Updated to the Playing Test Grading Policy


Many of the students are having their first playing test of the new semester today.  Here is an update to our grading policy on playing test:

Playing Tests (performance assessments) are an integral part of the band curriculum at Barber.  Every Friday, you can expect a playing test.  Playing tests for the upcoming week are outlined on the band calendar (accessible from the Barber Band Website) no less than a week prior to the date of the assessment.

  1. All tests can be made up for full credit as long as they are completed before the end of the semester
  2. Partial credit will be given even if the test is attempted.  If the student has a failing grade, he or she will be expected to make up failing grades.
  3. Failure to make up a failing grade on a playing test could mean that the student may be added to the band zap list for the Friday reward period.

There are two types of playing tests (Mr. Grogan will let the students know what type of test it is when the test is announced):

  1. Technique Tests (Scales and Technical Exercises) – The students will receive a grade on technical exercises  that is based on the percentage of notes correct.  The scales will be graded with one point awarded per octave ascending and one point per octave descending,  as well as one point for the arpeggio.  These points will then be converted to a grade percentage.  For example, if a scale has 5 possible points but a students might have played one of the descending octaves incorrect, then she would receive 4 out of 5 points and would be awarded an 80% for the playing test.
  2. Musical Literature – These tests are graded on a rubric and are not pass or fail.  The material for these tests often comes from the sheet music or practice sheets that the students are working on in class.
    1. Considerations for grading consist of tone quality, technique, articulation, and style. The student can make up the test at any time within the semester for a higher grade.
    2. Part designations can be assigned as a result of these playing tests.
    3. You can access the grading rubric by clicking here.

All playing tests will be done on Fridays in class.  If the student does not want to perform the test in front of the class on testday (or needs to make up a test), then he or she has two options:

  1. Perform the test for the band directors outside of school hours
    1. Either before school (8:00 AM – 8:30 AM) or after School (4:30 PM – 5:30 PM)
    2. Submit a video recording to Mr. Grogan
      1. Submit a video by clicking the pink “o Rec” button below (PREFERRED!)
      2. Record a video with your electronic device and submit it to Mr. Grogan at

The band directors have to either hear the student perform the upcoming assessment or receive a video submission of the test before test day on Friday in order for that student to be exempt from playing in front of the class.  Note: just because the student submits a video, does not mean that the test grade assigned is automatically a 100.  Mr. Grogan or Mr. Rikard the student know the grade on test day.

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