M.E309

Listening for Musical Concepts

Listening for Musical Concepts

This assessment will measure students’ proficiency in identifying, describing, and analyzing musical elements within a given aural example.

Students will listen to an excerpt commonly referred to as the “Cancan Dance” from Jacque Offenbach’s work Orpheus in the Underworld, or another culturally relevant example with accompanying teacher-created listening map. Students will follow a Listening Map and make musical observations during a repeated audio playback of the piece. The teacher will facilitate a group discussion highlighting student thoughts and impressions of the work. Next, students will review a word bank of musical terms and reflect upon their meanings and functions within music. Using the word bank as a reference, students will complete a Listening Detective Log that charts musical elements they have identified in the piece.
Finally, students will report their musical analysis on the worksheet labeled “Sherlock Says . . .” using complete sentences. Students will finish their investigation by explaining why they would or why they would not recommend this piece to a friend.

The “Cancan Dance” is suggested as the listening example for use in this assessment. This piece contains a familiar melodic theme, has contrasting musical elements, and is interesting and accessible to students in grades 6, 7, and 8. The teacher might opt to substitute another piece relevant to his or her instruction for Parts 1-3.

It is assumed that students have a working knowledge of the musical terminology used in Watson’s Bank of Musical Elements and Descriptions on page 8 in the Student Booklet.

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
  • Listening Detective Log and “I Noticed” Analysis

  • “I Wonder” Questions

  • “Sherlock Says”

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student did not describe any of the musical elements within the given piece.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student described some of the musical elements within the given piece. Terminology was limited or misused.

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  • Student described musical elements within the given piece using appropriate terminology.

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  • Student described many of the musical elements within the given piece using appropriate terminology.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student did not pose questions related to the given piece.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student posed questions related to the given piece. Questions reflected limited student understanding of musical terminology and its function.

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  • Student posed questions related to the given piece. Questions reflected student understanding of musical terminology and its function.

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  • Student posed questions related to the given piece. Questions reflected deep insight regarding student understanding of musical terminology and its function.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student did not complete a recommendation.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student completed a recommendation. Supporting details were limited or absent from the review.

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  • Student completed a recommendation and provided details to support his or her opinion.

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  • Student completed a recommendation and provided many details to support his or her opinion.

    N/A at this time.
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