The White Belt Test is the first belt test for beginning string musicians. It covers terms for parts of the instrument and bow. The study guide ‘Instrument Parts’ is a perfect activity for the first days of class before everyone has an instrument.
Fill in the 'Instrument Parts' worksheet as a class. Teacher should hold up an instrument to describe and show the different parts of the instrument to the class. Use a document camera or smart board to ensure that all spelling is accurate for home study.
After about 3 weeks, administer the test; award white belts (white ribbons, ~9" long) to students that earn a 95% or higher on the test. They can tie these ribbons in a bow around the scroll of their instrument (basses will need 2 ribbons or an extra-long ribbon). [I only allow one ribbon per passed test and I share that with students to avoid the 'I lost my ribbon' discussions.]
Students that don't pass the first time should be allowed to correct their tests until they pass. I allow 1-2 opportunities to correct the test in the week following the test. After that, limit retakes to about once a week to provide the necessary class time for performance preparation. I award ribbons whenever students earn their belts but they can only have the points reflected in the grade book through the end of the first quarter.
Follow up the White Belt Test with the Yellow Belt test in Quarter 1. The Yellow Belt is a playing test that should reflect playing technique through month 1. Some examples of songs I’ve used in the past are ‘1 octave D Major Scale’, ‘Twinkle’, ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’; all pizzicato and memorized. Cater the difficulty to the abilities of you class.