When one moves schools, a lot goes through one’s brain:

  • What space will I be working in?
  • What materials and resources will I have available?
  • How many kids in a class and how often will I see them?
  • What special needs will arise?
  • How is disciplined handled?

…and then there is the major question of: where are my kids musically and how will I get them to where they need to be? How can I help them meet all of the state standards in the time allotted?

This is the question I have been asking myself for the last 1.5 years ~ as long as I have been at my present school ~ and now that I’m familiar with the culture and the students, I am ready to create a curriculum that will help students meet state standards and more!

Here are the top 5 resources that I think are invaluable in creating a curriculum that will work:

  1. GA State Music standards ~ I looked at these first, as they are most important (according to the state). I noticed that our new standards resemble the new NAFME a great deal, which is a big help! It should come as no big surprise that I disagree with when they want us to teach notation, but since I teach it all at once and in relation to each other anyway, I don’t worry about it.
  2. NAFME Standards simplified ~ Click HERE to read them. I love the process they have set up and will use it repeatedly throughout the year. It closely resembles how a language arts class works when kids create stories. There are more connections to be made between our disciplines and these standards highlight that!
  3. An American Methodology ~ My school does not have a textbook series, so I purchased this curriculum to help with scope and sequence (and it was affordable). There is also a decent amount of songs and rhymes for me to use. I like that they separate “Art Songs” from “Rhymes and Songs”. I refer to “Rhymes and Songs” as “Learning Songs” ~ taught for their musical value, but more specifically to highlight a concept.
  4. NK Curriculum ~ Of course!! The new lesson plans, which we will be rolling out on October 15th  (pre-order will be available September 15th), speak directly to the NAFME standards! They answer questions like “How do musicians generate creative ideas? When is creative work ready to share?” How do we judge the quality of musical works and performances? And so forth.
  5. GA Social Studies Standards ~ I know this seems weird, but I wanted to connect music to social events since one influences the other and vice versa (one might argue). It also helps give kids a context for learning songs and listening examples, rather than choosing at random.

I was all set to include my standards in this post, but I want to dig a bit deeper. What else can I squeeze in and how can I make it manageable for the teacher that sees their kids so infrequently and for so little time… so it is coming! I promise!!

In the meantime, please write in the comments below how you choose your curriculum ….as I am still working on it and would love input!!