Grading Criteria

The elementary music teachers of the Arlington School District have developed a standard Music Fundamentals Rubric, and grading criteria for many of the skills we teach in our classes. We each have our own class expectations which are also an integral part of each child's work habits grade. These criteria serve as a model for the grading criteria we develop for other projects we do at our individual schools.

Music Fundamentals Rubric
4 - Consistently meets all criteria. Exceeds standard.
3 - Some minor inconsistencies in one or two of the criteria, but can get back on the right track. Meets standard.
2 - Problems in one or two of the criteria, doesn't notice mistakes and fix them. Making progress toward standard.
1 - Problems in three or four of the criteria, doesn't notice mistakes and fix them. Below standard.

Singing Criteria
- Student matches pitches
- Uses proper breath support and posture
- Pronounces words clearly and correctly
- Sings with correct rhythm/timing
- Projects a tone with resonant quality
- Sings with appropriate expression (dynamics, expressive markings)

Audience Behavior
- Students stay seated, with very little movement.
- Students are quiet and respectful They do not talk or make sounds.
- Students listen attentively. They focus on what the performer is doing or what the speaker is saying.
- Students give their undivided attention to the performer or speaker. They do not do anything that would cause other students to pay attention to them rather than the performer or speaker and they do not give attention to students who are misbehaving.

Non-Pitched Percussion Technique Criteria
- Instrument is played lightly, in the desired spot
- Instrument is allowed to vibrate fully (hand or beater pops up immediately after striking)
- Student is attentive to the rhythmic pattern and/or watches the music
- Student starts and stops at the right time
- Student plays at the correct dynamic level

Mallet Technique Criteria
- Top of hand faces ceiling
- First finger and thumb lightly pinch the mallet, other fingers curve slightly around mallet
- Motion comes from wrist, not elbow
- Mallet lightly bounces up from bar immediately after striking
- Student alternates hands when appropriate

Recorder Technique Criteria
- Posture - sitting in a balanced way, shoulders back, body upright  
- Covers the required holes completely
- Three positions - lap, chin and mouth
- Holding the recorder - left hand on top
- Relaxation - arms, elbows and fingers
- Embouchure - not too far in mouth
- Gentle Sound - no over-blowing

Guitar Technique Criteria
- Play each chord correctly (correct fingers on the correct strings)
- Hold strings all the way down
- Palm of left hand does not rest on neck of guitar
- Left wrist pulls slightly down and forward so that fingers stay arched
- Body of guitar remains vertical

Musicianship Criteria
- Mastery of chosen repertoire
- Accuracy of pitches/ rhythms
- Proper articulation skills and phrasing
- Correct identification of notes and musical symbols
- Musicianship (blending when playing in an ensemble)
- Improvisational skill

Keyboard Technique Criteria
- Physical position: play on pads of fingers (curved fingers) and elbows at sides, 90 degree angle with forearm
- Power coming from wrists
- Keyboard set-up (letter names of white and black keys, whole steps and half steps)
- Knows relationship of left to right/up and down
- Music Reading (how to transfer music notes that are on lines and spaces to music you play on the keyboard)

Movement Criteria
- Move to a steady beat
- Identify left and right
- Space Awareness
  Move in various levels - high, medium, low
  Directions - forward, backwards, sideways, diagonal
- Demonstrates a variety of movement qualities based on verbal instruction and/or appropriateness to musical genre
- Performs sequential dance patterns and/or can improvise

Musical Notation Criteria
- Can read grade appropriate notation accurately
-Uses proper symbols
-Uses neat readable manuscript
-Consistently uses proper number of beats per measure

Instrument Recognition
-Verbally identifies major instrument families
-Aurally (by hearing) recognizes and properly names an instrument
-Visually recognizes and properly names an instrument
-Accurately places an individual instrument within its instrument family