• Instruments
    Performance Rubric
    (How your grade is calculated)


    A   100 - 90

    B   89 - 80

    C   79 - 70

    D   69 - 60

    F   59 - below




    Consistent, steady, dark and warm characteristic sound for their instrument
    (17-20 points)

    Slightly unsteady sound; Tone suffers at extremes
    (13-16 points)

    Unsteady; Some notes don’t speak; some issues with breath support
    (9-12 points)

    Muffled sound; many notes don’t speak; many issues with breath support 
    (5-8 points)

    Uncharacteristic tone; student has no understanding of proper breath support
    (1-4 points)




    Consistently uses appropriate compensation practices to adjust to typical pitch tendencies
    (17-20 points)

    Mostly uses appropriate compensation practices on typical pitch tendencies
    (13-16 points)

    Some compensation used on typical pitch tendencies
    (9-12 points)

     Little compensation used on pitch tendencies
    (5-8 points)

    Student has no understanding of pitch tendencies(1-4 pts)




    Very Precise fingers and tongue; correct posture, hand placement; great facility with instrument
    (17-20 points)

    Good precision with fingers and tongue; minor concerns with posture, hand placement
    (13-16 points)

    Student has some understanding of finger patterns, clean tonguing, posture, hand placement
    (9-12 points)

    Student has little understanding of finger patterns, clean tonguing, posture, hand placement
    (5-8 points)

    Student has no understanding of finger patterns, clean tonguing, posture, hand placement
    (1-4 points)



    Steady, correct tempo; perfectly performed rhythms
    (17-20 points)

    Tempo is slightly off; 1-2 rhythm mistakes
    (13-16 points)

    Unsteady tempo; <4 rhythm mistakes
    (9-12 points)

    Very unsteady tempo; 4+ rhythm mistakes
    (5-8 points)

    Student is unable to recognize steady beat or rhythm
    (1-4 points)

    Musical Expression


    Consistently performs all written (& implied) phrasing and dynamics
    (17-20 points)

    Mostly performs written (& implied) phrasing and dynamics
    (13-16 points)

    Sometimes performs written (& implied) phrasing and dynamics
    (9-12 points)

    Rarely performs written (& implied) phrasing and dynamics
    (5-8 points)

    Student unable to recognize written (& implied) phrasing and dynamics
    (1-4 points)

    Commonwealth of Virginia Standards of Learning for Instrumental Music as adopted by the General Assembly, June 2013: (Listed below is the Intermediate Level, while some highly progressed students will be graded according to the Advanced Level or Artist SOL; but all core numbers are the same in each below listed category, and this is the minimum level all students must succeed at)

