National Guidelines for Marching Music

NAfME and Drum Corps International (DCI) partnered to create National Guidelines for Marching Music. These guidelines will be revised to include member comment submissions, and to align with the newest edition of the National Standards For Music Education.

NAfME OPENING STATEMENT

The marching music performance encompasses music, dance, theatre and visual arts and contributes to the development of an individual’s character, physical, musical and cognitive abilities. The marching music performance ensemble has been an integral part of American history and can be an effective component of a comprehensive music education program.

The marching arts is a unique place where students learn:
 

Musicianship Excellence Accountability
Success Integrity Character
Goals Perseverance  Commitment 
Empathy   Diversity  Physical activity 
Attitude  Performance  Excellence 

The marching music performance ensemble contributes to nurturing student performers as they learn about the challenges and guidelines of superior performances while discovering that the achievement of excellence is a process, not an event. The marching music performance ensemble is an inclusive curriculum that is devoted to student performers becoming proficient musicians, performers, team players, how to fit into a community, and self accountability. The adult life of every student is enriched by the skills, knowledge and character traits acquired in the participation of the marching music performance ensemble. Through participation in a marching music ensemble, the students learn that the value of goal setting is ultimately a set of decisions about: what to do, why to do it, and how to do it. The performers’ self-esteem increases in areas not measured through academic testing, developing creative curiosity and expressive abilities beyond the linguistic and mathematical.

Visual Guidelines

Statement of Purpose

The marching music visual guidelines describe the cumulative skills and knowledge of students participating in a marching music performance ensemble. The visual elements of a marching music performance ensemble promote the development, communication, and enhancement of the musical and auditory programming. States, local school districts, and individual teachers determine the curriculum and specific instructional activities necessary to achieve these guidelines.

Visual Content Guidelines

  1. Demonstrating and understanding movement elements, principles, and skills
  2. Demonstrating and understanding form elements, principles, and skills
  3. Presenting movement to reflect a variety of contexts (genre, style, theme)
  4. Communicating visual purpose and meaning to an audience
  5. Incorporating movement into musical performance alone and with others
  6. Performing within the context of a variety of environmental conditions and challenges
  7. Understanding and communicating individual role within the context of the ensemble
  8. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merit of the individual and collective performance
  9. Performing from memory
     

Health and Safety Guidelines

Statement of Purpose

The guidelines for health, safety and wellness are to promote knowledge and application of skills for performers to maintain a physically active and healthful life. We recognize the responsibility of the marching music arts to inculcate a sense of well-being through knowledge and application of these guidelines. The attainment of these guidelines will favorably impact their lives and those around them by being physically, mentally, socially and emotionally healthy performers.

Health and Safety Guidelines

  1. Identifying and demonstrating movement techniques (body alignment, strength, stamina)
  2. Identifying and demonstrating healthy lifestyle habits (nutrition, skin care, hydration)
  3. Demonstrating and understanding proper rehearsal techniques to insure safe, healthy, and effective rehearsal and performance (handling equipment, set up/break down)
  4. Responding and adapting to environmental conditions and changes (sun, wind, heat/cold, attire, footwear, indoor/outdoor)
  5. Demonstrate and apply critical thinking and analytical techniques and skills to insure effective performances. (leadership/followship skills, error correction techniques)
     

Music Guidelines

Statement of Purpose

The marching music performance guidelines embody the National Standards for music education and provide interdisciplinary opportunities for students to engage in meaningful performance experiences. They incorporate movement within musical performance in a variety of settings, contexts and conditions. The guidelines promote critical thinking skills and creativity for artistic expression.

Music Content Guidelines

  1. Demonstrating music literacy and skill when interpreting music
  2. Communicating musical purpose and meaning to an audience
  3. Listening and adapting to elements and principles of ensemble performance
  4. Performing expressively to demonstrate an understanding of musicianship
  5. Incorporating movement into musical performance while performing alone and with others
  6. Performing within the context of a variety of environmental conditions and challenges
  7. Presenting music to reflect a variety of contexts (genre, style, theme)
  8. Understanding and communicating individual role within the context of the ensemble
  9. Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merit of the individual and collective performance
  10. Performing from memory