Suggested Restructuring for Draft Standards

Here is an idea of how the NCCAS writing team might take some common suggestions into consideration in revising the draft document of the new Music Core Standards. First, what I did:

  1.  Consolidated “Imagine/Plan/Make” and added the phrases “prior knowledge” and “specified guidelines” to imply creating based on experience and guidance. Kept a division between composition and improvisation (not as important, but I liked the way the old ones read).
  2. Moved “Select” to the end of both Performing and Responding processes, where it belongs as a higher-order thinking skill based on foundational skills.
  3. Added a “read” component to the Perform: Analyze component.
  4. Added a list of what “Perform” means.
  5. Made minor changes to language in several places for clarity.
  6. Added an “interpret” standard to the creating process. Thanks, Brian Wis!

This is of course just one person’s ideas, and I’m sure it can be improved on, but I think there is a lot of clarity here for me compared to what is currently in the draft document, and I didn’t really remove anything! Feel free to use any or all of these suggestions if you like them for the review survey.

Artistic Processes

  • Creating
    • Process Component: Imagine/Plan/Make
      • Anchor Standard: Improvise melodies, variations, and accompaniments based on prior knowledge, specified guidelines, and free exploration.
      • Anchor Standard: Compose and arrange music based on prior knowledge, specified guidelines, and exploration.
    • Process Component: Evaluate/Refine
      • Anchor Standard: Evaluate and refine improvisations, compositions, and arrangements based on specified guidelines and peer/teacher feedback.
    • Process Component: Present
      • Anchor Standard: Perform, notate, and/or record original works.
    • Process Component: Make/Refine/Present
      • Anchor Standard: Interpret existing compositions using new creative ideas.
  • Performing
    • Process Component: Read/Analyze
      • Anchor Standard: Read notation and analyze the structure and content of the piece to inform performance.
    • Process Component: Interpret
      • Anchor Standard: Create personal interpretations of repertoire that consider creator’s intent.
    • Process Component: Rehearse/Evaluate/Refine
      • Anchor Standard: Develop, evaluate and refine personal or ensemble performances individually or in collaboration with others.
    • Process Component: Perform/Present
      • Anchor Standard: Sing, play on instruments, and/or present through other media (body percussion, movement, digital) a varied repertoire of music, using expression, technical accuracy, and context.
    • Process Component: Select
      • Anchor Standard: Collaboratively select some work(s) to present based on interest, knowledge, ability and context.
  • Responding
    • Process Component: Interpret

      • Describe and support an interpretation of work(s) and/or performances that reflects the creator’s/ performer’s expressive intent.
    • Process Component: Analyze
      • Anchor Standard: Explain how your analysis of the structure and context of the work influence your response.
    • Process Component: Evaluate
      • Anchor Standard: Evaluate and support their evaluation of work(s) and/or performance(s) based on analysis, interpretation, and established criteria.
    • Process Component: Select
      • Anchor Standard: Select work(s) of music for a specific purpose or situation, and support the choice.

7 thoughts on “Suggested Restructuring for Draft Standards

  1. I would also like to see make/refine/present anchor standards for *interpretations* of existing compositions as a valued aspect of the creation process. Bringing printed music to fruition is a creative process in its own right.

      1. The only problem I see now is that the interpreting standards are redundant. Is there a way to link/combine them without losing this connection to creating?

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for your leadership in this issue. You’ve spent a lot of time processing the standards and making usable suggestions. They really helped me fill out the survey. I completely agree that this is not the direction our country should go. There’s no provision in the standards for active music making. Without that, especially at the youngest ages, there can be no real understanding or basis for creativity. Musical skills are the foundation for musical thinking. They can most effectively passed on by a trained music educator. Reading the standards does not reinforce this concept. I hope the writers are listening and will make revisions. Otherwise I fear the loss of our musical heritage.

  3. On the contrary, Judy, these new standards place PRIMARY emphasis on thoughtful “active music making,” by encouraging teachers to help their students to do what artists do. One process is Performing, and another Creating, the two main ways we make music; only the third process involves the audience role. In each case, students will learn the understandings and the skills (skills will be added in future drafts) necessary for independent music making.

    One of the challenges in designing a model is to identify an appropriate organizational structure. The three processes are authentic, in that they reflect what artists do. They also, as Professor Brophy points out, provide an opportunity for measurement… which is one reason why they were used to organize NAEP.
    Check out my president’s column in the June 2011 MEJ to see how the shared elements among the processes — such as analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating — are valuable because they provide opportunities for students to transfer what they learn through one process to another. This is, for example, why students who learn to carry out the performing process thoughtfully, by eventually learning to carry out the verbs — rather than through rote learning — will become more effective at responding. Likewise. students who compose will become better performers.
    By recognizing these connections among processes the artistic process model is far less siloed than were the original 1994 national arts standards, which separated inherently related activities such as singing, notation, and evaluating into separate content standards. Hopefully the artistic process model will encourage more connected teaching and learning.

    I am encouraging the many active PreK-12 teachers who serve on our standards writing subcommittees and review teams to read blog posts, including Tim’s suggestions.

    Thanks for your input!

    1. Thanks, Scott! While we are being as helpful as we can, I think what would have (in hindsight) been more efficient is for NCCAS to host a forum as well as the survey on their website. A survey gives you one person’s thoughts at one time. By “crowd-sourcing” like we are doing here (or could be done through a forum), we get time to process, think, and adapt our suggestions. We also learn from each other, as I have in Brian Wis’ concerns about the performing strand being seen as less creative. I’m sure there were many interactions like that between the writing teams!

    2. Also, on FaceBook there are long strands of conversation on both the Music Teachers group and the AOSA group. And probably more that I’m not aware of.

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