Edinburgh Napier University: ENroute Yearbook 2020 Edition - Page 6

ENroute Yearbook 2019-20
Alternative Assessment in Music Michael Harris , School of Arts & Creative Industries , Associate Fellow
The highpoint for many BMus ( Hons ) students is the final Public Recital , the music equivalent of the degree show . In 2020 , these concert performances were no longer possible because of the COVID-19 lockdown .
As module leader the challenge was to both achieve a suitable level of assessment for the 40-credit module as well as create a meaningful task for disappointed students . What evolved was highly successful on both counts and received strong positive feedback from the external examiner .
Many student performers focus only on the final moment , when they deliver their work to the public , and do not necessarily manage to develop the most effective learning strategy ; more time is spent doing rather than reflecting .
Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
Students were asked to create a 20-minute video in which they reflected , with musical examples , on their learning journey over the year ; the task was to show how they had engaged with the demands of the music , and how they had assessed their goals . Through a selection of key moments in their development they were asked to explain their performance decision-making process . Areas they were encouraged to engage with included how practice methods had developed , how technical automaticity had been established , and how their communication skills had evolved .
From initial disappointment and some scepticism all the cohort created work of a very high standard , some of it exemplary ; interestingly , the outputs were very much in accordance with their trajectory during the year , and as staff we also felt we learnt a lot from them .