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Instrumental Music Playing Assessments
This rubric should be used by teachers and students to evaluate a student's individual performance on their instrument
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Most pitches are performed incorrectly, to the point that the composer's musical intent is not recognizable
Student demonstrates difficulty playing the correct written pitches with many inaccuracies
The majority of pitches are performed correctly, but enough are incorrect that the integrity of the composition begins to suffer
Most of the written pitches are played correctly
Every written pitch is performed correctly with maybe one or two exceptions
Rhythmic Accuracy refers to a student’s ability to properly interpret and perform the written rhythms on a page. This includes a student’s ability to understand time signatures and the implications they have on written rhythm. It is also important to understand that maintaining a steady pulse is integral to rhythmic accuracy.
there is an evident lacking of rhythmic understanding as most rhythms are performed incorrectly. The rhythmic inaccuracies make the intent of the piece unrecognizable. The pulse lacks any feeling of consistency.
student has difficulty performing the written rhythms and demonstrates a lack of understanding of rhythmic notation. The pulse varies frequently making it difficult for the rhythmic intent to be communicated to the listener.
student performs a majority of the written rhythms correctly but demonstrates some minor difficulties in rhythmic interpretation. Steady pulse is normally maintained but may vary as the student has difficulty with the rhythms or pitches.
student performs most written rhythms correctly and maintains a steady pulse for the majority of the performance
student performs all written rhythms correctly, with maybe one or two exceptions. A steady pulse that is easily felt by the performer and listener is consistently maintained
Because this portion of the rubric is somewhat redundant with rhythmic accuracy, it is important to have a clear definition of what we are evaluating here:
1) Tempo Choice – Does the student choose a tempo that is representative of the intent of the composer
2) Start-overs – Do students need to stop and start over at any point. Are any sections repeated as a result of inaccurate playing
3) It is possible for tempi to fluctuate according to the markings on the page. Is this done cor
it is difficult to determine any sense of selected tempo. The performer re-starts multiple sections multiple times and has difficulty progressing through the musical selection.
the tempo selected is not at all representative of what the composer intended creating a lack of appropriate style. The performer consistently starts certain musical fragments over multiple times and out-of-place tempo fluctuations make the piece almost unrecognizable
the tempo selection is not what was intended by the composer but is not more than one tempo descriptor slower or faster than the accurate tempo. Due to facility concerns, the performer must start multiple phrases and/or fragments of the music over. Tempo fluctuations occur either at places they were not intended to or are performed incorrectly in places they are supposed to happen
student performs the selection at a tempo that could be considered appropriate but may be just a little slower or faster than originally intended. With one or two minor exceptions, the student does not have to start any section of the piece over. Tempo fluctuations occur at the properly indicated places in the music.
student performs the selection at a tempo that is exactly or very close to the correct intention of the composer. The student does not have to start any section of the piece over. Tempo fluctuations are in accordance with the directions on the page, performed in a musically convincing fashion that allows the listener to understand the intent of the tempo fluctuation
Tone quality refers to the students ability to produce a sound on the instrument that is representative of the characteristic timbre of the instrument
student has difficulty producing a recognizable and consistent sound
the sound produced is consistent, but not characteristic of the instrument being played. The student has significant difficulty representing the aural intent of the composer as a result of a poor tone quality
tone quality is representative of the instrument’s timbre most of the time although there are instances where a student loses control of the sound production and the tone becomes uncharacteristic. As students approach the extreme ranges of the piece being performed, tone may suffer significantly
the tone quality produced is characteristic of the instrument that is being played. Tone quality may start to suffer to a small degree in some of the extreme ranges of the piece being performed.
the tone quality produced is beautiful sounding and characteristic of the instrument in all ranges of the piece being performed. The student is clearly using appropriate tone for the piece being performed and appropriate embellishments such as vibrato
Intonation, when performing solo repertoire, is the ability to keep all pitches in tune relative to each other. A goal of every performer is to ensure that the intervallic relationships between notes are properly in tune across the range of the instrument.
There is no sense of a fundamental starting point for pitch
While the student may be able to start with a fundamental, in tune pitch, there are significant difficulties maintaining any sense of intervallic relationships.
the student begins with a fundamental in-tune start, but has some difficulty maintaining the appropriate intervallic relationships while performing. The student has difficulty controlling pitch in the extreme ranges of the piece being performed.
intonation is consistently maintained throughout the piece with a few exceptions. The intonation in the extreme ranges of the piece being performed may begin to suffer
all pitches, with a few minor exceptions, are in tune relative to each other and their intervallic relationships across the ranges of the piece being performed
Correct articulation is very important in determining the appropriate interpretation of style of a piece of music. It is important for students to not only understand when it is appropriate to use certain articulations but also the technique behind them
there is no clear sense of which articulations are supposed to be used
very few of the articulation markings are followed and technique is not yet developed
an effort to follow some articulation directions is demonstrated but with a number of inaccuracies. Articulation technique needs to be developed to allow for better facility. There is little interpretation of articulation markings demonstrated
articulations are performed as marked on the page with few inaccuracies. Appropriate articulation technique is demonstrated. While the student performs the articulations according to the directions on the page, he/she could develop a stronger interpretation of the articulation markings in accordance with the context of the music
all articulations marked on the page, with only a couple minor exceptions, are followed and performed as indicated. The student’s interpretation of the articulation creates a convincing musical performance and advanced articulation technique is demonstrated
Dynamics are exactly what the term indicates - change. In this case, we are talking about changes in volume and the appropriate uses of those changes to create dramatic and emotional impacts in the music.
there is almost zero dynamic difference throughout the performance
very few dynamic markings are followed. The piece sounds somewhat stale as a result of a lacking in the variance of volume in context with the music
While the student demonstrates a basic understanding of louder vs. softer, a number of dynamic markings are not followed and those that are leave much room for interpretation.
The student follows most of the dynamics on the music. Personal musicianship has less of an impact on the performance than does following the directions on the page. The student does not demonstrate a strong understanding of relative dynamics in the context of the piece being performed. However, because directions were followed, the performance is still convincing.
The student follows most of the dynamics on the music and also employs his/her personal interpretation and musicianship by using dynamics to create convincing artistic moments. The student demonstrates a clear understanding of the highs and lows of the piece being performed through the relative dynamics used.
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