Brianne Gidcumb | August 2015

Core Music Anchor Standard 7

This month, as part of our year-long series unpacking the Core Arts Standards for General Music, we will start digging into the anchor standards in the “responding” strand. In the “responding” strand of standards, we look at the process of selecting, analyzing, interpreting, and evaluating musical works and performances.

Anchor Standard 7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.

Artistic Process: Responding (Select and Analyze)

Enduring Understanding: Individuals’ selection of musical works is influenced by their interests, experiences, understandings, and purposes.

Essential Question(s): How do individuals choose core music anchor to experience?

Big Ideas

Standard 7 asks students to be able to identify and speak about a musical selection in various contexts. Students should be able to state and demonstrate their musical preferences, as well as identify, describe, and demonstrate connections between musical selections and personal interests, experiences, purposes, and contexts. Student should be able to demonstrate and identify how specific musical concepts are used to support a specific purpose in music and how they relate to the overall structure of the piece, as well as how responses to core music anchor are informed by structure, elements of core music anchor, and context.

Then and Now

This is one of the only standards that exists in very similar form in both the 1994 Standards as well as the Core Arts Standards. As with all of the Core Arts Standards, the depth and rigor of this particular content standard has been increased in the new standards, as we ask students to support their opinions, observations, and connections with a level of evidence that we haven’t explicitly asked for in the 1994 standards, but the practice of analyzing musical selections has always been a part of the “best-practice” music classroom.

Common Core Music Anchor Connections

In both the Common Core Music Anchor and the National Core Arts Standards, we are increasing the rigor of the content and the level of thinking in our students by putting great emphasis on the process of analyzing texts (both literary and artistic texts), and asking students to provide support for the observations and connections they make, as well as the opinions they form.


Speaking and Listening Standards: There is a pretty explicit connection to the standards for Speaking and Listening, as we ask students to be able to articulate their personal preferences. This invites an atmosphere of discussion about analysis in the music classroom, which requires that the music teacher put into place strategies and structures for allowing students to engage in conversation about musical opinions and preferences.

Anchor Standards for Reading: If we treat a piece of music as “text,” we can apply every one of the Anchor Standards for Reading to the process of responding to a musical selection. Students will “read” explicit content, make inferences, determine central themes, interpret and analyze content, structures, and ideas, and provide supported reasoning for their conclusions. Truly a standard RICH in ELA connections! (See my Teachers Pay Teachers store for a $1.00 downloadable “ELA Standards at a Glance” graphic!)

Practices and Processes

If we look at the practices and processes that are inherent in the Standards for Mathematical Practice, Science and Engineering Practices, as well as the inquiry and design processes, we see that analysis and observation are key components of each of these areas. This is a great place for music educators to begin looking at how to make connections to other contents! (See my Science Standards and Math Standards “At-a-Glance” resources!)

 What practices do you have in place to encourage analysis and reflection in your core music anchor classroom?

About the Author

Brianne is a former music educator from Chicago and current graduate class instructor with EdCloset’s Learning Studios. She earned her Masters degree in Music Education from VanderCook College of Music and has over a decade of experience in the elementary general music classroom. With her experience in the performing arts, Brianne is dedicated to building connections between the arts and Common Core Standards, 21st century learning skills, inquiry and project-based learning. In addition to her work with EducationCloset, Brianne is a yoga instructor in the Chicagoland area. You can also find Brianne here: