Music Teacher Attitudes to Assessment

Working with international partners to investigate what music teachers think is important in assessments.

A musician playing saxophone.


Research background

Currently, how music teachers think about assessment and what they do as a result of these beliefs is not well understood as it might be. 

We would like to investigate what music teachers think is important in assessment and how they prioritise these characteristics.  We are also interested in how assessment is viewed by music teachers internationally.  To explore this we are working with the Ministry of Education in Singapore and conducting research in England. 

Research aims 

This research explores two questions:

  1. How do music teachers in Singapore and England view school assessment practices?
  2. What priorities do music teachers place on differing forms of assessment?

It will focus on four areas:

  • What is a ‘good’ music teacher?
  • What does it mean to have learner-centred, balanced assessment?
  • What do music teachers believe about teaching and learning?
  • What is a ‘good’ assessment?

How will the research be carried out?

The research will consist of sets of online surveys which include sorting activities to help to understand what teachers think is important in music assessment.  It will also include video interviews with teachers to discuss their rationales in greater depth.

Outcomes and impact

 We hope this research project will be of benefit in helping policymakers to make informed decisions about music education.  It will also enable us to understand more about the international differences which may exist in approaches to school music assessments. The research will also provide teachers with a wider context against which to reflect and review their own practice in the music classroom.