NAfME Teaching with Primary Sources Curriculum Units for the 2014 Music Standards 

Music has been used to express and shape the human experience. As Aaron Copland noted, “One can no more say what music is than one can say what life itself is. But if music is beyond definition, perhaps we can hope to elucidate in what way the art of music is expressive of the human spirit.” This unit plan will explore the following questions as a means of better understanding the human spirit as embodied in musical experiences: 

  • Why is music so important to us?
  • How do composers and performers use music to tell a story?
  • Who/what else shapes the story?
  • How does the music reflect the human spirit?
  • What story am I telling? Where do I fit in?
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  • Standards

Resource Type

  • Classroom Resource
  • Curriculum
  • Lesson Plan
  • Publication
  • Teaching Guide
  • Teaching Tip / Idea


  • Orchestra

Year Added


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