Real art is one of the most powerful forces in the rise of mankind, and he who renders it accessible to as many people as possible is a benefactor of humanity - The Selected Writings of Zoltan Kodaly, 1954.
Music has made major contributions to every civilization throughout history. Virtually all people like some kind of music and have some contact with music in their daily lives. Because of its universal importance, music education should be accessible to all students. Just as all children should learn to read, all children should have and understanding of their musical heritage.
Music has unlocked profound human understanding and accomplishment, and has given coherence, depth and resonance to other academic subjects. The primary task of music education is to train young people to know, love, and respond to music; to be able to carefully evaluate the music they listen to and the music they perform; and to understand the world and its music that permeates everything we do. To achieve these goals, certain skills must be developed using systematic, sequential learnings.
Students experience music through the conceptual elements of melody, rhythm, form, harmony, tempo, dynamics and tone color and how they are interrelated to contribute to the overall musical experience. An on-going process of discriminating, comparing, generalizing, and organizing sound helps students grow in their musical sensitivity.
Students must develop skills necessary for a satisfying and rewarding experience both in the performance of music and in listening to it. Skill instruction is organized through the activities of listening, singing, moving, playing, and reading and writing of music. Skill development and conceptual development are interactive in process.
Administrators, classroom teachers and music specialist teachers will find support in the planning, delivery and assessment of instruction in music by clicking on the appropriate content link (e.g., Elementary Music or Secondary Music) below. There you will find Arts Instructional Guides (AIGs) and secondary course descriptions. There are helpful resources and PD information in the other links.
For administrators wishing to grow and nurture the music program at their school, its success is dependent on two key factors: the support of the school administration and the abilities of the instructor. It is the responsibility of the music teacher to have:
- understanding of the age level with which s/he is working.
- ability to motivate and sustain interest and to help each child progress in musical expression.
- musicianship which includes sensitivity to aesthetic and musical values.
- imagination and creative ability to meet the individual needs of children.
- knowledge of worthwhile material appropriate to the ability and age of the pupils. The material will need to fit the group, the instructor, and the occasion for which it is intended.
- knowledge of technique of the area taught and its teaching methods.
- skill in planning the year's work. S/he needs to have valid reasons for working on the music the group is playing.
- ability to cooperate with classroom teachers, other music teachers, administrators, supervisors, and coordinators in the district.
- knowledge of the total educational program.
- ability to build good public relations.
Please contact the Arts Education Branch to learn more about growing a program at your school.
K-12 Arts Specialist