Curriculum and Instruction

The Arts

Standard 3 - Music

Key idea: Students will demonstrate the capacity to listen to and comment on music. They will relate their critical assertions about music to its aesthetic, structural, acoustic, and psychological qualities. Students will use concepts based on the structure of music’s content and context to relate music to other broad areas of knowledge. They will use concepts from other disciplines to enhance their understanding of music.

Performance Indicators


Students will:

  • through listening, identify the strengths and weaknesses of specific musical works and performances, including their own and others’
  • describe the music in terms related to basic elements such as melody, rhythm, harmony, dynamics, timbre, form, style, etc.
  • discuss the basic means by which the voice and instruments can alter pitch, loudness, duration, and timbre
  • describe the music’s context in terms related to its social and psychological functions and settings (e.g., roles of participants, effects of music, uses of music with other events or objects, etc.)
  • describe their understandings of particular pieces of music and how they relate to their surroundings


Students will:

  • through listening, analyze and evaluate their own and others’ performances, improvisations, and compositions by identifying and comparing them with similar works and events
  • use appropriate terms to reflect a working knowledge of the musical elements
  • demonstrate a basic awareness of the technical skills musicians must develop to produce an aesthetically acceptable performance
  • use appropriate terms to reflect a working knowledge of social-musical functions and uses (appropriate choices of music for common ceremonies and other events)
  • use basic scientific concepts to explain how music-related sound is produced, transmitted through air, and perceived
  • use terminology from music and other arts to analyze and compare the structures of musical and other artistic and literary works


Students will:

  • through listening, analyze and evaluate their own and others’ performances improvisations, and compositions and suggest improvements
  • read and write critiques of music that display a broad knowledge of musical elements, genres, and styles
  • use anatomical and other scientific terms to explain the musical effectiveness of various sound sources— traditional, nontraditional, and electronic
  • use appropriate technical and socio-cultural terms to describe musical performances and compositions
  • identify and describe the contributions of both locally and internationally known exemplars of high quality in the major musical genres
  • explain how performers, composers, and arrangers make artistic decisions

Commencement Major Sequence

Students will:

  • assess, describe, and evaluate the development of their personal contributions to their own, their school’s, and their community’s musical life by appropriately using musical and socio-cultural terms and concepts (contributions and skills of musicians, functions of music in society, etc.)
  • demonstrate a practical knowledge of sound production and architectural acoustics to predict the general effects on sound of room shapes, building construction practices, and common absorbers
Last Updated: April 16, 2009