Music Education Standards for Indiana


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Music Educators Association

Music/Arts Education Policy

Indiana Code defines the place of the arts in the curriculum in the following legislation: 20-20-24 Art Education Program (; 20-30-5 Mandatory Curriculum (; 20-30-5-7 School corporation studies. Indiana Administrative Code defines arts curriculum at each level with recommended minutes: 511 IAC 6.1-5-2.5 Elementary curriculum and recommended minutes; 511 IAC 6.1-5-3.5 Middle level curriculum and recommended minutes; 511 IAC 6.1-5-4 High school curriculum and minimum course offerings. (Comment: The Indiana State Board of Education developed a revision of 511 IAC that eliminates use of the word “shall” and recommended minutes in all curriculum areas. To date, this revised rule has not been promulgated.)

Indiana has interpreted its participation in the Common Core State Standards (CCCS) to mean that all content areas share responsibility in teaching literacy standards, in addition to their own content area standards.

Music Standards Information

The Indiana Academic Standards for Music (2010) contain the following nine standards present in all grades, K through 12.

  1. PERFORMING MUSIC: Singing alone and with others.
  2. PERFORMING MUSIC: Playing an instrument alone and with others.
  3. CREATING MUSIC: Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
  4. CREATING MUSIC: Composing and arranging music within specific guidelines.
  5. RESPONDING TO MUSIC: Reading, notating, and interpreting music.
  6. RESPONDING TO MUSIC: Listening to, analyzing, and describing music.
  7. RESPONDING TO MUSIC: Evaluating music and music performance.
  8. RESPONDING TO MUSIC: Understanding the relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
  9. RESPONDING TO MUSIC: Understanding music in relation to history and culture.

There are distinct Achievement Standards for each of the following disciplines and grade levels:

  • Music:  Kindergarten, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
  • Exploring Music:  6, 7, 8
  • Choral Music:  6, 7, 8, High School (9-12)
  • Instrumental Music:  6, 7, 8, High School (9-12)
  • Music Technology:  7, 8, High School (9-12)
  • Music Theory and Composition:  High School (9-12)
  • Music History and Appreciation:  High School (9-12)

In addition to content area standards, music teachers are also responsible for teaching Literacy Standards for Music. According to Introduction of the Academic Standards for Music

The Literacy Standards for Music emerged with the Indiana State Board of Education’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards in the area of Reading and Writing for Literacy in Technical Subjects. The Literacy Standards establish that instruction in reading and writing is a shared responsibility. The Literacy Standards are predicated on teachers in the content areas using their unique disciplinary expertise to help students meet the particular challenges of reading and writing in their respective fields.

Music teachers are not responsible for teaching all Literacy standards for each grade level. Instead, they have approximately 10 Literacy Standards per grade level for which they are responsible (out of 20 Literacy Standards per grade level).

In summary, Indiana has a very large number of standards. For an average elementary general music teacher working with grades K through 5, there are approximately 27 Music Achievement Standards per grade, and 10 Literacy Standards per grade. The estimated total number of standards this teacher would need to align his/her lessons to is 222.

There are no state-designed assessments aligned to the Academic Standards for Music. Several state-level standardized tests are in place to evaluate progress on the reading and writing skills covered by the Literacy Standards.

Teacher Evaulation

School corporations may meet requirements for evaluation plans by using any of the following models: A plan using master teachers or contracting with an outside vendor for master teachers; the System for Teacher and Student Achievement (TAP); or the Peer Assistance and Review Teacher Evaluation System (PAR). Specifies components that plans must include, such as annual evaluations for all certificated employees; objective measures of student achievement and growth to significantly inform the evaluation; rigorous measures of effectiveness, including observations and other performance indicators, and an annual designation of highly effective, effective, improvement necessary or ineffective; an explanation of the recommendations for improvement and the time in which improvement is expected; and a provision that a teacher who negatively affects student achievement and growth cannot receive a rating of highly effective or effective. Specifies that a teacher rated ineffective or improvement necessary may not receive a raise or increment for the following year. Provides that a student may not be instructed two years in a row by two different teachers who have been rated as ineffective in the year preceding the student’s placement in that class if avoidable. Eliminates the Advisory Board of the Division of Professional Standards of the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE). Repeals references to the advisory board and the existing staff performance evaluation provisions, and makes corresponding changes to related sections. Source:

Indiana uses the RISE Evaluation and Development System.

Music Assessment Options for Teacher Evaluation

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