Ashley Hall's Professional Education Portfolio

K-12 Certified Music Educator

Substandard F


Use of technological tools, operations, and concepts to enhance learning, personal/professional productivity, and communication, including the ability to:

f.   Apply technology to facilitate a variety of effective assessment and evaluation strategies;

This substandard addresses the teacher’s ability to use assessment results in evaluating the effectiveness of their current classroom instruction and modifying their teaching to incorporate new and refined strategies according to what areas need improvement.

During my student teaching semester, I completed an “Action Research Project,” where I was responsible for having correspondance with professionals in my field, as well as research documentation, pretaining to a question or questions of my choice regarding a specific topic within my subject area. In my Action Research Project, I focused on how I, as a director, can better engage the percussion section of an instrumental ensemble during rehearsal time. I emailed professionals in my field, as well as reviewed multiple journal and research articles based around my question, and utilized a few of the results in my lesson plans.

One of the innovations that I researched was to move the percussion section from the back of the room (where they rehearse from on a daily basis) and place them in “stations” set up inside the normal rehearsal seating arrangement. Each station contain 1-to-3 different percussive instruments. Using music the students were already familar with, we rehearsed from these “stations,” the students cycling every 2-5 minutes at my command (a vocal “switch!’).

Following is the actual lesson plan format I used in preparing for this activity. Feel free to modify it and use it in your own instrumental classroom!


Lesson Plan Topic or Subject: Percussion Circle and Cycle

Date: 11/11/10

Group: 6th Grade Band



Content Standard 1: All students will apply skills and knowledge to perform in the arts.

• ART.I.M.M.1 Sing and play with expression and technical accuracy a repertoire of vocal and instrumental literature, including some songs performed from memory.

• ART.I.M.M.3 Sing accurately with good breath control throughout singing ranges.

• ART.I.M.M.4 Sing music written in two and three parts.

• ART.I.M.M.5 Perform accurately, with appropriate technique, on at least one instrument —solo, in small and large ensembles.

• ART.I.M.M.8 Read whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and dotted notes and rests; simple, compound, and alla breve meters.

• ART.I.M.M.9 Sight read simple melodies in treble and bass clefs.


Content Standard 3:  All students will analyze, describe and evaluate works

of art.

• ART.III.M.M.1 Describe specific music events in a given aural example, using appropriate terminology.

• ART.III.M.M.3 Demonstrate knowledge of the basic principles of meter, rhythm, tonality, intervals, chords, and harmonic progressions in their analyses of music.



Students will identify and play the exercise(s) with the appropriate tempo, dynamic, articulation, and phrasing as notated in the music or else by the director.

Students will identify other instrumental sections that share the same rhythmic and melody ideas as their own.

Percussionists will work to balance their sound at their “station location,” as well as the rest of the ensemble will listen to the new sounds they hear and work to balance their sounds to the percussionists’.

Students will continue to self-correct musical and technical mistakes as they become apparent, including breathe control, dynamics, accents, rhythmic elements, and expressive markings.



Essential Elements 2000 plus CD & DVD



Before the lesson formally begins, the students will look to the board for directions (as is the standard procedure in all of the band ensembles). On the board for the percussionists will be their name and a station number. Each percussionist will move to their assigned station for the student of class.

There are 6-to-8 stations set up around the room in a circular setting (encasing the band), with one instrument (two for auxiliary instruments) and a music stand/music. Once the lesson begins, and the teacher gives the word, the percussionists will cycle to a new station (approximately every five minutes or sooner).

Teacher will take to the podium. As is instructed in the classroom rules, the class will become quiet at this time. Teacher will remain standing still on the podium until the entire class has quieted.

Teacher will announce exercise number 86 and give the students a few moments to find it in their textbooks. The teacher will take the students though exercise numbers 86-89, then 154-156. These exercises are warm-ups and designed to get the students moving their air and their tongues.

The teacher will lead the students through various exercises in the textbook in numbers 158 through 167. Depending on time, the students may get to new material in the book.

Every five minutes, the percussion will cycle to a new “station.” For fun, the teacher will send them backwards once the students have made the full circle.

The teacher will provide feedback to the group (two positives, one negative policy as needed) between each exercise/song as needed.

The percussionists will receive a typed-up handout designed to have them assess the “stations” activity. It will be assigned a due date of Monday, November 15th. This assignment will be worth full points “for sufficient completion,” a “0” for non-completion, and partial marks for partial completion.



Informal: Ask questions and/or give prompts aimed at addressing elements in the music to highlight and choose individual students to respond. 

Informal: Full band run-through of the music after sectional/part work.

Formal: Have students play individually or in sections specified sections (measures) of the piece and assess the technical and musical quality with which they performed.

Formal: Have the percussionists do a written assessment sheet of the “stations” activity to be given back to the teacher by specified date for a completed/non-completed grade.


The following is a copy of the student assessment sheet mentioned in the “Procedures” section above;


“Stations” Activity, 6th Grade Band Percussionists                          



Thursday, November 11th, 2010

This assignment is designed to provide back to the teacher a student-assessment of the “stations” activity that took place in band class on Thursday, November 11th. During this activity, the percussion instruments were set up in stations throughout the normal ensemble set up, and the percussionists took turns moving from station to station at the direction of the teacher.

Full points will be given for “sufficient completion” of the assignment, follow by “partial points for partial completion.” Non-completion of the assignment will result in a “0” in the grade book. Thank you in advance for your help in this assessment!

1). What was your reaction (what did you think) when you came in the band room and saw that the percussion instruments were in a different spot?

2). Did you enjoy the “stations” activity during band class? What did you enjoy the most? If you didn’t enjoy it, why do you think that is?

3). Do you feel you got enough time at each station? If you could change anything about the “stations” activity, what would it be? 

4). For you, do you think the other instrumental sections enjoyed having the percussionists move around the room? Would you like to do this activity again?

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