Good Teaching on Steroids: Assessments of Music Teaching and Learning with Students on the Autism Spectrum

Rhoda Bernard, Berklee College
Alice Hammel, James Madison University


As the population of school-aged children on the autism spectrum continues to grow, music teachers require new tools to assess the music learning, knowledge, and skills of children with autism. Similarly, music teacher educators and supervisors require new forms of assessment in order to assess music teaching with students with autism. This presentation will feature two layers of assessments: A. Assessments of student work/performances by children on the autism spectrum, to be used by music educators, and B. Assessments of pre-service and in-service music educators, to be used by music teacher educators and supervisors. Effective assessment of the music learning of students with autism calls on the practices, strategies, and approaches of effective assessment. By magnifying, deepening, broadening, and further personalizing them, music educators can gain a deeper understanding of what their students with autism know and can do in the music classroom and ensemble.