Rhythm Reading

Two versions of this assessment are provided to check students’ music reading skills. Teachers may choose to use one or both of these versions.

Version 1 is a sight-reading assessment. Students will read rhythm patterns that the teacher shows them on flashcards. This assessment can take place at the beginning of each class period over several days. Each day, the teacher will listen to three or four students. Alternatively, the teacher can administer the assessment to individual students in a single class period, while the rest of the class is engaged in other music activities.

Version 2 of the assessment is a listening assessment. Students will listen to the teacher perform a rhythmic pattern on an instrument (recorder or keyboard). Then they will select the rhythmic notation that correctly matches the performed rhythm in their Student Booklets. The score for this assessment is number of questions correct.

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
  • Chant the Pattern

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • Student does not chant any of the patterns accurately.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student chants pattern with two or more errors.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student chants pattern with a single error.

    N/A at this time.
  • Student chants pattern accurately.

    N/A at this time.
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