Timbre Assessments

Are you doing assessments for your end of the year report cards?  One of the areas that I want to assess is how well children perform music in choirs, Orff ensemble, on unpitched instruments, recorder, ukulele or guitar.

Types of Voices:  Speaking, Singing, Whisper, Shouting, “Thinking”

In most music curriculums, children in K-1-2 are expected to be able to:
1. use each of the types of voices
2. identify each of the types of voices.
I really enjoy teaching about timbre – types of voices, timbre of classroom instruments and timbre of orchestral instruments and orchestral instrument families.  For an informal assessment, put the posters on the ledge and say a phrase using one of the voices.  Have the children point to the type of voice they hear.

Song #9 This is My Speaking Voice 

This is a great lesson in Musicplay for Kindergarten on types of voices.   The lesson includes many opportunities to assess informally if children perceive and understand speaking, singing, whisper, shouting and thinking voices.
In the activity, children learn a simple poem, and then say the poem using two kinds of voices – one voice for the first two lines, and another voice for the last two lines.  You can do this activity with the PDF printables (the posters shown above) as manipulatives.  Or with the Interactive activity below. 

The posters are printables on MusicplayOnline (song #7 in Kindergarten)

To purchase:
– Order them in the Vocal Exploration Card Set on TPT.    
– Order Vocal Exploration Cards Canada
– Order Vocal Exploration in USA


You can do the activity interactively from the SMART Board

If you want to do a formal assessment,
this is a printable assessment on types
of voices In Musicplay K (This is My
Speaking Voice)  – or Musicplayonline,
song #7 in Musicplay K

Timbre of Classroom Instruments

In most music curriculums, children in K-1-2 are expected to be able to:

  1. Identify classroom instruments visually
  2. Identify classroom instruments aurally
  3. Classify rhythm instruments as woods, metals, drums or shakes/scrapes

In the Instruments Unit at www.musicplayonline.com there are interactive activities:

Rhythm Instrument Assessments are also available in the following print 
products:    Rhythm Instrument Fun  and   Classroom Instrument Bingo   

Both of these print products have really fun activities to teach children the timbre of classroom instruments! 


Instrument Bingo



Instrument Fun


Timbre of Orchestral Instruments

In most music curriculums, children in Grades 2-6 are expected to be able to:

  1. Identify orchestral instruments visually
  2. Identify orchestral instruments aurally
  3. Classify orchestral instruments as woods, woodwinds, brass, strings and percussion

In the Instruments Unit at www.musicplayonline.com there is a fantastic unit on Instruments of the Orchestra, and many accompanying worksheets to teach and assess the instruments.

Orchestra Bingo 

This resource is a great way to learn about instruments of the orchestra and instrument families.  (There is a version of the game at www.musicplayonine.com.) . This game has always been my last lesson before a holiday.

Order either print/disk Or download version

Order in Canada

Order in USA


Assessment is a big topic and these are just a few of the ways that you might use to assess performance.  Share your ideas, rubrics and videos on the   Musicplay Teachers Facebook Group!

Purchase Classroom Instrument Bingo Order in USA    Order in Canada

Purchase   Orchestra Bingo    Order in USA  –  Order in Canada

Purchase our great set of Melody Flashcards
Canada – buy Melody Flashcards
USA and International – Melody Flashcards
Purchase the Print version of Match the Melody, with many printable assessments and projectables:
Match the Melody – Canada .   OR .   Match the Melody – USA
Purchase our great set of Rhythm Flashcards
TeachersPayTeachers – Rhythm Flashcards
Order Cardstock Flashcards from Musicplay Canada     
Order Cardstock Flashcards – USA   
Purchase Which Rhythm Do You Hear?

Which Rhythm Do You Hear?   Print Version – Canada
Which Rhythm?   Print Version – USA
Watch a quick   video on Rhythm Assessment!
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