K. Music (for students ages 3-18+)



Checklist - anchor

Application/Examples - anchor 

Note.  Printed with permission from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, (Music Standards, 2000), www.nbpts.org. All rights reserved.


___a. Knowledge of students

___b. Valuing diversity

___c. Knowledge of and skills in music

___d. Facilitating music learning

___e. Learning environments

___f. Instructional resources

___g. Family collaboration

___h. Assessment

___i. Reflection and professional growth

___j. Professional contribution and collaboration


___a. Knowledge of students

  • Teachers' expert knowledge of students enables them to deliver high-quality music instruction that is developmentally appropriate and that meets the needs of each student.

  • Teachers understand all aspects of human development as related to the development of musical ability in the age group they teach. They also understand how musical experiences can help shape the cognitive and physical development of students.

  • Early childhood music teachers understand the importance of early musical experiences and exploration in developing musical potential, as well as lifelong interest in music.

  • Choral teachers of young adolescents understand the unique challenges presented by students' changing voices.

  • Instrumental teachers understand the physical demands of each instrument and develop appropriate strategies to orient and instruct students in accordance with this knowledge. 

  • Teachers are knowledgeable about the forms and pace that cognitive, social, and physical development take in young people, and they are aware that individuals mature at different rates. In addition, they understand that even the youngest students have the capacity to explore and learn about the music they hear and perform on a daily basis.

  • Teachers are knowledgeable about how musical ability develops, and they use this knowledge to plan and implement age-appropriate music instruction.

  • Teachers continually learn about their students and use this information to shape instructional decisions.

___b. Valuing diversity 

  • Teachers have a welcoming attitude and are eager to work with each of their students. They understand the many ways in which students distinguish themselves from their peers, and they respond appropriately with strategies that will not only advance each student's learning but also help both teacher and student to understand themselves and each other better.

  • Teachers are sensitive to their students as cultural beings; thus they understand the importance of respecting the cultural norms that students bring with them from home.

  • Teachers are attuned to the special needs of particular students--from those with learning disabilities to those with special gifts and talents to those with particular cognitive, social, emotional, linguistic, or physical needs. Teachers' basic stance is one of acceptance, support, and encouragement.

___c. Knowledge of and skills in music 

  • As accomplished musicians, music teachers possess highly developed performance and musicianship skills and an in-depth core knowledge of the subject they teach. As accomplished music teachers, they also have highly specialized knowledge and skills in at least one curricular area: choral, instrumental, or generic music. By drawing on their comprehensive knowledge and skills in music, they are able to plan and deliver music instruction that is rich in content and applications, challenging and engaging to students, and sequential in nature.

  • Teachers are able to perform in a primary performance area (instrument or voice) and demonstrate artistic self-expression, technical proficiency, a broad knowledge of the repertoire of their particular performance medium, and the ability to sight-read advanced music. Teachers also demonstrate well-developed skills and competencies in a secondary performance area and are able to use this instrument as an effective teaching tool.

  • Teachers are adept at improvising, composing, and arranging. They use technology, as appropriate, to assist in creating improvisations, compositions, and arrangements.

  • Teachers are able to compose music for voices, instruments, and electronic media, demonstrating familiarity with the media and knowledge of the ways in which the elements of music can be used to achieve various musical effects.

  • Teachers demonstrate creativity, technical skill, and musicality in arranging music for their performing groups or classes.

  • Teachers demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the elements of music and their interaction. They are able to analyze musical works, presented visually or aurally, in terms of their form or genre, the principles by which they are organized, their cultural or historical context, their use of the elements of music, and the expressive devices they employ.

  • Teachers are able to evaluate music and music performances, including the compositions, arrangements, performances, and improvisations of their students, by comparing them with peer or exemplary models and explaining the criteria and bases of the evaluation.

___d. Facilitating music learning 

  • Teachers not only possess the skills and knowledge called for in the relevant music standards for students, including skills and knowledge in improvisation and composition, but also demonstrate the ability to teach those skills and impart that knowledge.

  • Teachers incorporate at least some instruction in creating, performing, listening to, and analyzing music in every instructional setting, while still focusing on the specific subject matter traditionally emphasized in that setting.

  • Teachers are able to relate music to larger concerns of society and to teach music in its cultural and historical contexts.

  • Teachers demonstrate the ability to work effectively with students individually, in small groups, and in large groups, in classrooms and in rehearsal settings. They are able to demonstrate good performance techniques for students, and they provide role models as comprehensive musicians by letting students see that creating, performing, listening to, and analyzing music are important activities in the teachers' personal and professional lives.

