Thanks for your e-mail about assessment. We had already talked about assessment at our music faculty meeting last week. We are going to take your suggestion and do a pre-test and post-test for the core studies in the music major: the music theory sequence and the music history and literature sequence. These are the courses that all music majors are required to take.
In addition, we are adding to our on-going current assessment for our individual performance studies(private lessons). Even though we have not fine-tuned all of the assessment steps described below, it will give you a good idea of how we intend to assess student progress in the applied area. As you are well aware, we have a wide variety of private lessons available for our music majors. We are going to have final exams for each performance area, e.g., winds, strings, piano, voice, etc. at the end of each semester. Then at the end of the second semester of lessons, each performance area will file an assessment form for each music major. We will then advise each student to either continue lessons, discontinue lessons, or to continue with reservation and then specify what deficiencies the student needs to address. At the end of the fourth semester of lessons, each student will be required to perform a jury examination for all of the full-time music faculty. This jury examination will consist of a performance of a variety of repertoire that is representative of the selections available in the particular performance medium. If the music faculty deems that a student needs to perform better than the presentation at the jury examination, the student will be required to perform a hearing one semester later.
Once that has all been done, the student will be able to register for the senior project, which is the capstone experience in the music major. Each senior project proposal will receive approval of the entire full-time music faculty and once completed, the project will be assessed for competency and will assigned either a pass or fail grade.