It’s that time of year when our spring semester is wrapping up and we as teachers reflect on our students’ accomplishments from the past school year. One of the pros to being in our studio is that all of our teachers complete bi-annual evaluations for each and every one of their students. Evaluations are done in May and October: the October evaluation focuses on what goals and objectives are set for each student for the coming year, and the May evaluation assesses whether or not these were achieved.
Evaluations gauge students in four main categories. The first is musicianship, which is subdivided into rhythm, reading skills, creativity, theory, and interpretation/expression. The second category is practicing where we assess consistency, progress, following directions, and thoroughness. Our technical development category has some variations based on the instrument. For piano/guitar students, we evaluate posture, hand position, touch, fingering, articulation, and dexterity, with balance of hands and pedaling added for piano students. Evaluations for voice include posture, breathing technique, vocal articulation, and projection. The last category is performance skills, which is divided into memorization, stage presence, and final polish. We also feature a general comments paragraph at the bottom so that each skill can be explained further if necessary.
Not only are evaluations great for parents and students, but also for teachers: it really allows us to see what is going well and what might need a different approach. Each student is unique with their own set of strengths and weaknesses, so these aid us in making sure we are doing the best job we can to help our students reach their goals. It’s also a great opportunity to look back at previous evaluations and see how far they’ve come!
If there are any concerns about your child’s evaluation, talk with your teacher. We always strive for good communication with our families throughout the year, but sometimes busy schedules can get in the way. This allows us to have a checkpoint and just make sure everyone is on the same page!
At the start of each new school year, we give our students a chance to learn at least 40 pieces. That's a lot of music! In a school year with 33 weeks, that at least one and a quarter pieces each week!! Congratulations to those who have achieved this award by our recital date!