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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

It is debatable whether it is appropriate to assess performance in the arts. However, formal education institutions and the systems within which they operate continue to require summative assessment to take place in order to award qualifications. This chapter considers the extent to which such summative assessment systems in music determine not only what is taught but also what learners learn. The evidence suggests that any learning outcome in formal education that is not assessed is unlikely to be given priority by either learners or teachers. To optimize learning, the aims and the processes of learning, including formative, self-, and peer assessment procedures, should be aligned with summative assessment. Research addressing the roles, methods, and value of formative, self-, and peer assessment in enhancing learning is considered. A proposal is made that the most appropriate way of enhancing learning is to ensure that summative assessment procedures are authentic and have real-life relevance supporting the teaching and learning process, to ensure that learners are motivated and see the relevance of what they are learning. This might take many forms depending on musical genre, communities of practice, and the wider cultural environment.

Keywords: music, assessment, summative, formative, composition

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