     Music Theory/Literacy

    HII.1 The student will echo, read, and notate music, including

    1. identifying, defining, and applying standard notation for pitch, rhythm, meter, articulation, dynamics, and other elements of music; and    2. singing similar and contrasting parts from the music being studied.
    HII.2 The student will echo, read, and perform rhythms and rhythmic patterns, including sixteenth notes, dotted eighth notes, quarter-note triplets, half-note triplets, and corresponding rests.
    HII.3 The student will identify, read, compare, contrast, and perform music in , , , , and (alla breve or cut time) meters.
    HII.4 The student will identify and notate key signatures of scales and literature being performed.
    HII.5 The student will read, perform, and notate scales, including
    1. wind/mallet student—ascending and descending concert C, F, B-flat, E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, G, D, A, and E major scales; G and D harmonic minor scales; a chromatic scale, in eighth notes with M.M. quarter note = 100; and  2. string student—two-octave C, F, B-flat, E-Flat, G, D, and A major scales and G and A harmonic minor scales (double bass: one octave), in eighth notes with M.M. quarter note = 100.
    HII.6 The student will identify, compare, contrast, and perform music written in sonata, theme-and-variations, and compound binary forms.
    HII.7 The student will use music composition as a means of expression by  1. composing an eight-measure rhythmic-melodic variation; and  2. notating the composition in standard notation, using contemporary technology.
    HII.8 The student will define and apply music terminology found in the music literature being studied.
    HII.9 The student will demonstrate preparatory playing procedures, including  1. care and basic maintenance of the instrument;  2. identifying and repairing minor problems of the instrument;  3. basic tuning of the instrument, with and without an electronic tuner;  4. describing and demonstrating proper posture, instrument position, and hand positions;  5. wind student—describing and demonstrating proper embouchure; and  6. percussion student—stick grip for snare drum and mallets; basic tuning of timpani; setup of timpani, mallet instruments, and auxiliary instruments.
    HII.10 The student will demonstrate and describe proper instrumental techniques, including  1. adjusting and perfecting intonation while playing;  2. producing tones that are clear, free of tension, sustained, and unwavering in pitch;  3. wind student—proper breathing techniques and consistent embouchure; contrasting articulations (marcato, sforzando, forte-piano, tenuto);  4. string student—proper bow placement, weight, angle, speed, and pressure; contrasting articulations (accents, hooked bowing, multiple-note slurs, slurred staccato, sforzando, martelé, spiccato); and  5. percussion student—13 Standard Rudiments and Lesson 25, open-close-open, on snare drum (PAS); tuning timpani while playing; playing techniques on timpani, mallet, and auxiliary instruments, including single-stroke roll.
    HII.11 The student will demonstrate and describe ensemble skills at an intermediate level, including  1. balancing and blending instrumental timbres;  2. making adjustments to facilitate correct intonation;  3. matching dynamic levels and playing style;  4. responding to conducting patterns and gestures; and  5. maintaining a steady beat at various tempos in the music literature being studied.
    HII.12 The student will read and interpret standard music notation while performing music of varying styles and levels of difficulty, in accordance with VBODA Levels 2–4.
    HII.13 The student will apply articulations, dynamic contrasts, phrasing, various tempos, and tempo changes as means of expression.
    HII.14 The student will create and perform simple rhythmic and melodic examples, using call-and-response and basic improvisation.
    HII.15 The student will compose and perform rhythmic and melodic variations based upon original ideas or folk songs, exercises, or etudes.
    HII.16 The student will demonstrate musicianship and personal engagement by  1. making adjustments to facilitate correct intonation;  2. identifying and producing the characteristic sound of the instrument being studied;  3. monitoring individual practice with a level of refinement that reflects specific musical goals;  4. participating in curricular and co-curricular events (e.g., concerts, other performances); ensembles such as symphonic ensembles, chamber ensembles, marching band, jazz ensembles; All-County, All-District, All-Region, and All-Virginia events; and  5. describing and demonstrating rehearsal and concert etiquette as a performer (e.g., using critical aural skills, following conducting gestures, maintaining attention in rest position).
    HII.17 The student will sight-read music of varying styles and levels of difficulty, in accordance with VBODA Levels 2–4.
    Music History and Cultural Context
    HII.18 The student will explore historical and cultural aspects of music by  1. describing the cultures, musical styles, composers, and historical periods associated with the music literature being studied;  2. comparing and contrasting a variety of musical styles, using music terminology;  3. comparing and contrasting the functions of instrumental music in a variety of cultures;  4. describing how musicians, consumers of music, and music advocates impact the community;  5. comparing and contrasting career options in music;  6. relating the relationship of instrumental music to the other fine arts;  7. applying ethical standards to the use of social media and copyrighted materials; and  8. consistently demonstrating concert etiquette as an active listener.
    Analysis, Evaluation, and Critique
    HII.19 The student will analyze and evaluate music by  1. explaining the importance of composers’ use of style, cultural influences, and historical context for the interpretation of works of music;  2. interpreting works of music, using inquiry skills and music terminology;  3. applying accepted criteria for analyzing and evaluating works of music;  4. describing performances of music, using music terminology; and  5. applying accepted criteria for critiquing musical performances of self and others.
    HII.20 The student will investigate aesthetic concepts related to music by  1. analyzing and explaining how the factors of time and place influence characteristics that give meaning and value to a work of music;  2. describing personal emotional and intellectual responses to works of music, using music terminology;  3. analyzing ways in which music can evoke emotion and be persuasive;  4. applying aesthetic criteria for determining the quality of a work of music or importance of a musical style; and  5. explaining the value of musical performance to the community.