Recognizing Achievement

Recognition of Achievement Through Assessment

The Assessment Experience

The Music Development Program includes two different types of assessment: practical (performance) and theoretical. Both create an opportunity to recognize achievement and receive meaningful feedback.

Performance Assessments

  • A practical (performance) assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of a student's current abilities on their chosen instrument, including voice.
  • The assessment is designed to be a warm and welcoming experience, one-on-one with a professional, program-certified adjudicator.
  • The adjudicator's comments and marking breakdown are available online within four to six weeks of the assessment.
  • Practical (performance) assessments are held three times per year, with all scheduling and location arrangements made by The Music Development Program.

What Can a Student Expect in a Performance Assessment?

Performance assessments evaluate the following areas of a student’s musical development:

  • Performance of three to five pieces of repertoire depending on level
  • Performance of one or two études that focus on an aspect of performance skill appropriate for the level
  • Performance of technical skills such as scales, chords, and arpeggios, which progress in difficulty from level to level in a manner consistent with the technical demands of the repertoire. An assessment includes a representative sampling from the published list of requirements.
  • An evaluation of musicianship skills, appropriate for the level, through aural identification of intervals, chord qualities, cadences, and ear-to-hand playbacks of rhythms and melodies. A demonstration of rhythmic reading and sight playing ability further supports music literacy.

Academic Assessments

  • Students complete a written assessment of their theoretical and/or historical knowledge in a classroom setting.
  • Academic assessments are held three times per year, with all scheduling and location arrangements made by the Music Development Program.

Certificates of Achievement

The Comprehensive Certificate is awarded to students who have completed both the performance and academic assessments for a specific level, beginning in Level 5. No application is necessary.

Certificates of Excellence

Center Certificates of Excellence are awarded in each Assessment Center to the student in Preparatory A, Preparatory B, and Levels 1 to 10 who receives the highest marks for the respective Performance Assessment. To be eligible, a student must receive a minimum of 80 percent in the Performance Assessment and have completed the Academic (Theory) Assessment co-requisite for the respective level.

State Certificates of Excellence are awarded in each State to the student in Preparatory A, Preparatory B, and Levels 1 to 10 who receives the highest marks for the respective Performance Assessment.  To be eligible, a student must receive a minimum of 80 percent in the Performance Assessment and have completed the Academic (Theory) Assessment co-requisite for the respective level.

National Gold Medals

National Gold Medals are awarded to students achieving the highest mark in the country on their Music Development Program assessment and who have also completed the theory co-requisites for their respective level and discipline.