Following the Pedagogy Forum in the September 2006 Newsletter, I received inquiries from some teachers regarding the MTNA Assessment Tools. I contacted The American Music Teacher which is the official organ of the MTNA for permission to use some of the material in our Newsletter and they very kindly granted permission.

The official title is “Self-Assessment for the Independent Music Teacher” and is a three-part evaluation process consisting of Self-Assessment, Peer Assessment, and Client Assessment.

Self-Assessment Tool asks teachers to assess themselves in four basic areas: Teacher Assessment, Studio Environment Assessment, Lesson Assessment and Curriculum Assessment

Peer Assessment is similar to the Self-Assessment Tool, but is designed for a colleague to evaluate the teacher’s instruction of two or three students.
Client Assessment Tool provides an opportunity for students or families to evaluate the teacher.

Since I took only the Self-Assessment Tool, I’ll outline the numerous categories included. The rating scale is from 1-5 with 5 being satisfactory and 1 needing improvement. The questions were very extensive and most specific and it did take some time and soul-searching to finish the assessment. Hopefully, it will help me to be a better teacher.

A. Am I pursuing personal growth in my teacher? (8 questions)
B. Is my business plan well thought out and successful? (7 questions)
C. Am I presenting myself well? (9 questions)
D. Have I provided the “triangle” approach where appropriate? (4 questions)
E. Am I doing my part in promoting music in my community? (3 questions)

A. Do I keep my studio running in an organized and professional manner? (21 questions!!)
B. Use of instruments. (3 questions)
C. Do I provide computers and technology in an instructive and educational manner? (15 questions)
D. Do I provide an organized framework for student performances? (6 questions)
E. Do I keep my students/parents informed of progress? (4 questions)

A. Is time spent on the following activities? (10 questions)
B. Do I structure the lesson so activities are prioritized according to the student’s needs? (9 questions with several subheadings)
C. Is my teaching style working well with their learning style? (5 questions)
D. Have I given my students the chance to demonstrate what they have accomplished since their last lesson? (3 questions)
E. Have I stimulated my students to think for themselves? (4 questions)
F. Have I imparted some new information? (4 questions)
G. Have I provided a non-threatening environment that motivates and encourages productivity, independence and self-esteem? (5 questions)
H. Have I thought through the best way to communicate an idea, appropriateness, priority, awareness of student’s learning style, question or statement responses, pacing, clarity, nonverbal communication, use of imagery? (3 questions)
I. Have I provided my students with the learning tools to be independent? (3 questions)
J. Have I sent my student home with a clear understanding of how best to utilize his/her practice time? (4 questions)

Do I thoughtfully plan out each student’s personal curriculum to include the elements of sight playing, repertoire, technique, theory, keyboard musicianship, ensemble, ear training and creative work?
A. Are concepts transferred to different activities to unify the lesson? (6 questions)
B. Have I encouraged a healthy approach to the instrument? (5 questions)
C. Sight playing. (4 questions)
D. Repertoire. (13 questions with extensive discussion points)
E. Theory. (2 questions)
F. Keyboard Musicianship. (2 questions)
G. Ensemble. (8 questions)
H. Ear training. (1 question)
I. Creative activities. (4 questions)
J. If I find it difficult to develop a full curriculum in my current lesson structure, am I willing to consider other teaching formats?
(7 questions)

Copyright Music Teachers National Association. Used by Permission.

In a future Pedagogy Forum, I would like to include some of the questions found in the various categories, because they definitely are thought-provoking.

Mary Tickner, Coordinator