This month, as part of our year-long series unpacking the Core Arts Standards for General Music, we will look at Core Music Anchor Standard 10. We start our journey into the “connecting” strand of standards.

Anchor Standard 10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.

Artistic Process: Connecting

Enduring Understanding: Musicians connect their personal interests, experiences, ideas, and knowledge to creating, performing, and responding.

Essential Question(s): How do musicians make meaningful connections to creating, performing, and responding?

Big Ideas

The connecting strand is interesting in that it refers back to the first three strands of anchor standards. The essential question, the understanding, etc. all differ from what we previously learned. It is also different than our previous standards because there is no progression of complexity and rigor in the specific grade-level standards. The standard remains stagnant throughout the grade levels: “Demonstrate how interests, knowledge, and skills relate to personal choices and intent when creating, performing, and responding to music.”

The spiral of complexity and rigor comes in applying this standard back to the first nine Anchor Standards and their grade-level sub-standards. There are specific examples built right into the NCAS document, outlining how and where these connections can be made.

Then and Now

Making connections, and applying them to creating, performing, and responding to music has always been a part of the “best-practice” music classroom. However, the National Core Arts Standards makes this practice explicit. This new standard does not explicitly exist in the 1994 standards, but has been included in the National Core Arts Standards. The purpose is to increase relevance and rigor by asking students to make a personal connection to the techniques, skills, and elements that go into creating, performing, and responding to music. This practice makes the general music experience more authentic, and personally relevant to students. What’s great is this standard can easily be taught in tandem with other standards.

Common Core Connections

The standard is unique in that it does not have many explicit Common Core connections. However, the power of this standard is that it is intended to be addressed in tandem with another music standard. Hence, the examples built directly into the NCAS document. So as we make connections between the “related” standard and Common Core, we make connections between Anchor Standard 10 and Common Core.

For example, the grade level content standard for 2nd grade is linked to MU:Cr2.1.2a: Demonstrate and explain personal reasons for selecting patterns and ideas for their music that represent expressive intent. If we look back to the Common Core connections that can be made with Anchor Standard 2 (outlined here), we can integrate these connections with Anchor Standard 10 as well.

Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store for my Core Standards-at-a-Glance bundle, including the anchor standards for National Core Arts, Common Core ELA and Math, and NGSS (available here).

How do you encourage students to make connections between creating, performing, and responding to music?