Assessing Musical Knowledge with Distance Learning

Assessing Musical Knowledge with Distance Learning: How to assess classification of form, instrument families, and more, with at-home learning!

This week, I’ve been posting about assessing with distance learning, from assessing musical literacy to assessing performance. In today’s blog post, I’m detailing how to assess musical knowledge, or classification. In my district, this strand covers musical form, instruments of the orchestra, musical symbols, etc. So how can we assess this, in a distance learning situation?

Quizizz and Kahoot

As I wrote in my blog post about musical literacy, I LOVE Quizizz and Kahoot! Both are quiz platforms that allow you to assign a link for students to take the quiz; you’ll just have to ask them to enter their actual first name (and not a nickname) to use.

Both platforms are pretty accessible as far as creating quizzes go. You can also duplicate a quiz created by someone else, and edit as needed before sharing with students. 

Here is a collection I’ve made in Quizizz, which includes:

  • Musical form
  • Musical symbols
  • Ukulele chords

In Kahoot, I’ve made this quiz for classifying:

Google Forms

Google Forms is another great way to assess how well students understand musical knowledge. A few ideas that come to mind include:

  • Google Form about instrument families, asking students which instruments belong to which family
  • Google Form about musical form, asking students questions about ABA, rondo form, what A’ means, etc.
  • Google Form about musical symbols, having students look at a symbol (by inserting an image), then asking them the purpose of the symbol

You can create a form that is actually a quiz, and tells students whether or not their answers are correct, so they get immediate feedback. Here is a tutorial for creating your own Google Quiz:

I have a Google form in both of these digital escape rooms. If you’d like to use the assessment as a summative assessment instead of formative, I’ve included directions for editing the escape room, so that you can add a question about name, classroom teacher, etc.

Jennifer from the Yellow Brick Road also has this set of Google Form assessments, which would be great for assessing classifying.


Last week, I wrote this blog post about Peardeck, which includes a video tutorial. With Peardeck, you could use some of the already created templates and edit them, to ask students to classify rhythms, instrument families, define theme and variations, or whatever! You could use a drawing slide to have students do something like this:

Then, their answers are sent back to you through the Peardeck website, and you can see how well they understand!

Here is another example of a slide—students drag the circle to the instrument not in the strings family.

Thanks to Glitter Meets Glue Designs for the clip art on the first slide, and Dancing Crayon Designs for the clip art on the second slide.

Click this link to add these slides to your own library! You’ll only be able to view them, so you’ll want to make a copy and add to your drive (and make sure you have the Peardeck add-on.)

I hope this is helpful to you as you explore assessment with distance learning. If you haven’t joined my FB group yet, I’d love to see you there…we are discussing assessment all this week! Happy (online) teaching and assessing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Aileen

Recent Posts

New In The Shop

You might also enjoy...