The three articles I read were very interesting as the information they provided separately, perfectly encompassed what my elementary site observations would be like when pieced together. Even though elementary music wasn’t the CENTRAL focus of the NAFME article, it was a descriptive portion of it that helped me understand the ideal expectations regarding the progression of instruction at that level. It along with the anthropology fields raised me to ponder to myself what sub category of anthropology does music education fall into. The type of music that is taught and how it’s taught could reflect the cultural aspect of anthropology. Every song could be and usually is a reflection of a certain culture around the world, so there is definitely a cultural aspect within the field of music education. Linguistic Anthropology could also be a reflection of music education as music in itself is a form of expression and sometimes communication. Music is used to convey messages lyrically or through the emotional implications in the music’s melodic and harmonic nuances. Observing how students convey the taught musical skills and register them is indeed an aspect of observation and anthropology in itself. The series of articles I have read has not only fascinated me, but has left me excited and eager to begin my elementary site observations.
I have been observing Ms. Raven’s class for some time now and I finally was able to learn how progress is measured in her class. Daily progress is measured through Readers Acquisition “ability to see what’s on the page” and Technical Attribution. Ms. Raven evaluates progress at the end of each class with an almost daily chair test, to see who is first chair the next class period. This provides a competitive incentive system for students to try their hardest so they can be the best every day. She says that there, aside from that, is no “all encompassing” way to evaluate every student’s progress, so the measuring of their progress is very individual at their current stage. The evaluation system she employs for students is referred to as “independent”. Ms. Raven has also discussed the possibility of smart music being used to evaluate progress, but claims that most parents cannot support the program at home. She also finds it more troublesome than helpful as older students familiarized with the traditional instruction base find it hard to adjust and can’t do well on smart music evaluations. There were no pictures provided of evaluation measurement rubrics because she had no fixed rubric for evaluating progress. That concludes my series of observations at Taylor middle school! It was a fun experience, but now I am ready to move on to the next observation site.