  • Teachers demonstrate a broad knowledge of instructional materials and the ability to select materials that are developmentally appropriate and challenging for the students, suitable for the teaching strategy employed and for the instructional setting, and among the best of their genre at that level of difficulty.

  • Teachers demonstrate a broad knowledge of instructional strategies and the ability to select strategies that are developmentally appropriate, well suited to the instructional setting and the content being taught, varied in recognition of the varied learning styles of individual learners.

  • Teachers are knowledgeable about and able to use current instructional technology and media in teaching students to create, perform, listen to, and analyze music.

  • Teachers are able to collaborate effectively with classroom teachers, other music or arts teachers, and teachers of other disciplines in designing and leading instructional experiences for students. They also work collaboratively with colleagues at other levels to ensure continuity of music curriculum and instruction from elementary through high school.

___e. Learning environments: 

  • Teachers create supportive, congenial, and purposeful learning environments where students are challenged and encouraged to learn and grow and where they feel welcomed, valued, and respected. Such an environment is emotionally and intellectually safe. Moreover, intellectual adventurousness is encouraged, and students participate in active learning and decision-making, knowing that they belong and that their ideas matter.

  • Teachers set high standards for the behavior of their students and the quality of their work and performance. They use a variety of approaches to keep students engaged in productive musical activities and to establish and uphold reasonable expectations for behavior.

  • Developing responsible students allows teachers to direct their attention and effort to positive interactions and learning. They work to involve all students in meaningful music learning, setting substantive and developmentally appropriate goals for each.

  • Teachers work to help each student achieve meaningful goals in music, modifying or adapting instruction to best challenge and meet the needs of individual students, including those identified as having special needs or abilities.

  • As they choose curriculum and develop materials for use in their classes, teachers seek to provide learners with opportunities to interact and make relevant personal and musical decisions. They seek to expose students to a range of musical experiences, different points of view, cultural and ethnic variety, career options, and opportunities to collaborate with their peers.

  • Teachers develop in students the skills needed to work cooperatively and effectively as part of an ensemble or group. They model and teach the skills necessary for participation in group and provide ample opportunity for students to hone these skills in the course of their learning.

___f. Instructional resources 

  • Teachers select, adapt, and create materials to meet the differing needs and abilities of their students, including those with special needs and abilities. They have effective strategies for the acquisition, preparation, adaptation, and maintenance of musical instruments.

  • Teachers stay abreast of technological advancements in their field as part of their dedication to professional growth. They are familiar with and, where applicable and available, display competence in the use of appropriate technological tools for lesson plan development, instruction, record keeping, assessment, research, musical performance, and a variety of other tasks.

  • To enrich the learning experience, teachers enlist the knowledge and expertise of their colleagues and other members of the community. In addition, they encourage their students to view their own peers and parents as valuable educational resources.

___g. Family collaboration 

  • Teachers seek to involve families meaningfully in the music education of their children. Teachers keep parents and guardians apprised of the activities and needs of the music program, inviting them to participate in a range of different roles, from seekers of resources to costumers to accompanists.

  • Teachers regularly communicate with families about their children's accomplishments, successes, and needs for improvement, and they attempt to respond thoughtfully to families' concerns.

___h. Assessment 

  • Teachers are able to identify or develop reliable, valid, and useful techniques and materials for assessing student learning in music. They demonstrate the ability to select or create appropriate assessment strategies for each learning task.

  • Once a task is designed or identified, teachers create a scoring method that is effective and efficient for the appropriate assessment situation. They also present these scoring guides to students prior to the task in order to provide students a framework within which to work toward successful task completion.

  • Teachers have an efficient system of data collection and maintain complete and accurate records concerning all aspects of student assessment so that they can answer any subsequent question from parents or school administrators concerning the bases for a student's placement or grade.

___i. Reflection and professional growth 

  • Teachers seek information, assistance, and ideas about their teaching from a variety of sources. Feedback from students about the quality, climate, and interactions in class provide them with insight and direction. They carefully analyze input received from formal and informal conferences with parents, guardians, students, and others.

  • On a regular basis, teachers seek advice from colleagues, both music educators and professionals in other disciplines. These interactions occur through discussions, in-class observation by others of their own teaching, and personal observation of others' teaching.

___j. Professional contribution and collaboration 

  • Teachers define their responsibilities as professionals and experts to include a commitment to the continuing growth and development of their colleagues, their schools, their field, and themselves. They see themselves as members of a larger learning community with responsibilities that extend beyond the classroom.