Learning Goals for the Music Major

Assessment Goals

The Music Department's assessment goals reflect our core curriculum in composition (1 200-level course), music history (2 200-level courses) and music theory (2 200-level courses).

We expect the following of all music majors:

  1. Experience with the creative process in music
  2. The ability to apply historical knowledge at or above the 200-level.
  3. The ability to apply theoretical knowledge at or above the 200-level.
  4. The ability to integrate the theoretical and historical knowledge into compositional, performance and scholarly senior work projects.

We will assess the above areas by comparison to the syllabus content of the associated courses.

Assessment Topic

In addition, we will select a specific topic to give us one area to focus on. The assessment topic for 2010-2011 is musical form. Our goal is not to assess comprehensive knowledge of form, but to see how well students can address the following points as they relate to the work they have been doing in the Senior Seminar and in their own Independent Senior Work.

  1. Music History: The historical and social context of a musical form. What style periods and composers the form is associated with. How it evolved and what influence it had.
  2. Music Theory: The design of the form, the procedures used, the tonal structures that support the form, terms used to describe the form and techniques used to analyze it.
  3. Composition: An ability to discuss formal procedures in the students' original work and show an understanding of how those formal structures support the music.

Assessment procedure

  1. All music faculty review at least one Senior Seminar paper by each music major.
  2. All music faculty attend senior work recitals and other presentations and read Independent Senior Work papers.
  3. All music faculty meet as a group with each senior for a discussion that includes the assessment areas noted above.
  4. All music faculty meet later to evaluate the student's performance with respect to the assessment areas noted above. We will make the evaluation in three categories: does not meet goal, 200-level knowledge, 300-level knowledge, with the hope that all music majors can demonstrate at least 200-level knowledge in all areas.
  5. In light of this assessment, we will discuss whether changes in our curriculum are warranted.
  6. Another goal is to assess the assessment. We'd like to discuss whether any changes in this procedure would improve its effectiveness and usefulness.