Music Assessment and Global Diversity

Advancing Music Education through Assessment: Honoring Culture, Diversity, and Practice

The Seventh International Symposium
on Assessment in Music Education

March 19-22, 2019
Gainesville, Florida, USA


Assessment in Music Education: Theory, Practice, and Policy

The 8th International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education

May 14-24, 2021

Virtual Symposium Hosted By:

Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien
(University of Music, Theatre, and Media)
Hannover, Germany


University of Florida
Gainesville, FL, USA

The music education faculties of the University of Florida and the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover (HMTMH, Hannover University of Music, Theater, and Media) will host the 8th International Symposium on Assessment in Music Education from May 14-24, 2021.  Due to the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, this symposium will be held in a virtual format. The purpose of the symposium is to bring together music education professionals worldwide to share the latest research, thought, and practice in music education assessment. We invite primary and secondary school music educators, higher education professionals and music education researchers, national, state and local policymakers and education officials from across the world to join us for this virtual symposium.

The Focus of the Symposium

Music learning takes place in cultural contexts that are diverse and rooted in established musical practices that are meaningful and relevant. As music educators worldwide face increased expectations for accountability of learning in music classrooms, it is vital that we work to ensure that our assessment theories, policies, and practices are authentic to the musical cultures, music learners, and teaching practices in which they are embedded. This symposium focuses on the many ways that music educators across the world assess and measure student music learning and growth as they meet the demands of accountability and maintain musical authenticity of assessment processes and methods. In particular, symposium attendees will consider the theoretical underpinnings of assessment structures, the specific assessment practices that arise from and inform those theoretical foundations, and the policies that shape the implementation of both theory and practice.



                Quality assessment tools and practices arise from a clear understanding of underlying theoretical principles.  Presenters in this strand will focus on the development, refinement, and application of the foundational ideas underlying sound assessment practices.  Topics may include ideas related to the philosophy of assessment, strategies for the development or validation of high-quality assessment tools, approaches to evaluating assessment instruments and practices, and other subjects connected to the theoretical foundations of assessment.  The primary purpose of sessions in this strand is to explore why certain assessment approaches may be more effective than others.



                Music teachers and music teacher educators utilize a wide variety of specific assessment approaches to measure and evaluate student learning.  These practices often represent the most concrete applications of assessment in our music classrooms, as well as influencing the creation of both theory and policy.  Presenters in this strand will focus on specific assessment practices being implemented in music classrooms at the primary, secondary, or tertiary levels.  Topics may include specific examinations of individual assessment tools or strategies currently in use, explorations of the assessment practices of individual teachers, programs, or institutions, and broader examinations of current assessment practices by populations of teachers, among others.  The primary purpose of sessions in this strand is to explore what music teachers and music teacher educators are currently doing to assess their students.  Please Note: This strand will contain a separate track for sessions focusing on specific practices and approaches that may be of immediate interest to practicing music educators at the primary or secondary levels.  We strongly encourage the submission of proposals that meet these criteria.



                Applications of the theoretical foundations of assessment and implementation of teachers’ assessment practices are both influenced by the policies under which music teachers and music teacher educators must operate.  Presenters in this strand will focus on the policies and regulations that shape the assessments used by practicing music educators, including those put forward by governments, institutions, accrediting bodies, and other organizations.  Topics may include explorations of the process of policy development, examinations of specific policy initiatives and their effect on the field of music education, and discussions of anticipated future policy movements that may affect music educators.  The primary purpose of sessions in this strand is to explore how assessment in music education is affected by policies and regulations at various levels.


Principles for Assessment in Music Education

Presenters are also strongly encouraged to consider the International Principles for Assessment in Music Education (Brophy, 2019; Brophy & Fautley, 2017), which were created by attendees at the 2017 Symposium, during the development of their session proposals.  Although these principles will not be directly used to structure the 2021 Symposium, they continue to represent essential questions and ideas in assessment theory, practice, and policy.


  • Shared Language.
    • How can we, as a profession, advance the use of commonly accepted definitions of assessment, measurement, and evaluation?
  • Quality.
    • In what ways do assessments developed for music education meet internationally accepted norms for validity, reliability, and fairness, and focus on student learning?
    • What unforeseen and unplanned outcomes of assessment and evaluation have been observed?
  • Purpose.
    • In what ways do music educators ensure that assessments are administered for its intended purpose?
  • Operability.
    • What methods and practices are most successful in assessing student learning in music in diverse educational contexts?
    • In what ways are music assessment data analyzed to yield meaningful information in different contexts?
  • Alignment.
    • In what ways do music educators ensure that assessments of music learning align with the standards, goals, and outcomes of their music curricula?
  • Authenticity. 
    • What methods, tools, or processes are used to assess and/or evaluate the practices of music teaching and learning?
    • In what ways are music educators using assessment data effectively to improve music teaching and learning?
  • Social Justice.
    • In what ways are music educators and policymakers ensuring that all students have access to fair and appropriate assessments of music learning?
  • Valuing.
    • How does the profession ensure that the ethical obligations of assessment in music education (professional competency, integrity, honesty, confidentiality, objectivity, and fairness) are met?
    • How can the profession foster the value of music assessment among its stakeholders? 


Call for Papers and Presentations. We seek submissions for research papers, posters, panel discussions, and assessment practice papers that address the symposium theme and key questions.