When school closed down in March, Andrea and I quickly had to put on our “teaching hats” and become not only music instructors, but math, science, and English instructors too.
And, as we started teaching our two girls, it became apparent that we didn’t really have a true idea of what they had already learned and what they still needed to learn.
Out of desperation, we quickly became masters of assessment; downloading quizzes from the internet at a feverish pace to gather this information.
All of this testing got me thinking about how rarely piano teachers (including myself) do assessments with piano students.
It’s not that we don’t monitor their progress, it’s just that we rarely sit down with a checklist and get some good hard data on what our students know and do not know.
So, I made a mental note to start creating more assessment-based printables for our community.
The first one, that we are sharing today, is a simple note reading assessment that you can use throughout the year with primer, level 1, and level 2 students to discover the notes on the grand staff that still cause them problems. It’s especially helpful at this time of year as we welcome students back into our studios.
Piano Assessments Should Drive Your Teaching
As mentioned at the top, I plan to go big with piano assessment printables this year. Our teaching should be guided by what we discover during assessments.
Rather than just forging forward in method books, periodic assessments should be used to discover if piano students are moving too fast or too slow or need extra reinforcement.
Today’s assessment, available to download at the bottom of today’s post, is going to help you put an end to note reading struggles.
Before You Download Today’s Note Reading Assessments
Yesterday we released a new book: Andrea And Trevor Dow’s Timed Note Reading Tests For Piano, Book 2.
This resource, which contains 95 days of note reading exercises, is the perfect tool for daily note reading homework.
After completing your note reading assessments and discovering your students’ note reading weaknesses, you can decide if they need Andrea And Trevor Dow’s Timed Note Reading Tests For Piano, Book 2 to reinforce notes in Treble C position and G position or if they need Book 1 to reinforce notes in Middle C position and C position.
You can preview both books by clicking on the covers below. If you like what you see, click the link below each book to get them today.
Download Our Note Reading Assessments
Our Note Reading Assessment package includes two parts: a Teacher Recording Page and a Student Assessment Page.
Performing the assessment is simple. Laminate the Student Assessment Page and then place it on a table in front of your piano student.
Beginning with Set 1, point to each note and have your student say its name. On the Teacher Recording Page, place a check or an “X” in the box labeled with a “1”, depending on the student’s accuracy when naming each note.
You’ll notice that there are boxes labeled with a “2”, a “3”, and a “4” as well. These boxes allow you to perform the assessment three more times throughout the year to monitor note reading progress.
Continue to move through each set with your student until he misses three notes in a set. When this happens, you have likely reached his note reading limit and will now know where to direct your note reading attention.
Click on the image below to download our Note Reading Assessment.