Unpacking the Music Standards


I have been working with colleagues to make sense of the personalized learning movement. The terminology differences that exist from one resource to another can be daunting. We integrated Marzano's work with the work of the State of Vermont and establish a language framework.

My goal then was to figure out how to use the standards in my large ensemble classroom.

I found that I needed to use them as a guide and apply my own pedagogical foundations to their structure.

Core Arts Standards

State Standards = Artistic Processes (a framework with specific anchor standards)

  1. Creating = Musicianship/Expression

  2. Producing/Performing/Presenting – Mechanics and Tools for creation of Music

  3. Responding/Connecting = Transferable Skill Development

Content Proficiencies Key performance standards for music broken into Proficiency Scales with sequenced learning targets. Aligned with Anchor standards

MY PROCESS: Reviewed the Core Arts Standards - Discovered they are very broad

Went back to my original curriculum which was build around Rhythm, Pitch, Articulation, Shape and Time and Transferable skills

I realized that the process of shaping phrases and musical time in addition to interpreting music served the CREATING standard quite well. Intuitive musical response, which can be developed, is a form of creativity. Improvisation and composition is part of the creative process but it is not the primary focus of a large performance ensemble, only a component. I chose to stress musical expression as part of the CREATING process.

The Nuts and Bolts of making music were in pursuit of PRODUCING music. We need to know rhythm, pitch, articulation, etc as the tools to produce music. The connection seemed to work.

Responding and Connecting to me we part of the transferable skills that we have been developing at our school. I ran with that and discovered that the Transferable skills need to be taught and serve as the primary form of assessment in the classroom. If progress on proficiencies is not occurring, we use the transferable skills to assess why. I want to grade on process. I want the proficiency scales to informative, not punitive. They are leveled 1-4 and naturally these get translated into grades. I am going to avoid this completely and empower students to move forward using the proficiency scales asa guideline for practice and growth.

After I determined the initial alignment, I began to unpack each Proficiency into the measurable components. I did so by defining the key components needed to be successful as a musician in an ensemble. I brainstormed.

I developed small learning targets and attempted to sort targets by difficulty or natural sequence

What I still need to do:

  1. Review other curricular tools for music to see if any key constructs/learning targets are missing

  2. Going to compare with current general assessment rubrics

  3. Will develop learning scales for each proficiency

  4. Will create resources for self directed study of proficiencies

  5. Will create learning charts for each student

  6. Will develop grading plan based on Transferable skills only? If content knowledge is not being developed, won't the transferable skills reflect that?

  7. Need to decide if I should create direct links to VT standards to justify all work

I am attempting to create a working curricular document that will allow students to monitor their musical education over time. I do not want a curriculum that will just sit on a shelf. It needs to be built in a manner that is useful for my students. A guide or framework for moving forward musically. I have much more thinking and research to do. my work thus far: https://1drv.ms/x/s!AkwoGANP5Sirh5Uyw4pTwikyMIqpgA.

Feel free to comment if you happen to stumble upon this blog. Thanks

#PBL #PCBL #Music

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