M.E415

Radio Station—Identify the Genre

Radio Station—Identify the Genre

The teacher will play three brief excerpts of music (one to two minutes in length) from one particular genre and/or style period, selected by the teacher based upon genres/style periods that have been studied closely in class.

For classes oriented toward Western art music, a teacher might play examples that students will recognize as Baroque, such as a movement from one of Bach’s Brandenburg concerti, a chorus from Handel’s Messiah, and another example.

In classes oriented toward popular music, teachers might choose a specific style movement (e.g., early blues) and play selections by three of its iconic artists such as Son House or Robert Johnson. Examples will vary according to the focus of the particular class.

The teacher will share with students that these samples are tracks that will be featured on a new radio station that is being started locally. Students will be asked to identify what kind of radio station this will be (classical, country, alternative, hip-hop, etc.) by describing the common stylistic characteristics they hear in the examples. Then they will suggest two other selections for the radio station to add to its playlist.

This activity can be adapted for third- and fourth-year (Level 3) students by requiring more detailed, specific knowledge of genres or styles and their characteristic features (e.g.., not just identifying the station as a jazz station, but instead identifying it as a cool jazz, bebop, or big band station).

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.

TEACHER SCORING RUBRIC

  • Dimension
  • Correct Identification of the Genre/Style

  • Specificity and Depth of Description

  • Suggestions for Additional Songs

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student misidentifies genre/style.
    AND/OR
    Student fails to justify his or her choice.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student misidentifies the genre/style, and the chosen genre/style is only distantly related,
    AND/OR
    student presents some logical justification defending his or her choice.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student correctly identifies the genre/style, but justification of their choice is somewhat lacking,
    OR
    student misidentifies the genre/style, but the choice is reasonably close to the correct response. Student provides adequate justification of his or her choice.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student correctly identifies the genre/style and provides clear and logical justification of his or her choice.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student makes little or no effort to describe the genre/style of the excerpts.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student attempts to describe the genre/style of the excerpts, but the response is quite vague, fails to use appropriate vocabulary, and/or applies vocabulary incorrectly.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student adequately describes the genre/style of the excerpts using appropriate musical vocabulary, but the response is broad or vague, referring to general characteristics without pointing to specific evidence.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student shows an impressive level of depth to describe the genre/style of the excerpts using rich and specific musical vocabulary and evidence related to the genre/style.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student fails to suggest additional pieces, and/or fails to offer justification for his or her suggestions.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student suggests additional pieces, but they may not match the genre/style the student identified,
    OR
    justification is illogical or lacking many details.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student suggests additional pieces that match the genre/style of the excerpts, and includes adequate justification for his or her suggestions.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student suggests additional pieces that match the genre/style of the excerpts, and includes in-depth justification for their choices, citing specific stylistic features present in his or her suggestion.

    N/A at this time.
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