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Orff Instrument Playing Rubric

Unwilling or unable to complete the tasks.
Examples would be:

  • an autistic child who becomes so overwhelmed with sensory input that they cannot rotate instruments or even begin to complete the tasks of the lesson
  • an emotionally disturbed child, who had a run-in with another student prior to music class, attends to the goings on in the room, but chooses to sit in the reflection chair for the duration of the lesson
Children who receive a "U" assessment are children I don't hold responsible for their failure to complete the tasks assessed.
Rotation and Citizenship level 1 poster


Rotation: student sometimes rotates through the instruments smoothly
Rhythm: student does not play the expected rhythm
Pitch: Notes not accurate
Improvisation: student not yet playing at the right time, ending the right time, beginning on tonic note, ending on tonic note, keeping the intended rhythm, or stopping when the pattern is over
Citizenship: Student needs frequent reminders of behavior expectation


Rotation: student usually rotates through the instruments smoothly
Rhythm: student usually plays expected rhythms
Pitch: student usually beings or ends on the tonic pitch
Improvisation: Improvisation follows some of the parameters set by the teacher
Citizenship: Student usually sets a good example of citizenship


Rotation: Student always rotates through instruments smoothly and quietly
Rhythm: Student plays expected rhythms at the right time.
Pitch: Notes are mostly accurate, but the student plays with the melodies and may not always end on the tonic or may hit the tonic mid-phrase.
Improvisation: Student consistently follows the parameters of improvisation
Citizenship: Student sets a strong example of behavior and is kind and helpful to others.

Displaying IMG_20160324_090052.jpg
Rotation: see level 3Displaying IMG_20160324_090052.jpg
Rhythm: see level 3
Pitch: see level 3
Improvisation: see level 3 + Student can develop
patterns and replicate those patterns in a memorized piece.
Citizenship: see level 3 + student mentors others and volunteers to play solos as models for the class.

How I'm using the rubrics

This behavioral rubric was introduced this week. (March 20) Throughout the lessons, I referred to the numbers. "What number was that rotation? Was there talking? Was it smooth?" At the end of the lesson, I asked the classes to reflect on what the overall number was of the class. All classes initially said, "3", but when asked if there was usually talking or if some of the rotations were rough, they lowered the grade they thought the class deserved. For my most challenging class, I made a slip of paper for each student with that day's assessment
My board. The rhyme with color notes underlined in yellow, tonic
notes underlined in red, and ostinato to the left of the rubric, and
our "Mystery Musicians" ready to be revealed at the end of each
(1,2,3, or 4) and if it was a 1, why they got that assessment. Already, I've found students to be more reflective and had them take more responsibility for their actions. Rotations are much smoother with less nagging from me. We are having more fun and making more music.


jstevan1 said…
the author provides a helpful rubric for 5 criteria in a lesson using Orff instruments: Rotation, Rhythm, Pitch, Improvization, Citizenship

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