Overview of 2014 Music Standards



The 2014 Music Standards are all about Music Literacy. The standards emphasize conceptual understanding in areas that reflect the actual processes in which musicians engage. The standards cultivate a student’s ability to carry out the three Artistic Processes* of

  • Creating,
  • Performing, and
  • Responding.

These are the processes that musicians have followed for generations, even as they connect through music to their selves and their societies. And isn’t competence in Creating, Performing, and Responding what we really want for our students?

Students need to have experience in creating, to be successful musicians and to be successful 21st century citizens.

Students need to perform – as singers, as instrumentalists, and in their lives and careers.

Students need to respond to music, as well as to their culture, their community, and their colleagues.

The new standards provide teachers with frameworks that closely match the unique goals of their specialized classes. The standards are presented in a grade-by-grade sequence from pre-K through grade 8, and discrete strands address common high-school music classes, such as Ensembles and Music Composition/Theory. The standards are provided in “strands” that represent the principal ways music instruction is delivered in the United States.

Click here to read the new 2014 Music Standards.

Click here to access the new State Standards Adoption Toolkit!

Click here for videos, FAQ, and more information on how the standards structure works in practice.

Click here for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards site, which has a searchable database of the standards in all the arts.

Click here for Standards resources and workbooks (click on “Standards” in the left-hand navigation of the page).

More Information…

The Standards

What exactly are the new music standards?
How do they compare to the 1994 music standards?

Opportunity to Learn Standards

What curriculum and scheduling, staffing, materials and equipment, and facilities are needed to support the music standards?

Developing Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions

How can I build these into my lesson plan using the new music standards?

Student Assessment/MCAs

Now that I have the new music standards, how do I evaluate my student’s progress?
What are Model Cornerstone Assessments, and how can I be involved?

Additional Resources, Copyright, and Credits


 *The National Coalition for Core Arts Standards, of which NAfME is a part, includes “Connecting” as a fourth Artistic Process. The music standards consider connecting to be embedded in the processes of Creating, Performing, and Responding.