[Smt-talk] musicianship goals

Kris Shaffer kshaffer at csuniv.edu
Wed Jul 25 18:21:46 PDT 2012

Dear Colleagues,
In preparation for the fall, I've drafted a detailed list of mastery and learning objectives for my musicianship course sequence (combined theory and aural skills, 5 days per week, four semesters). These are a combination of "holistic" (compose a minuet in the style of Haydn, for example) and "content" (write all major scales on the bass staff, for example) objectives, and they will be the basis of my criterion-referenced assessment for their final grades. (Must pass all objectives for A or B, most in each of several categories for C.)

I'm wondering if any interested parties, particularly some more seasoned than me, might take a look and provide some feedback as to whether this list of objectives is an appropriate summary of what we should expect/desire of our students by the end of the musicianship sequence. I'm sure I left a couple things out. And please note that there are some things specific to my courses being at a Christian school where "faith integration" is stressed, and to our having the students in the keyboard lab for these classes. (That's something new this semester that I'm really excited about, and any experiences or warnings regarding that would be most welcome as well.)

There are two big things that struck me as I put this list together. First, this list is long. We expect a lot out of our students in these courses. Second, very few of these objectives are directly assessed with traditional assignments and grading systems. Would others agree? Is this an issue that needs to be addressed in a significant way, especially at institutions where students come in with little background knowledge to help them along?

Anyway, here's the link to the blog post with the links and description: http://kris.shaffermusic.com/wordpress/updated-musicianship-objectives/. Feel free to comment there or on smt-talk. (Though on the blog would probably be most efficient, since comments pop up immediately.)

Thanks for any willing to provide feedback and ideas!


Kris Shaffer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Music Theory
Charleston Southern University
twitter: @krisshaffer

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