Assessment SRIG 2020-2022 Chair-Elect Ballot
Voting through September 20, 2020
Alden Snell, Associate Professor, Eastman School of Music
Alden Snell
Alden Snell is an Associate Professor of Music Teaching and Learning at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate music education courses, supervises student teachers, and advises graduate research. Dr. Snell holds music education degrees from Roberts Wesleyan College (BS) and the Eastman School of Music (MA, PhD). Prior to his work in higher education, Dr. Snell taught instrumental music to students in all grade levels in the Hilton (NY) and Kendall (NY) Central School Districts, including service as K-12 Director of Music in Kendall. Between completion of his doctorate and his appointment at Eastman, Dr. Snell was an Assistant Professor of Instrumental Music Education at the University of Delaware. Dr. Snell maintains an active schedule presenting at local, state, national, and international conference venues, and his research interests include teacher musicianship, generative creativity, assessment of musical behaviors, and music teacher professional development.
Position Statement
I first began thinking deeply about assessment, measurement, and evaluation of musical behaviors as a summers-only graduate student early in my public-school teaching career. Curious about the role of improvisation in improving students’ independent musicianship, I devoted my thesis to evaluating reliability and validity of rating scales designed to measure performance and improvisation achievement. Noting that measuring student achievement in this way improved my instruction, I became interested in other questions related to assessment, including philosophical debates about standards-based instruction and the role of music aptitude in assessment.

Having spent most of the past decade co-facilitating one of SMTE’s Professional Development ASPAs, I have recently found myself drawn back to the topic of assessment. I currently teach the graduate assessment seminar at Eastman, as well as a recently created undergraduate version of the course. I am co-author of a recently published literature review related to assessment of improvisation, and an assessment chapter I wrote this summer is under review for a forthcoming publication. A current research project is development of a web-based interface instrumental music teachers can use to distribute, collect, and analyze standards-based data from their students, including performance of extracted melodies, repertoire-based creativity activities, and student-generated reflections and self-evaluations.

I come to the Assessment SRIG interested in helping to lead our profession’s ongoing dialogue around this important topic and would be honored to serve as chair-elect. Thank you for considering my candidacy.
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