Junior High Band
Testing Tips

Test Comprehension Skills

A written test was given each quarter for each grade level. Each test had 100 multiple-choice questions which the students answered on scan sheets. The scan sheets were corrected with an electronic scanner. (See next page for details.)

Most of the tests had a recorded or listening section. The students were ask to identify recorded rhythm patterns, pitch differences, good and poor tone quality, the different forms of the minor scales, etc.

Questions like the following were intended to add a little humor to the experience:

  1. The slogan for playing in tune is...   a. The more beats the better   b. Long live the conductor   c. If you hear beats, suck in   d. Sound like one
  2. The key to good intonation is...   a. very small   b. hard to find   c. Listen, Listen, Listen   d. play so soft you can't be heard
  3. One of the two types of meter is...   a. double   b. triple   c. home run   d. foul
  4. The correct spelling for the word "rhythm" is...   a. rithum   b. rythem   c. rithem d.   rhythm

Written tests can be teaching tools as well as evaluation tools. The day after the test return the scan sheets and use an overhead projector to go over the test. Ask the students to focus on the questions they missed and to mentally erase the wrong answer and insert the correct one, so if they took the test again they would get 100%. Encourage them to re-take the test as often as needed to learn the subject matter and get the grade they want. The students ought to be able to make up playing tests and tuning tests also. As long as they learn the material or can play the test it shouldn't matter how long it takes. (See Written Tests)

Video Disclaimer

The attached videos are not perfect examples of how each tune should be played. They are recordings of junior high students, some of whom have had their instruments for only a few months. Also, they are not professional recordings. They were taken by band parents using home equipment and naturally focusing on their own children.

I include them for two reasons: (1) To give you an idea of what the arrangements are like, and (2) To illustrate the kind of performance you can expect from your junior high students.