Praxis Elementary Education Exam—Music Analysis

By Carla C. Kirkland, Chan Cleveland

Some questions on the Praxis Elementary Education exam will test your understanding of how to help students develop their comprehension of different elements of music.

For example, how does a work of music’s texture contribute to the emotion it arouses in listeners? What elements make up a work of music’s texture? Reflecting on and analyzing such questions helps students make informed aesthetic judgments about the music and how it functions in a given section of a given society. Such processes also help students create and evaluate their own music.

An awareness of musical property rights is extremely important in today’s world, when electronic media allow for so much access and replication. While elementary students need not know specific legal terminology, they do need to know what is right and what is wrong when it comes to “borrowing.” As in the visual arts, having students compose their own music, even if it’s just the lyrics, helps them understand the importance of respecting and protecting others’ creativity.

Practice question

  1. A fourth-grade teacher wants students to appreciate the role of a participating choir member who does not sing the melody. Which example would work best for the lesson?
    A. a player on a basketball team whose role is to pass the ball
    B. a player on a soccer team who scores the most goals
    C. a player on a baseball team who sits on the bench, waiting for a turn
    D. a player on a volleyball team who often assists the coach in helping students with their form

Answer and explanation

  1. The correct answer is Choice (A).
    The player is not as noticeable as a shooter or scorer but is an integral part of the whole, as is a choir member who sings harmony, which is usually softer than melody. Choice (B) is wrong because the player is the most noticeable, in contrast to someone who does not sing melody. Choice (C) is not the best example because the player, while an important part of the team, is not in a situation that is parallel to the participating choir member, who is engaged with the other students (singing). Choice (D) is not the best example because the player, while an important part of the team, is not in a situation that is parallel to the participating choir member, who is engaged with the other students (singing).