General Music Iowa Core Companion

The General Music Iowa Core “Companion” was written over the past five years by representatives of IMEA, First Iowa Orff, Kodaly Educators of Iowa, Greater Des Moines Orff, and others.

Contributors

  • Linda Murphy, (writing team leader) K-6 Oelwein Community Schools, Sacred Heart Oelwein, past president of First Iowa Orff
  • Esther D’Agrosa, retired, formerly of Morningside College and K-6 General Music teacher, American Orff-Schulwerk Assoc certified teacher trainer
  • Tim Purdum, Highland Elementary, Waterloo Community Schools, American Orff-Schulwerk Assoc Certified teacher trainer; Past President of First Iowa Orff Chapter
  • Michelle Droe, Cedar Falls Community Schools, K-6, past President Kodaly Educators of Iowa
  • Kimberly Glynn, Des Moines Community Schools, K-5, current President Greater Des Moines Orff Chapter
  • Penny Zaugg, K-5 General Music, Southeast Polk Community School, technology specialist
  • Thomas Sletto, Drake University Assistant Professor of Music Education, Kodaly teacher educator
  • Jill Lyman, Sioux City Community Schools, 6-8, Music Tech East Middle School
  • Aaron Hansen, Waverly–Shell Rock Community Schools, K-6, Past President of First Iowa Orff
  • Sharon Foughty, MOC-Floyd Valley CSD

This document was organized much like the National Standards for Music Education, on which it was based. To make the list manageable, we shrunk the list from nine national standards to seven. We also added in a few things not in the national standards, such as movement, speech, and body percussion. On number seven, we included the language “while preserving the integrity of an authentic musical learning experience” to protect teachers from having music education watered down in a misguided attempt for cross-curricular teaching.

The bullet points under each skill are NOT a list of all that is possible. These are the examples the writing team came up with for K-2 grades. They are not meant to be comprehensive.

General Music Skills & Concepts

  1. Uses song, speech, and movement to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • shows ability to employ a singing voice by singing responses to questions that are sung in the context of singing games
    • develops pitch matching skills, alone and in groups
    • creates expressive movement to accompany a song or recording
    • uses expressive speech and articulation to tell a story
    • practices creative movement alone and in groups
    • develops a movement vocabulary
  2. Uses instruments and body percussion to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • performs with the group by maintaining the beat shared by the group
    • explores various levels of body percussion (claps, snaps, pats, stamps)
    • performs steady beat and simple rhythmic patterns on untuned percussion
  3. Creates music and movement using critical thinking to improvise and compose through a collaborative and flexible process.
    • improvises musical answers by singing or playing instruments in response to musical questions
    • organizes familiar rhythmic and melodic elements into original patterns, using speech and graphic notation
    • transfers creations to an instrument and/or voice
  4. Demonstrates literacy by reading and notating music fluently using appropriate processes and systems.
    • uses an established notation system to read and notate simple rhythm patterns
    • uses a staff to read and notate simple melodies with a controlled number of pitches
    • uses iconic notation to help tell a story, providing sounds that are appropriate to the icons
  5. Listens, responds, describes, analyzes and evaluates music critically.
    • creates a dance based on the form of a simple ABA musical example
    • compares and contrasts two performances of the same song, and is able to articulate how they are the same or different
    • describes the mood or purpose of a song by drawing conclusions based on knowledge of musical style—for example, is able to articulate why a song is a good lullaby
    • expresses preference for songs using musical terms
  6. Recognizes and respects the commonality and diversity among the cultures and histories of the world through musical experiences.
    • performs music from a variety of world cultures in an authentic manner
    • performs music from different cultures, and is able to articulate how the songs are alike and different
    • listens to music from various cultures: Mexico, Japan, Africa, etc.
    • identifies the likely origin of the music, using musical terms
  7. Connects music with other disciplines while preserving the integrity of authentic musical learning experiences.
    • incorporates drama and visual arts into a performance
    • incorporates iconic symbols and other discipline connections

The Fine Arts writing teams were also charged with aligning the new skills and concepts with Universal Constructs that are now part of the Iowa Core Curriculum. Below are the Universal Constructs, and how the various music skills and concepts align (again, not a comprehensive list of all possible alignment).

Universal Constructs

  1. Critical Thinking
    • Creates music and movement using critical thinking to improvise and compose through a collaborative and flexible process.
    • Listens, responds, describes, analyzes and evaluates music critically.
    • Connects music with other disciplines while preserving the integrity of authentic musical learning experiences
  2. Complex Communication
    • Uses song, speech, and movement to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • Uses instruments and body percussion to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • Demonstrates literacy by reading and notating music fluently using appropriate processes and systems.
    • Recognizes and respects the commonality and diversity among the cultures and histories of the world through musical experiences.
  3. Creativity
    • Uses song, speech, and movement to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • Uses instruments and body percussion to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • Creates music and movement using critical thinking to improvise and compose through a collaborative and flexible process.
    • Listens, responds, describes, analyzes and evaluates music critically.
  4. Collaboration
    • Uses song, speech, and movement to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • Uses instruments and body percussion to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • Creates music and movement using critical thinking to improvise and compose through a collaborative and flexible process.
    • Demonstrates literacy by reading and notating music fluently using appropriate processes and systems.
    • Listens, responds, describes, analyzes and evaluates music critically.
  5. Flexibility & Adaptability
    • Creates music and movement using critical thinking to improvise and compose through a collaborative and flexible process.
    • Recognizes and respects the commonality and diversity among the cultures and histories of the world through musical experiences.
    • Connects music with other disciplines while preserving the integrity of authentic musical learning experiences
  6. Productivity & Accountability
    • Uses song, speech, and movement to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • Uses instruments and body percussion to effectively communicate, collaborate with a group, and produce a musical product.
    • Creates music and movement using critical thinking to improvise and compose through a collaborative and flexible process.
    • Demonstrates literacy by reading and notating music fluently using appropriate processes and systems.
    • Listens, responds, describes, analyzes and evaluates music critically.

Right now, these documents are being shared across the state. They can be used, implemented, and referenced by music teachers and their administrators. The DOE is promoting their use. However, the DOE cannot mandate their use, because they have not been (yet) included in the legislation that describes the Iowa Core Curriculum. This is why they are referred to as “Companion” documents. This should not hold us back from using the above information to guide our teaching and promote our value in the schools. The Universal Constructs are part of the actual Core, so you can see how easy it is to defend what we do based on these constructs.

As the DOE finalizes their documents, we will add more information here!

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  1. Pingback: Fine Arts Iowa Core Companion | First Iowa Orff

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