2014 Music Standards

When reading the standards, note that content new to any given level appears in italic type.

Context and Explanation. The 2014 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:


View the National Standards Comparison chart: 1994 versus 2014


  • Nicholas Germer

    So why are there not standards for beginning band objectives such as instrument care, beginning instrument objectives, music notation reading and understanding? Am I not finding them?

    • David Jamil Godbold

      I would imagine that the standards are meant for assessment, it’s hard to do an assessment on instrument care.

      It would mean Math Standards should have care for math instruments: calculators, protractors… and literacy would have to have book care.

      • okorpheus

        And heave forbid we have anything in education that doesn’t have assessment as the end goal.

  • Lynn Tuttle

    All the skills that you have outlined ARE vital for beginning band. But – they are skills underlying the creation and performance of music (as well as responding to the music) as new band students. The standards focus on these artistic processes – understanding that the skills are necessary in support of those processes.

    NAfME’s Councils of Band, Orchestra, General Music, etc. have been working on building the “supporting documentation” of what the knowledge, skills and dispositions are for each of the new areas of the standards. So – you can look at the knowledge, skills and dispositions page to see how the Band Council is starting to build out skills/knowledge underneath the standards. http://www.nafme.org/my-classroom/standards/knowledge-skills-and-dispositions/ Currently there is information for novice (beginning) band for creating music, which should give you a sense of how the skills support the standards.

    You can also have visit the Arizona standards. In our 2015 revision, we attempted to “marry” the foundational skills in our older standards to the processes in the new 2014 Music Standards. You can find those for performing ensembles (including beginning band) here: http://azartsstandards.com/sites/default/files/2015%20AZ%20Academic%20Standards%20in%20the%20Arts%20-%20Music%2C%20Performing%20Ensembles%20-%20Novice%20to%20Advanced.pdf

    Hope this helps! You can always email me with further questions at lynnt@nafme.org. Thank you!

  • Brian

    These standards completely ignore the thought process in producing a quality tone, maintaining good intonation, reading rhythms, notes, articulations, expressive terms, all while lining up with 80 other students playing multiple parts to produce a musical performance. Band, Orchestra, and Choir are PERFORMANCE focused classes. Most of our time is spent on skills and interpretation of quality music. Some improvisation and composition is important. However, just as one must learn to hear and speak before reading and writing, it takes years of singing alone and with others, then playing alone and then with others, then reading music, before writing music in a substantial way can take place.