Assessing Musical Response with Distance Learning

Assessing Musical Response with Distance Learning: How to assess students' response to music while teaching online

This whole week, I’ve been blogging about assessing with distance learning, from assessing musical literacy to assessing musical knowledge. In today’s blog post, I’m detailing how to assess musical response. What exactly does this mean? Whether students are responding to music through movement, discussion, or writing, musical response is the ability to listen to music and communicate how the music makes them feel, what they hear in the music, and more!


Worksheets are a super simple way to have students respond. Students could use a worksheet such as these, which are free in my store:

Students can listen to any piece (you could provide links to recordings that students could listen to, or provide a playlist through Spotify) and write their response. If you’d like to use this as an assessment, you could simply have them take a picture of their worksheet and send it to you! If you are comfortable with Google Slides, a link is provided with the listening response worksheet which you could share with students; they simply type inside the text boxes, and either share it with you through your email address, or through a Google Drive assignment, in Schoology or Google Classroom.

Google Docs

This is similar to the worksheet above. You could provide a link to a recording, either through YouTube or Spotify, and type questions for students to respond to in a Google Doc. Then, they could share their answers with you through your email address or through a Google Drive assignment.

Google Forms

Instead of typing into a Google Doc, you could make a Google Form in which you create short answer questions that students have to answer. Whether you ask, “Which instruments do you hear?” or “What story do you think this piece of music is telling?”, students can type their response into the form, and then you’d immediately see their answers, without them having to share it back with you.


I’ve written a lot about Peardeck this week…I really love this platform! I’m using Peardeck with my second graders, to have them respond to “Soirees Musicale” by Clara Schumann. After they listen, they will click on a link which will take them to a Peardeck, with this slide:

Then, they will do this slide; a text box will show up next to this slide, which they can type into:

Both of these slides were Peardeck templates which I easily customized.

What are your favorite ways to assess musical response with distance learning? Feel free to comment below, or hop on over to my FB group to tell us your thoughts! Happy (online) teaching and assessing!

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