Evaluation and Assessment

A generous grant in 2013 from the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Foundation enabled Soundscapes to bring in education and curriculum experts to prepare written correlations between the Soundscapes curriculum and Virginia Standards of Learning in math, science, English and social studies.

TThe grant also supported the development of a customized evaluation tool by Dr. David Dirlam, a nationally recognized specialist in learning assessment methodologies. Dr. Dirlam created a developmental rubric to measure each student’s progress longitudinally in 9 separate musical and behavioral dimensions. In addition, he designed a parent survey to assess family expectations and results at the start and end of each school year.

report confirms that Soundscapes is achieving the goal of providing value to students in both behavioral and musical skills. Individual report cards are mailed home for students after each evaluation.

To assist Soundscapes in evaluating the whole child, Newport News Public Schools provides detailed data on economics, racial demographics, disabilities, attendance, behavior infractions, and SOL passing rates.

Soundscapes also follows ongoing laboratory studies that are scientifically measuring the vast benefits of music education. Below is a sampling of videos about the fascinating effects of music study and performance on the brain!

How playing an instrument benefits your brain

Conversation with Nina Kraus, Northwestern University Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory