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Assessing music skills successfully in an ORFF setting

24 August 2000


This paper examines ways in which teachers of the Orff approach (a creative, hands-on approach with a focus .on improvisation) can assess their students' music skills and understanding. The ways in which assessment can affect instruction and the creative process are also examined. Three sub questions were posed in order. to explore the fundamental question: "What music assessment strategies can be used- successfully in an Orff setting?" Research literature was reviewed on a variety of music assessment strategies, assessment of creative processes, and the effect of assessment on instruction. Data were collected from student interviews and reflections, teacher surveys, records of assessments, and teacher observations over a three month period. The data collected and the literature reviewed suggest that making assessment. part of the learning process, and including students in the assessment process are some of the ways that assessment -can he -accomplished successfully in the Orff setting. Spontaneity and creativity need not be sacrificed in the kinds of assessment in which the-Students can-see what and how they're learning, and in which the teacher knows how to make assessment, either formal or informal, part of the steps of the learning process


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