Improvise Tonic Accompaniments

In this assessment, students will improvise tonic accompaniments to a melody that is sung.  Students will use criteria for self-evaluation and improvement, then apply these criteria, and, finally, reflect on the experience.

The teacher may choose any song he or she deems appropriate. However, the song must work with a tonic ostinato/drone. This assessment uses the song “Hey, Ho, Nobody Home” as an example. Other possible songs are on page 7 of the Teacher Booklet, although almost any round or pentatonic song of the teacher’s choice would work.

This item has been voluntarily field-tested by Michigan teachers with a non-representative sample of students.

This is an analytic rubric. The column on the left shows the dimension that is being measured in the student’s performance. The levels across the top row indicate the performance level in the dimensions. Occasionally all dimensions and performance levels are exemplified by multiple students in a single recording.


  • Dimension
  • Reflection

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student does not reflect on the improvisation activity.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student demonstrates minimal reflection on the improvisation activity.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student conducts some thoughtful analysis of the improvisation activity. Suggestions for improvement have some validity.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student thoroughly and thoughtfully reflects on the improvisation activity. Suggestions for improvement consistently have validity.

    N/A at this time.
Having trouble viewing videos?

Leave Feedback for this Assessment

What did you like? Did you need to revise anything? How could we make this assessment better?
Our Assessments are written by teachers for you, so your feedback is important to us!

Comments about items may be moderated and/or reposted in the blogs to aid item improvement and teacher learning. By leaving a comment, you agree that we can use your comment without attributing it to you.

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date with all of our assessments.

Sign Up Now!