The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between actual current assessment practices of elementary music teachers and the assessment topics as published in the literature aimed at those teachers. Specifically, this study sought to: 1) identify the current assessment techniques utilized by elementary music teachers; 2) identify the types of assessment techniques included in the current music teacher literature, and 3) identify any relationships between the assessment techniques that are most frequently utilized by teachers and those that are most frequently included in teacher-focused music education publications.

The researchers first examined data collected from the 100 elementary general music educators from the Northwestern United States who participated in a survey designed to identify the assessment practices of elementary general music teachers. The researchers next reviewed ten years (1999 – 2009) of the national publications Teaching Music and Music Educators Journal searching for articles that addressed the topic of classroom music assessment. Finally, the researchers ranked both the classroom and literature assessment techniques by frequency of use and frequency of inclusion in the literature and then examined the results in order to identify possible relationships.

The researchers found that there is a possible disconnect between the assessment strategies reported as used by the classroom music educators participating in this study and the major professional publications in the music education field.