Symposium Introduction

Assessment of Children's Music Compositions: In Looking Out and Out Looking In

Convenor: Webster, P

The aim of this series of presentations and group discussion is to explore what we know about the approaches to evaluating music compositions of children.

Music composition in the schools has had a long tradition in the United Kingdom, Australia and in certain Western European countries and is how beginning seriously in the United States as part of the Voluntary National Standards in the Arts. Experiments in the effective assessment of these compositions as part of a long-range plan to develop well-rounded music experience for children is relatively new.

This two-hour symposium will address both past research and practice on this topic, as well as offer possibilities for future work. Four researchers from the United States and the UK will offer perspectives. Two of the papers (Mellor and Seddon) will deal with children's own self-assessment of compositions and the other two papers (Hickey and Webster) will explore assessments of the compositions by adults. Mellor will concentrate on self-assessment patterns across age and gender boundaries and Seddon will present data how children view their own computer generated compositions in light of their past music tuition. Webster will review the formal approaches to the assessment of compositions by adult judges (rating scales, rubrics, written descriptions)and Hickey will present evidence to support consensual assessment.

The convenor will begin the symposium with some introductory remarks and will moderate the discussion. Contributions from the audience will be an important part of the symposium, encouraging participants to share their experiences with the topic. Each paper will be restricted to 20 minutes, allowing for about 30 minutes of discussion.


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