.]
Response to Graduate Senior Survey data review: The average score in the area of General Instruction for the seventeen questions was 3.8. In a faculty review of data, some questioned the relevance of the three questions with the lowest scores: #7 ability to arrange/compose, #10 knowledge of American jazz, and #13 conducting music from all style periods. Question 10 may need to be eliminated from the questionnaire as most music majors do not enroll for jazz studies courses; question #13 will need to be moved to degree program sections where conducting courses are part of the curriculum such as Music Education. Of concern is the lower score of question #7 (3.33). According to NASM standards, all music education majors are required to have some background in composing and arranging as part of their degree program. We will need to review curricula to determine if our program provides adequate opportunity for learning these important musicianship skills.
In the questions related specifically to the Music Education degree program, the average score was 3.67. Students rated their level of preparation in the areas of conducting, curricular development, classroom management, and evaluation and assessment of student learning/progress highest, while they feel their actual functional performance and teaching abilities in the areas of voice, woodwinds, brass, percussion (questions #22-25) rate only at the level of “Good” (3.25) Of most concern is student response to question #26 related to functional performance and teaching abilities in the area of strings (2.5). The faculty will need to address learning outcomes of all techniques courses to ensure that students feel better prepared to teach in these areas.
Questions #35-42 were developed by the Music Business program director during the 2005-06 academic year and relate to curricular topics within the degree program. The average score for these questions was 2.63; two students responded. Scores related to general principles of publishing, copyright law, marketing and selling, along with the basic workings of the music products industry received the highest ratings (average 3.17) while areas related to specific aspects of the industry including arts management, concert promotion, and all areas of the recording industry (including digital audio, MIDI, synthesizers and samplers) received scores of only 2.0. The department must consider whether the responses to these questions are related to the special interests of a few students or whether they have touched upon an important need in the degree program, particularly related to the development of skills for preparation in sound production/recording. Upon review of the data, the music business director has revised question #42 to read: “Understand the basic principles of software synthesizers and recording software.”
Questions #43-50 ask students majoring in Music Performance to rate their level of learning in their applied studies; the average score (two students) was 4.25. The highest rating was in student response to the ability to perform a wide range of solo repertoire (5.0) while the lowest score was in the area of fluency in sight reading (3.5). No changes to this area are being considered.
One section of the survey is devoted the area of Musical Theatre; however, none of the graduating seniors with this degree emphasis filled out the survey. No changes in this section are being considered.
The final segment of the survey includes graduating seniors from all degree programs. The rating of Applied Study received high scores (average 4.55) while that of Ensemble Instruction varied by area (vocal-3.4; instrumental 4.29). Of great concern is student response to the overall quality/functionality of the Music Facility (2.7) and of Music Equipment (3.1), particularly that of school-owned instruments (2.9). The department has been working to obtain funding for rebuilding, repairing and/or replacing all school-owned instruments. Some headway has been made in the area of pianos, particularly with the loan-purchase program through Deitze Music and the Yamaha Corporation of American, and most recently, in a funding award from the NU Foundation to cover $50,000 of the cost to replace a number of band and brass, percussion, and woodwind techniques class instruments.
Questions #70-74 reflect positively on student perception of their experiences with the Music Faculty and Staff in the areas of advising (4.1), level of professionalism (4.0), care for the individual (4.1), level of challenge to full potential (4.3), and level of interest and support by the secretary, staff, and department chair (4.3). Unfortunately, the students also relayed that their overall perception of the department is at the level of 3.6 (#75) and they rate the public perception only slightly higher at 3.7 (#76). It is believed that these “Good” scores in terms ofstudent/public perception are related to the following segment, questions #78-80, that identify the department Strengths (faculty, environment) opposed to perceived Weaknesses (need for low brass instructor, inadequate facilities, scholarships) and Suggestions for Improvement (condition of facilities reflect priorities of the administration—need storage, upgrade, more rooms, regulate temperature, deal with humidity/mold control; require student attendance at recitals).
Although we realize that an indirect measure such as this Graduating Senior Survey is by no means a perfect model of assessment, we have found that trying to understand students’ perceptions of their level of training and preparation for careers in music, along with their general perceptions of the level of teaching by area and reactions to facilities and personnel, provide us with important insight for future planning. For recruitment, we can continue to build on what the student view as the department’s greatest strengths—the supportive atmosphere and the faculty, while working to improve on much-needed equipment and facilities upgrades.
Survey of Alumni
The department has not collected Alumni data during the 2006-07 academic year. The faculty are
in the process of revising the current survey which will be offered online to enhance participation.
We have recently received a current list of graduates from the Alumni Office to assist in
Current Assessment Improvement Strategies
The department’s Academic Program Review is scheduled for February, 2007. Arrangements have been made to find a review committee chair who also serves as a National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) visitor in anticipation of the next national accreditation review, scheduled for the 2010-11 academic year. The department faculty are keenly interested in maintaining and developing effective assessment strategies and tools that are current with the national standards as outlined by NASM.
During the past year, the department has successfully developed a number of record-keeping forms that will enable more efficient tracking of student progress and assessment: Music Student Records form, a standardized Freshman/Sophomore Evaluation form letter, a list of requirements for the Music Student Portfolio, and an Independent Study form. In addition, the Graduating Senior Survey was revised to include questions for specific degree programs, converted to an electronic format, Opinio, and used for the first time in the spring, 2006. Data results have been easy to read and assess. We were impressed by a 66% return in the new electronic format.
The new sets of Student Evaluations questions (evaluation of instruction by department faculty) developed for academic courses and during 2004, revised in 2005, have been a significant improvement from the previous forms as they provide faculty with more immediate feedback on a number of important criteria including faculty knowledge of the subject matter, class preparation, clarity in presentation, enthusiasm, course objectives, grading, and availability in addition to questions related to the stimulation of critical thinking and responsiveness to students. The new Student Evaluations questions for applied lessons include the above criteria in addition to questions on faculty encouragement of independent thought, creativity and comprehensive musicianship, among others. The revised Student Evaluations provide a much more relevant assessment of our teaching skills and provide a clearer instrument for peer evaluations and annual faculty reviews.
Through the development of this report, it has been determined that assessment items will need to be addressed during the 2006-07 academic year: 1) Revision of the Alumni Survey (including Opinio format); 2) Development of specific Entrance Requirement criteria for Brass, Percussion, Woodwinds, Strings, and Voice; 3) Development of specific repertoire level minimums for Advanced Standing in Brass, Woodwinds, and Percussion; 4) Revision of Voice Advanced Standing forms to reflect specific learning outcomes assessment criteria that is similar in format to the Instrumental and Keyboard divisions; 5) Revision of the Graduating Senior Survey; 6) Continued collection and review of data in established areas of Direct Measures including Music Business Field Experience and Internships, Music Education Student Teaching, and Piano Pedagogy Internship Experiences, and the final assessment of Student Portfolios; 7) Tracking of MUS 098 student success rate in music theory; 8) Continued collection and review of data from General Studies courses; and 9) Review and Revision of Graduate Program curriculum and assessment tools.