“Assessing Music Performance...A Valid System for Measuring Student Achievement and Growth," by Kevin McNulty, Sr, was first published by KMC Publication, Inc. © 2018.


This text details a new approach to assessing bands, orchestras, and choirs in elementary, secondary, and collegiate music schools. It is based on seven decades of professional adjudication techniques, twenty-five years of teaching and applied research by the author. The work is a complete guide to implementing the system and is a great text for undergraduate and graduate music education majors.


This is a very different approach than any other system being developed in music education today and goes much deeper into the actual principles and methodology of arriving at a score for performance assessments and auditions. While rubrics can help explain grades to students and parents, McNulty's system details how musician-directors established the numerical equivalents to their standards.


The book establishes a foundation for how assessment is, in fact, intuitive to the music performance teaching process and therefore allows music directors to assess in the same way they teach. McNulty then provides directors a way to measure their student's performances objectively after a detailed process of subjective listening. "


The author examines in detail how standards are deployed in the performance evaluative process and how all assessments must be drawn through the prism of a musician-directors background and experience. He makes a case for localizing standards based on the current growth of a school program and the abilities of each ensemble.


Drawing on his over forty years of professional adjudication at a national level and over twenty-five years of teaching, McNulty shows how director-adjudicators can arrive at a raw number that communicates each student's ability and translates to any school system grading policy.


Finally, the numerical-based system allows students, parents, directors, and administrators to understand individual, instrument, voice, ensemble, and program growth. For the first time, music performance educators can provide school administrators with objective data that measures the subjective nature of the music performance capabilities of each individual student and the program overall.


Directors who use the system can also incorporate "Score-Sheet," an Online Music Assessment System available through KMC Publishing Company at kmcpublishingcompany.com  or through Amazon. Score-Sheet allows directors to design their own sheets for each instrument or voice. It also tracks student, ensemble, and program growth of the life of the program. The report allows multiple was to compare any aspect of the music program.

Assessing Music Performance - A Valid System for Measuring Student Performance