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date: 19 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter, pros and cons of assessing young children’s music skills and content knowledge are explored. An integrative literature review is included as well as a thematic review lending support to core themes. Several reasons were identified as to the importance of promoting student assessment as children participate in early childhood music. Use of music assessments in the classroom and for research should consider practices consistent with musical age as well as chronological age. Increased recognition of the importance of music in total development of the child supports need for effective early childhood assessment systems especially by the music education research community as they continue to gather evidence regarding the utilitarian value of music in early childhood. Researchers need to be aware of environmental factors that may impact early music learning and cognizant of current best practices in music education for early childhood. Researcher-developed criterion measures often are not investigated for quality characteristics, and thus rigorous guidelines for such criterion measures are needed. It appears there are no definitive policy or ethics statements regarding early childhood music assessment but both should be considered vital priorities for the profession. Most likely only those scholars with profound interest in assessment and teachers with deep understanding of the role of assessment in teaching and learning will volunteer to respond. Everything developed in such a national network will be useful, providing we start with clearly defined, intended outcomes and then develop assessments to document student attainment of those musical outcomes.

Keywords: early childhood, music, assessment, arts policy, musical age, child, developmental music aptitude, preparatory audiation, ethics

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