Brianne Gidcumb | December 2015

Core Music Anchor Standard 11

Core Music Anchor Standard 11

This month, to wrap up our year-long series unpacking the Core Arts Standards for General Music, we will be looking at the final anchor standard, Core Music Anchor Standard 11, the last in the “connecting” strand of standards.

Anchor Standard 11: Relate artistic ideas and work with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

Artistic Process: Connecting

Enduring Understanding: Understanding connections to varied contexts and daily life enhances musicians’ creating, performing, and responding.

Essential Question(s): How do the other arts, other disciplines, contexts, and daily life inform creating, performing, and responding to music?

Big Ideas

The connecting strand of standards is interesting in that it refers back to the first three strands of anchor standards- in the enduring understanding, the essential question, and in the actual grade-level content standards. Like Anchor Standard 10, but unlike Standards 1 through 9, there is no progression of complexity and rigor in the language of the individual grade-level standards. The standard remains the same throughout the grade levels: “Demonstrate understanding of relationships between music and the other arts, other disciplines, varied contexts, and daily life.” The spiral of complexity and rigor comes in applying this standard back to the first nine Anchor Standards and their grade-level sub-standards, and there are specific examples and connections built right into the NCAS document.

Then and Now

The 1994 standards include “understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts” (Content Standard 8), which is very closely related to our NCAS Anchor Standard 11. The old standards ask students to be able to identify similarities and differences in the meanings of common terms used in various arts, as well as ways in which the principles and subject matter of other content areas are related with those of music. This new standard, however, increases the complexity and connection of this practice by relating this knowledge right back to the creation, performance, and response to music to make these practices more meaningful and authentic. Making connections and applying them to creating, performing, and responding to music has always been a part of the “best-practice” music classroom, but the National Core Arts Standards make this practice explicit. In addition, having a set of common NCAS Anchor Standards for all five arts areas (music, dance, drama, visual arts, and media arts) promotes the relationship between music and the other arts.

Common Core Music Anchor Connections

The power of Anchor Standard 11 is that it explicitly asks us to make connections between the arts and other content areas. So the Common Core Music Anchor connections lie in our ability to apply connections to our teaching our anchor standards 1 through 10. Making connections between the anchor standards of the arts and other content areas, as well as the practices and process of the arts and other contents, is our first hurdle. Once we have done that, we can more easily make connections between specific grade-level concepts by aligning standards in the arts integration process. Need help aligning anchor standards? See my Teachers Pay Teachers store for resources for Common Core ELA Standards, Common Core Math Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and National Core Arts Standards At-a-Glance, and see my other articles in this series to explore some Common Core Connections!

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: