Why assess music potential

Everyone has the potential to succeed in music! Gain invaluable insights into students’ individual musical differences, improving instruction:

  • Keep high-aptitude students challenged and engaged
  • Provide extra support to students who need it

Music assessments can identify gifted students to recruit to a school music program.

Why should you trust this assessment?

GIA Publications, Inc. is proud to offer the best, most researched music aptitude and achievement tests on the market for students of all ages. Created by Edwin E. Gordon, a leading scholar in music testing and music education, these tests are the most valid and reliable available today.

Download validation studies below.


Instrument Timbre Preference Test—Now Available in Online Format!

Studies show that when students like the sound of an instrument, they are more likely to be successful in learning to play it.

Help your student choose the ideal instrument based on their aural preferences with Edwin E. Gordon’s Instrument Timbre Preference Test(ITP).

This test acts as an objective aid to teachers and parents in helping a student select an appropriate woodwind, brass, or string instrument to learn to play in private or class instrumental music instruction as well as in band or orchestra. Test results indicate a student’s likes and dislikes of sounds associated with various woodwind, brass, and string instruments.

With 22 minutes of listening time, testing can be done in under thirty minutes. The results will be available for you (the teacher) immediately after the student completes the test. For students in 3rd through 12th grades.

A score of 10, 11, and 12 for the categories indicate a preference for these timbres.

  • Flute and Violin
  • Clarinet and Viola
  • Saxophone, French Horn, and Viola
  • Oboe, English Horn, and Bassoon

A score of 9, 10, 11, and 12 indicate a preference for these timbres.

  • Trumpet and Cornet
  • Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, French Horn, and Cello
  • Tuba, Sousaphone, and String Bass

A score of 2, 1, or 0 indicate a strong preference AGAINST the sound of the instruments in those categories.

Click here to download the Guidebook for the Instrument Timbre Preference Test

Prefer to order a traditional testing kit? Click here for more information.

How It Works

GIAMusicAssessment.com is a dynamic online tool for music teachers that will effortlessly and accurately assess the ease with which students learn music. You simply purchase the appropriate assessment, your students complete it (no prior music training is needed), and then you get the results! PMMA (Grades K–3) or IMMA (Grades 1–6) can be administered in two 15-minute sessions on two different days, AMMA (Grades 7–College) can be administered in one 20-minute session, and the Instrument Timbre Preference Test (ITP) can be administered in around 30 minutes. All three assessments (PMMA, IMMA and AMMA) yield tonal, rhythm, and composite scores and percentiles. The ITP test yields a ranking list of instrument preferences.

Which tool should I use?

Each of the three assessments are based on grade level. The PMMA is for grades K–3. The IMMA is for older children (grades 1–6) or younger children who find the PMMA too easy, and the AMMA is for older students, grades 7 through college.

Students entering an upper elementary or middle school music program should select IMMA.

The Instrument Timbre Preference Test(ITP) is for students in 3rd through 12th grades.

What's Included?
  • Import an entire class using our convenient tools, or add each student individually
  • View raw scores or percentiles
  • Securely store or export the results
What Does It Cost?

Your Account is Free! Then purchase assessment credits starting at $.70 each with a school P.O. or with a credit card. Use 1 credit per student per Assessment for PMMA, IMMA, and ITP or 2 credits per student per assessment for AMMA.

The price per credit is based on the number of credits purchased in a single transaction.

Number of Credits Price per Credit
1 $5.00
2 - 5 $4.00
6 - 10 $3.00
11 - 20 $2.00
21 - 100 $1.00
101 - 200 $0.90
201 - 400 $0.80
401 or more $0.70

Sample the Assessments

We've created a samples of both the Primary Measures of Music Audiation(PMMA) and the Advanced Measures of Music Audiation(AMMA) assessments for you to try. The IMMA interface is very similar to the PMMA, except the IMMA audio clips are more challenging. The samples will take you through the launch of the assessment through the first two audio clip pairs. A sample ITP test is coming soon.

Can a student’s music potential change over time?

Yes! Research shows that students under 10 have music aptitude levels that can fluctuate. Administer PMMA or IMMA at the outset of the school year and again at the end to document a child’s overall change and to evaluate instruction. Proper instruction in music can impact a student for life. Understanding student learning helps teachers adapt instruction for future generations of students!