In the school system, there's somewhat of a divide between individuals who believe in Report Cards, and those who do not. Particularly, providing a number or mark associated to how well students are doing.
I fall somewhere in the middle of this divide-
While I feel it's important for both students and parents to know how the individual student is progressing from lesson to lesson, I do not feel numerical or letter grades reflect the progressive path of learning music. Instead, I've always loved Parent-Teacher Conferences as everyone is able to speak face-to-face in a comfortable setting to discuss the student's works and progress. This time is also great to establish goals together so everyone involved in the students learning is aware of what to work on.
Currently (and in the past), I have set goals with the student at the beginning of the year (September), review the goal by December and decide whether we should extend the time frame to fully meet the goal, or if the goal has been met. 80% of the time, parents are not aware of these goals -even though it's been discussed after setting said goal and the goals are taped into their music books (parents are busy!), and students usually forget about the goal.
In the near future, I would like to organize Parent-Teacher Conferences to discuss the student's progress, areas to work on, as well as strengths and High 5's :)
To use this scheduled time (not-charged) to ensure positive support is understood between parent and teacher, to ensure the best learning outcome for the student.
Working together! ...over tea and probably some yummy treats :)
There is nothing wrong with grading or marks, from experience I know some students thrive on this type of assessment! But, I will leave the numerical grading to the RCM Examiners, unless strongly suggested by the student - I may provide a general idea of how the student is doing in terms of a letter grade or mark :)