The purpose of this study was to determine whether the perceptions of observers who are informed of the proximal goals of instruction differ from those who are not so informed. Music education majors (N = 120) viewed one of three randomly assigned stimulus tapes. Each stimulus tape contained seven teaching episodes. Subjects wrote brief statements about their observations and rated the quality of the teaching while they watched each of the episodes. Half the subjects (n = 60) were informed of the instructional goals addressed in each of the episodes; the remaining subjects (n = 60) were not so informed. Observers' written statements were classified according to topic, depth, and evaluative quality. Subjects not informed of the instructional goals wrote significantly more teacher-directed, inferential, and positive statements than did the subjects who were informed of the instructional goah. In both observation conditions, 80% of the written observations pertained to the teachers, and only 14% pertained to the students. Subjects' mean ratings of teaching quality did not differ significantly between the observation conditions.