NAfME, as a part of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, has re-imagined the 1994 National Standards. Released June 4, 2014, these new Core Arts Standards can be found in a searchable, web-based format that allows users to look across all art forms.
The following are key documents for music teachers:
Standards. Note that these are provided in “strands” that represent the principal ways music instruction is delivered in the United States.
- View a short video about this structure.
- View a 40-minute webinar about the standards and what they mean to music teachers.
When reading the standards, note that content new to any given level appears in italic type.
- Core Music Standards (PreK-8)
- Core Music Standards (Composition-Theory Strand)
- Core Music Standards (Technology Strand)
- Core Music Standards (Guitar-Harmonizing Instruments Strand)
- Core Music Standards (Ensemble Strand)
Context and Explanation. The Core Music Standards are written in the context of Artistic Processes (with process components), Enduring Understandings, and Essential Questions. Those elements, and words used in the Standards, are defined in these documents:
Student Assessment. The Core Music Standards were developed with an eye to student assessment. Model Cornerstone Assessments (MCAs) for the Performing aspect of the Standards appear here. More MCAs are in development, and a system for field-testing is also in process.
- Music MCA General Music Grade 2 Performing
- Music MCA General Music Grade 5 Performing
- Music MCA General Music Grade 8 Performing
- Music MCA Ensemble Middle School Performing
- Music MCA Ensemble HS Performing
Opportunities to Learn and Advocacy. While new Opportunity to Learn Standards are in development, the existing Opportunity to Learn standards still apply. Check out NAfME’s Broader Minded website for advocacy ideas, and look for the upcoming Solutions Music Group, being formed to help your school district work through implementing the Standards.
Credits. The Core Music Standards were written by individuals with more than 1,800 years of experience teaching PreK-12 music: 540 years in general music, 1,000 years in ensembles, 130 years in teaching with and through technology, and 200 years of teaching theory/composition. In addition, the standards writing teams reached out to and involved a group of expert Research Advisers for input based on current pedagogical research. A list of the principal contributors appears at Core Music Standards Contributors.
Archives. Archived Standards appear here.