A Standards-Referenced Instrumental Music Program: Ankeny’s 2012-2013 Standards

On October 23, 2016, I began a blog post trying to collect my thoughts around our work in standards over the past four years. As I have organized (and reorganized) those thoughts, the post has evolved into plans for a presentation at the 2017 Iowa Bandmasters Association conference as well as a companion website of “how” we did our work in standards. This is the fourth in a series of posts detailing the “how.” The first three posts detail our district’s process for curriculum review and looking at the Iowa Core Curriculum, and looking at national and state music standards.

During the 2011-2012 school year, every K-12 music teacher in Ankeny went through the curriculum review process. Unfortunately for me, I was not yet a member of the team! Here is what I know:

Out of that process, a Music Curriculum Review Summary was produced. Please forgive the poor grammar in that document. Looking through it, it contains:

  • A goal statement
  • A professional development plan
  • A recommendation for curriculum resource adoption including:
    • Habits of a Successful Musician and Essential Elements for 5th Grade Band
    • Progressive Sight Singing and various solo, ensemble, and choral literature for secondary vocal
    • Essential Elements, 101 Rhythmic Rest Patterns, Bach and Before for Band, and Progressive Sight Singing for secondary instrumental.
  • A statement on an assessment plan
  • A timeline for new curriculum implementation
  • A statement on consensus maps, documenting the month by month instruction of the curriclum
  • Curricular course descriptions (which are no longer accurate) for
    • K-5 General Music
    • 5th Grade Band
    • 6th Grade Choir
    • 6th Grade Band
    • 7th Grade Bass Clef Choir
    • 7th Grade Treble Clef Choir
    • 7th Grade Band
    • 8th Grade Bass Clef Choir
    • 8th Grade Treble Clef Choir
    • 8th Grade Band
    • 9th Grade Bass Clef Choir
    • 9th Grade Treble Clef Choir
    • 9th Grade Band
    • 10-12th Mixed Choir
    • 10-12th Advanced Treble Clef Choir
    • 10-12th Honors Mixed Choir
    • 10th-12th Grade Band
    • Music Appreciation (never materialized)
    • Music Fundamentals (non-AP music theory)
    • AP Music Theory
  • Co-Curricular Course Descriptions (which are also no longer accurate) for:
    • 7th Grade Jazz Band
    • 8th and 9th Grade Show Choirs
    • 8th and 9th Grade Jazz Band
    • 10-12th Grade Show Choirs
    • 10-12th Grade Jazz Band
  • A list of Power Standards for each course, grouped as follows:
    • K-5 General Music
    • 5th Grade Instrumental Music
    • 6-8th Grade Instrumental and Vocal Music
    • 9-12th Grade Instrumental and Vocal Music

The rest of this post is going to focus on how those power standards progress from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade. All of the Power Standards are broken up into four categories of skills: Rhythm/Beat/Meter Competency, Tonal LiteracyExpression, and Ensemble. The document then lists specific skills underneath each category. Below shows how these progress over time:

During the following school year (2012-2013) the teams began implementing the curriculum designed during the review process. The 6-12 Instrumental Music team chose to take a vertical teaching approach. Then, in the 2013-2014 school year, the district added a second high school, creating two distinct 6-12 instrumental teams, two distinct 6-12 vocal teams, a 5th grade instrumental team, and a K-5 general music team. The rest of this and future posts in this series will deal with the 6-12 North Instrumental Music PLC, as I am a member of that team.

Next, we will look at how the 6-12 North Instrumental Music PLC took those standards to answer the four essential questions of a PLC:

  1. What do we want students to learn/know/be able to do? (Standards)
  2. How will we know they have learned it? (Assessment)
  3. How will we respond when they have not learned it? (Remediation)
  4. How will we respond when they have learned it? (Extension)
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