Date of Graduation

Summer 2011


Master of Music



Committee Chair

Daniel Hellman


instrumental music, formative assessment, music festival, professional development, student-centered strategies

Subject Categories



The purpose of this study was to explore how instrumental music teachers of performance-based ensembles use formative assessment as a tool to prepare for music festival. A researcher-designed survey was distributed to directors via email and in person at various music festivals. Sixty middle school and high school instrumental music directors completed the survey. Results revealed that music educators in this study (a) use non-graded observational assessment and self-assessment daily during the month prior to participation in an evaluative music festival, (b) facilitate discussion on performance criteria and performance quality, and (c) perceive graded playing tests to be effective for improving achievement. Additionally, directors who received professional development on formative assessment were more likely to report the use of non-graded observational assessment as a strategy than those who did not receive this type of professional development training. The application of formative assessment and professional development to the needs of instrumental music teachers is discussed.


© Katie Joanne Ford

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