Music Aptitude and Why It Matters
What is it?
Aptitude is a measure of one’s potential to learn music. Aptitude is measured at Rose Garden with the Primary Measures of Music Audiation – PMMA (administered to Kinder through Second) and the Intermediate Measures of Music Audiation – IMMA (administered to Third and Fourth).
Achievement is a measure of what one has already learned. A child will only achieve according to the limits of his/her aptitude. Some students maximize very little aptitude and perform at an exceptional level while higher aptitude students struggle to keep a beat and sing in tune.
Like IQs, a child’s tonal/rhythm aptitude increases (based on the musical environment the child experiences) from birth to the age of stabilization. Research shows that aptitude can stabilize as early as age six or as late as age 9. Once a child’s aptitude has stabilized, there will be no major fluctuation in the child’s scores – no matter what the child’s informal/formal music education or environment.
Why should I know a student’s aptitude?
A student’s aptitude can tell you a lot about how a student will perform in your class. As previously stated, however, aptitude scores can be misleading. Just think of it as knowing a student’s musical IQ.
Knowledge of a student’s “inner workings” can often help me to personalize certain classroom activities – particularly in pattern instruction (Pattern instruction is my daily assessment of a child’s rhythm/tonal development). It can also help to explain things like lack of beat competency or not singing on pitch.
Recorder Karate is my program for getting kids to read music independently WITHOUT WRITING IN LETTER NAMES.
What the “belt” level indicates is how well a child can read. For your reference, I have included examples of the belt songs so that you can gauge the reading ability of a child. Kids who did not earn orange belt or above probably just did not care enough about it to try very hard.
Kids who indicated “3+” degree belt means that they achieved any belt over 3rd degree. Technically there are only nine degrees of “black belt”, but if a child wants to continue to earn belts, I will go as high as he/she wants to go.
Here are the criteria for each belt:
B, A, G
“Daw” as articu-ation
B, A, G, C
B, A, G, C,
B, A, G, Low E
B, A, G
B, A, G,
F#,Low E,Low D
Dotted Quarter, Half Rest
Key of D,
All above, Bb
Key of F
First Thru Ninth
All of above, High E, Low D
Sixteenth, Dotted Eighth
D.C Al Fine, 1st/2nd Endings
* This system was begun by former Rose Garden Music teacher, Stephanie Daniel. The above was written by and is completely attributed to Mrs. Daniel.