What do the new Core Arts Standards actually mean for music education?
Last Friday, February 14, the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS) released the final drafts of their Core Arts standards. The standards - including the Music standards - are on public review until February 28. I’ve started the process of reading through them and, honestly, I…
I skimmed the NCCAS and I find most of it good, but I take issue with accountability the same way teachers of other subjects do. I teach middle school general where I have about a 50/50 split of students who do and don’t participate in performing ensembles. The students without a performing background come to me barely understanding how to read music—not my fault—and it’s my choice to gear my class in ways that I can avoid traditional notation. Without technology resources, the projects I use are often at a more elementary level (think 4th-5th grade) just so I can get everyone involved.
I am HOPING I can change this in some ways next year with my 30 brand new ukuleles. However, I’ll still be focusing on lead sheet notation and chord diagrams.
I would be the first on the protest lines against music testing. Within a 50 mile radius, every school I’ve attended/student taught in/subbed in/interacted with via county festivals, has such radically different resources and programs that I think this would be ridiculous. Unless it means the state will give us money to purchase instruments, hire back staff, and give us proper professional development.