Using research of music as an assessment for learning strategy, in your music classroom doesn’t mean that your music assessments are just another boring written research paper assignment! As a music teacher, you want to ensure that your students are getting the most out of their experience in the music classroom. Unfortunately, assessments are a necessary part of any music class, and are a good way to measure how much they’ve learned and how engaged they are with the course material. In this blog post we will explore seven creative and engaging research of music assessment ideas for your music classroom.

The seven creative ways to use research of music as an assessment are:

  1. As an extended piece of writing
  2. As a class presentation or speech
  3. As a video recording presentation
  4. As a performance
  5. As a podcast
  6. As a composition
  7. As an analysis of a piece of music using the Elements of Music



Read on to find out more details for each of the 7 creative research of music assessment ideas, but if you are looking for some other ways to spice up your own music curriculum, then why not grab yourself a FREE copy of the 5 Ways to Makeover Your Music Curriculum. Click here to find out more.


Music Assessment Idea 1 – Extended Writing

Writing is a great way to assess your music student’s understanding of a topic. Using research of music as the basis for an extended piece of writing allows students to go deeper into their research of their chosen music topic, much more than a one-page essay would allow. It gives them the opportunity to explore the topic in more detail and present their findings in a comprehensive manner. This type of music assessment also helps build writing skills, which are essential for communication in many other academic disciplines as well as in life outside the music classroom.

You don’t have to struggle to come up with music research ideas! This blog post has 15 music research topic paper ideas to help you.


Music Assessment Idea 2 – Class Presentation or Speech

Using research of music as the topic for giving presentations or speeches allows students to express themselves creatively while presenting their music research findings and demonstrating knowledge of the material. Music class presentations are also an effective way for teachers to encourage public speaking skills and help students become comfortable with speaking in front of large groups of people. This type of research of music assessment encourages active learning and participation, which is essential for retaining course material and developing critical thinking skills.


Music Assessment Idea 3 – Video Recording Presentation

Today, more than ever, people consume content through video, so why not have your students present their research of music assessment as a video. Video recordings are becoming increasingly popular due to the prevalence of digital technology. With video recording presentations, students can create videos from scratch or incorporate existing videos into their presentation material (such as using clips from the music that they are studying). This type of assessment provides an exciting and engaging opportunity for both the music teacher and student alike; it encourages creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking skills all at once.

Using video as an assessment tool opens the possibilities for other music class opportunities. This type of music assessment takes their learning into the real-world. Once the videos are created, you could create a class website where all students can watch and learn from each other. You could even assign students to watch other videos for evaluation on certain aspects of the presentation. The possibilities for this type of research of music assessment are only limited by what technology you have available!


Music Assessment Idea 4 – A Performance

Performance assessment is nothing new in the music classroom. But imagine having your students research the music and techniques of a particular performance, and then being required to use those techniques or musical ideas from that performance in their own version of the music.  Performing pieces that have been researched allows students to demonstrate their knowledge through musical expression rather than written material alone. Music performances provide teachers with the opportunity to assess not only theoretical understanding but also performance ability—two important aspects when evaluating students within the music curriculum. A performance assessment is also great for building confidence among students who may not feel comfortable expressing themselves through writing or speech alone.


Music Assessment Idea 5– A Podcast

Just like the video presentation, increasingly people today consume content via podcasts. Using research of music while creating podcasts allows students to express themselves through audio production while presenting their music research findings in an engaging, and real-world format. Podcasts provide teachers with yet another way to assess student knowledge while allowing them to measure audio production abilities such as editing, sound engineering, mixing, etc., which can be invaluable skill sets down the line when they enter into the professional world after graduation.


Music Assessment Idea 6 – A Composition

Having your students compose original pieces based on the music they have researched and studied encourages them to use their creativity while applying what they’ve learned about music theory and common compositional techniques from a particular music genre or composer. Using this type of music research assessment will also help to solidify their understanding of the 8 Elements of Music – Dynamics, Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, Structure, Texture, Timbre, and Tonality.

Using research of music for creating their own compositions allow students to demonstrate what they have learned in a more practical and hands on way. This type of music making assessment helps the student develop skills in problem solving, critical thinking as well as helps them to develop their own performance skills.

Another way your students can benefit from using research of music in a composition, is through having each student evaluate another student’s work. The evaluation could look at how the individual has approached solving various musical problems presented within their composition assignment. This is a skill set that will prove invaluable in life beyond the music classroom when entering into any field related to music making, for example as a studio engineer, music producer, composer, arranger or even as a professional musician.


Music Assessment Idea 7 – Analysis using the Elements of Music

The last research of music assessment idea is to complete an analysis assignment of a piece of music. This type of music listening assessment is perhaps one of the most helpful ways for teachers to assess their music students understanding of the Elements of Music. The student should be able to demonstrate not only their understanding of what they’re researching, but also how the 8 Elements of Music interact with each other within a given piece or in a comparison of pieces. Being able to critically analyze music gives your students the tools necessary when approaching any kind of music-related job after graduation—and even if they don’t end up working directly with music afterwards; being able to critically analyse through the lens of each of the Elements of Music will come in handy in any career field where analytical thinking is required!

If you want to know about the Elements of Music, read this blog post here.


Research of music assessments don’t have to be a boring written research paper. By integrating creative approaches like those listed above into your music classroom assessments, you can ensure that your students will get more out of each research of music assignment, while still being able to measure the understanding and engagement levels throughout your course material effectively. And best yet, you’ll still be able to make sure that your music standards and outcomes are met without having to resort back to old-fashioned paper assignments every time. Ultimately by using these seven creative research of music assessment ideas you’ll be able to maximize both learning outcomes AND engagement levels within your own music classroom setting – resulting in higher quality instruction overall!

Until next time

Happy Teaching

Julia from Jooya

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