rubric is a guideline for rating student performance. Most band,
choir, or orchestra festivals have such guides for adjudicators when they
rate ensemble performance. The guidelines specify what a performance
is like at various levels (superior, excellent, good, poor) and, usually,
on various musical attributes (tone, intonation, balance, technique, etc.).
The key elements of a rubric are the descriptors for what a performance
is like within the full range of possible performance levels.
provides those doing the assessment with exactly the characteristics for
each level of performance on which they should base their judgment.
provides those who have been assessed with clear information about how
well they performed.
also provides those who have been assessed with a clear indication of what
they need to accomplish in the future to better their performance.
term rubric is derived from the Latin term "rubrica"
that means, "red earth." It came to refer to indications written
in red ink within manuscripts of various forms during the middle ages.
Red markings within liturgical documents could indicate how a hymn was
to be sung or a religious service was to be conducted. In legal documents,
text in red often indicated a heading in a code of law that led to rubric
coming to mean any brief, authoritative rule.
are a number of different types of rubrics depending upon the rubric's
function. The labels for these types of rubrics provides a convenient
way of categorizing the possible uses of rubrics in assessing students'
single rubric can be used to provide a general assessment of a performance,
this form of rubric is said to be holistic.
When a number of rubrics are used to assess a performance, say ones that
assess intonation, technique, and musicality of a student's performance,
such rubrics are said to be multiple rubrics.
In multiple rubrics, the various attributes being measured should be independent
aspects of performance that can stand on their own.
can also be defined in terms of the breadth of their application. Task
specific rubrics can only be applied to
a single task, such as the analysis of a snare drummer's paraddidle. Generic
rubrics can be applied to a broad spectrum of performances. For instance,
musicality would be a rubric that could be applied across most musical
Paragraphs Listed Under Title; "Definition, Benefits, History and Types", Copyright ©
Edward P. Asmus, Ph.D.