M.T430

Interpreting and Conveying Musical Meaning

Interpreting and Conveying Musical Meaning

Students will be placed into groups of three or four to work together to interpret meaning in popular songs. The teacher should assign groups prior to announcing the assignment in order to ensure that each group comprises students with varying musical backgrounds and experience.

In Part 1, students will assemble into their groups, listen to a song of the teacher’s choice, and complete a song interpretation worksheet for the song. The worksheet can be found in the Student Booklet. Teachers should modify song choices to match the instructional levels of their students. In Part 2, students will work in their groups to write their own songs. This part will take place over two class periods. In Part 3, student groups will each perform their song in class and convey its musical meaning to their peers.

This item has not been field-tested by Michigan teachers.


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.

TEACHER SCORING RUBRIC

  • Dimension
  • Song Meaning

  • Musical Elements

  • Group Collaboration

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Intended song meaning was not conveyed clearly. Many clarifications and explanations were needed.

    N/A at this time.
  • Intended song meaning was somewhat conveyed. Clarifications and explanations were needed.

    N/A at this time.
  • Intended song meaning was conveyed. Minor clarifications and explanations were needed.

    N/A at this time.
  • Intended song meaning was conveyed clearly.

    N/A at this time.
  • Song did not make musical sense.

    N/A at this time.
  • Song made some musical sense but did not convey its meaning through the use of musical elements.

    N/A at this time.
  • Song made musical sense and was able to convey its meaning somewhat through the use of musical elements.

    N/A at this time.
  • Song made musical sense and conveyed its meaning successfully through the use of musical elements.

    N/A at this time.
  • Little collaboration was evident in the song preparation and performance.

    N/A at this time.
  • Some collaboration was evident in the song preparation and performance.

    N/A at this time.
  • Collaboration was evident in the song preparation and performance.

    N/A at this time.
  • Significant collaboration was evident in the song preparation and performance.

    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!