Music Model Cornerstone Assessment

A standards-based unit for ukulele classes.

May be adapted for a guitar class. Created using the new content standards for music.
Artistic Process: Performing and Responding


  • Student is able to hold the ukulele
  • Students who have heard the songs Mary Had A Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star will have an advantage over students who have not heard these songs because they will be able to self-assess. 

Recommended: play recordings of the songs students will perform before giving them time to practice.


This lesson will work best with the sheet music from the capotasto music website.

The rubric mentioned in this MCA is available on my Teachers Pay Teachers Store for $1.
Click here to view this resource.


Teacher must prepare the instruments, curriculum, and classroom for this lesson. 
• Number all ukuleles
• Put colored stickers on the ukulele fretboards
Red for C chord
Green for F chord
Blue for G chord
To see instructional video on Ukulele Stickers, click here
• Tune all ukuleles except for one
• Memorize the music you will be teaching (Mary Had a Little Lamb, in this case)
• Make copies of Mary Had a Little Lamb
• Make copies of the student peer evaluation rubric. Laminate a class set if you would like to reuse these. 

• Set up the chairs and stands
Students should setup the classroom themselves, but on the first day, we should maximize the amount of time we spend playing ukuleles. 
• Set up document camera and projector
Rationale: Teaching tablature notation is much easier to do with the help of a document camera. Tutorial video: click here
• Plan out the student groups (2 or 3 students per group)
• Print and laminate 2 other songs. Examples: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Au Clair De La Lune
To be prepared in case there are students who already know how to read tablature notation and need an additional challenge, 
To motivate groups to work a little faster

Begin the class by
• Demonstrating tablature notation reading. Example delivery video, click here.
• After the demonstration, choose 1 or 2 students to try to playing the song.
• Giving students time to work in groups
Arrange students into pre-selected groups
Hand out copies of Mary Had A Little Lamb
Give one ukulele to each group, each student attempting to play the selected piece while the other group members help and support the student holding the ukulele. 
Time students to “rotate” the ukulele (recommended time per student: 1 ½ minutes).

Formative Assessment
• Hand out copies of the Peer Evaluation Rubric, which will be used as a formative assessment. 
• Teacher will explain to students that they will be judging performances using the criteria outline in the Peer Evaluation Rubric. 
• MU:PR5.1.3A Teacher or confident student will perform Mary Had A Little Lamb while the class practices assessing the performance using the Peer Evaluation Rubric. 
• Students will discuss how they used the rubric with their groups. (2 – 3 minutes)
• MU:PR4.2.3BStudents will perform Mary Had A Little Lamb for their groups while reading from the provided sheet music.
• MU:PR5.1.3A group members will assess each other’sperformances using the Peer Evaluation Rubric. (5-8 minutes).
• MU:PR5.1.3B Students will apply the feedback from their peers and improve their performance. 
• MU:RE9.1.3 Teacher will now provide each student with an ukulele and give students time to rehearse for a second peer evaluation performance. 

Summative Assessment
• MU:PR5.1.3Students will rehearse to deliver their finalperformance of Mary Had A Little Lamb.
• MU:PR6.1.3A Students are expected to perform of Mary Had A little Lamb with technical accuracy, tempo, hand positioning, posture, and strumming patter. 
• Teacher will assess individual performances using the Peer Evaluation Rubric.
• MU:PR6.1.3B Students who are not performing should be respectful audience members, keeping their hands and feet quiet, facing the performer, nodding along with the performance. Students should not stand up or make comments during the performance. 


Formative and Summative Assessment
• Hand out copies of the Peer Evaluation Rubric, which will be used as a formative assessment. Review and discuss the rubric with the students
• Hand out copies of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
• Repeat the process used during Mary Had A Little Lamb

• Hand out copies of Au Clair De La Lune
• Explain repeat signs, check for understanding
• Repeat the process used for Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Mary Had A Little Lamb


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