Curriculum Units for the 2014 Music Responding Standards
Created through the Teaching with Primary Sources program of the Library of Congress
Scroll down to access the curriculum units.
New – Learn about additional resources through The Virtual Ensemble Project on the Connecticut Music Educators Association web page, sponsored in part by a grant from The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, facilitated by Waynesburg University.
In July 2016, NAfME received a 3-year project grant from the Library of Congress to participate in the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program. Focused on helping educators connect to the Library’s digitized archives, and helping teachers learn how to incorporate primary sources into the classroom, NAfME has used the TPS funds to create curriculum units connected to the Library’s vast resources in music, including audio, video, still images, and sheet music files.
In Year 1, two teams of teachers created curriculum units in General Music and Chorus. You can find these modules using the links below. Each unit contains multiple lesson plans based on an inquiry model of teaching, and with many opportunities to incorporate primary sources from the Library of Congress’ online collections, including the National Jukebox, featuring archival recordings. The units are based on the 2014 National Music Standards, featuring the Responding Artistic Process, where students are engaged in listening to, analyzing, and responding via written work, dialogue, research, composition, and performance to music.
Years 2 and 3 of the project have focused on Responding as a catalyst for carrying out the Performing and Creating processes. NAfME’s proposal to the Library for two years of additional funding was accepted, and writing teams are currently investigating the application of Responding understandings to songwriting in middle school general music and for harmonizing instruments. With the completion of this five-year project, units will be available for all National Music Standards content strands, with many already found in the links below.
Click here to learn about the writing and leadership teams for this project.
District responses to the 2020–2021 COVID-19 pandemic indicated a need to create units for multiple venues: in-person traditional classrooms as well as for students and teachers working virtually. The Harmonizing instrument Units have been designed to provide flexibility in accommodating diverse settings, with suggestions for online learning embedded in each unit.
- Harmonizing Instruments/Guitar Unit—Proficient Level
- Harmonizing Instruments/Guitar Unit—Intermediate Level
Small Instrumental and Vocal Ensembles
District responses to the 2020–2021 COVID-19 pandemic necessitated major changes to the traditional chorus, band, and orchestra organization, performance, meeting frequency, and membership. These Small Ensemble Units have been designed to provide flexibility in accommodating those changes, and they can also be used with full-size performing ensembles.
- Small Vocal Ensembles—Intermediate Level
- Small Vocal Ensembles—Accomplished Level
- Small Instrumental Ensembles—Intermediate Level
- Small Instrumental Ensembles—Accomplished Level
High School Music Theory/Composition
The Composition/Theory units are organized by high school proficiency levels (Proficient, Accomplished, Advanced), and, while they focus on the language of those standards, are also appropriate for high school composition classes or lessons. They apply the tenets of the Responding process to personal Creating, and also include attention to Technology standards.
- Composition & Music Theory Responding Unit—Proficient Level
- Composition & Music Theory Responding Unit—Accomplished Level
- Composition & Music Theory Responding Unit—Advanced Level
- More coming soon
The Chorus units are arranged by each level in the Performing Ensembles standards – Novice, Intermediate, Proficient, Accomplished, Advanced. The first two levels are typically pre-high school, with the last three levels typically high school.
- Chorus Responding Unit—Proficient Level
- Chorus Responding Unit—Novice Level
- Chorus Responding Unit—Accomplished Level
- Chorus Responding Unit—Advanced Level
The General Music units are available at the 2nd, 5th, and 8th grade levels. Teachers are welcome to modify up or down to fit the needs of their classroom.
- General Music—Grade 2, Responding to Music through Listening
- General Music—Grade 2, Responding to Music through Movement
- General Music Responding Unit—Grade 5
- General Music Responding Unit—Grade 8
The following General Music units are focused on using the Responding process to inform the Creating of new music.
- General Music Responding Unit—Kindergarten
- General Music Responding through Creating—Grade 2
- General Music Responding to and Creating Blues Music—Grade 5
- General Music Responding Playlist Unit—Grade 8
- General Music Responding through Creating Unit—High School, Proficient Level
- More to come
The Orchestra units are arranged by each level in the Performing Ensembles standards – Novice, Intermediate, Proficient, Accomplished, Advanced. The first two levels are typically pre-high school, with the last three levels typically high school.
- Orchestra Responding Unit—Proficient Level
- Orchestra Responding Unit—Novice Level
- Orchestra Responding Unit—Intermediate Level
- Orchestra Responding Unit—Accomplished Level
- Orchestra Responding Unit—Advanced Level
The Band units are arranged by each level in the Performing Ensembles standards – Novice, Intermediate, Proficient, Accomplished, Advanced. The first two levels are typically pre-high school, with the last three levels typically high school.
- Band Responding Unit—Proficient Level
- Band Responding Unit—Novice Elementary Level
- Band Responding Unit—Novice Secondary Level
- Band Responding Unit—Intermediate Level
- Band Responding Unit—Accomplished Level
- Band Responding Unit—Advanced Level
In 2019-2020, NAfME will be working on units for two grade levels of Middle School General Music and four proficiency levels of Harmonizing Instruments, focusing on applying students’ understanding gained through Responding to the songwriting process. If you are interested in piloting any of these new modules, please contact Johanna Siebert, Project Director.
For More Information
- Library of Congress
- Teaching with Primary Sources at the Library of Congress
- Analyzing Sound Recordings
- Analyzing Sheet Music
Content created and featured in partnership with the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.