Music Education Standards for Kentucky


Enrollment:  670,000

Music Educators Association

Department of Education

Music/Arts Education Policy

704 KAR 3:305. Minimum requirements for high school graduation. RELATES TO: KRS 156.160(1)(a), (c), 158.645, 158.6451 STATUTORY AUTHORITY: KRS 156.070, 156.160(1)(a), (c) NECESSITY, FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 156.160 requires the Kentucky Board of Education to promulgate administrative regulations relating to the courses of study for the different grades and the minimum requirements for high school graduation. The content standards for the courses of study are described in the Kentucky core academic standards, 704 KAR 3:303. This administrative regulation establishes the minimum requirements necessary for entitlement to a high school diploma, including the requirements beginning with the graduating class of 2012. Section 2. Beginning with the graduating class of 2012, each student in a common school shall have a total of at least 22 credits for high school graduation. Those credits shall include the content standards as provided in the Kentucky core academic standards, 704 KAR 3:303. Additional standards-based learning experiences shall align to the student’s individual learning plan and shall consist of standards-based content. The required credits and demonstrated competencies shall include the following minimum requirements: (7) History and appreciation of visual and performing arts (or another arts course that incorporates this content), one credit to include the content contained in the Kentucky core academic standards for arts and humanities or a standards-based specialized arts course based on the student’s individual learning plan.

Music Standards Information

The purpose of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards is to outline the minimum content standards required for all students before graduating from Kentucky public high schools. This document specifies the content standards for the required credits for high school graduation and the primary, intermediate and middle level content standards leading up to these requirements.

Schools and school districts are also responsible for coordinating curricula across grade levels and among schools within districts. A coordinated curricular approach ensures that all students have opportunities to achieve Kentucky’s Learning Goals and Academic Expectations and the content standards. It also provides for a thoughtful continuum of content and skills across grade levels while assuring the teaching and learning of all content in theKentucky Core Academic Standards. Districts and schools are accountable for making sure that each student’s education program includes the minimum content standards as specified in the Kentucky Core Academic Standards and provides the student with the opportunity to learn the standards. Schools provide individual supports for learning that are essential for students to access the curriculum, achieve at high levels and maximize successful transition to postsecondary. Schools have the flexibility in how to organize (e.g., discipline based, integrated, interdisciplinary, applied, or occupational/technical approaches) the standards for instruction to best meet the needs of students in the schools and districts and how to deliver instruction.

Arts and humanities grade level content standards are organized around five “Big Ideas” that are important to the arts disciplines. The five big ideas in arts and humanities are: Structures in the Arts, Humanity in the Arts, Purposes for Creating the Arts, Processes in the Arts and Interrelationships Among the Arts. The Big Ideas are conceptual organizers for arts and humanities and are similar at each grade level to ensure students have multiple opportunities throughout their school careers to develop skills and concepts linked to each Big Idea.

Under each Big Idea are statements of Enduring Knowledge/Understandings that represent overarching generalizations linked to the Big Ideas of the arts and humanities. The understandings represent the desired results – what learning will focus upon and what knowledge students will be able to explain or apply. Understandings can be used to frame development of units of study and lesson plans.

Skills and concepts describe ways that students demonstrate their learning and are specific to each grade level. The skills and concepts for arts and humanities are fundamental to arts literacy and proficiency, and build on prior learning.

The three arts processes of creating, performing and responding to the arts provide a basis for deep understanding and appreciation of the arts. In the processes of creating and performing, a variety of technologies are employed, ranging from primitive technologies to cutting edge electronic and digital technologies.

Creating involves planning and creating new music, dance, drama/theatre or visual arts, or it may involve improvising in music, dance or drama/theatre. Improvising is the composing of new music, reciting/acting new dramatic material, or creating new dance movements on the spur of the moment.

Performing is limited to the performing arts of music, dance and drama/theatre. Performing involves presenting previously created works for an audience. Although the process of performing involves following a creative plan conceived by a composer, playwright or choreographer, there is still opportunity for creative interpretations in the performance.

Responding to the arts involves responses on multiple levels. The arts are a tool for communication and are capable of delivering meaning through literal and emotional content. Responding to the emotional content of artworks involves actually feeling the emotion(s) set forth by the creator. Responding can also involve intellectual analysis of works of art in regard to their design, effectiveness and quality.



Review process for Arts programs

In March 2009, Kentucky’s General Assembly passed Senate Bill 1. Passage of this bill established the implementation of a program review to be included as part of a new assessment and accountability model. A Program Review is

…a systematic method of analyzing components of an instructional program, including instructional practices, aligned and enacted curriculum, student work samples, formative and summative assessments, professional development and support services, and administrative support and monitoring KRS 158.6453(1)(i)

Program reviews have been written for three (3) areas: Arts & Humanities, Writing, and Practical Living and Career Studies. They will serve a number of purposes, which include

  •  improving the quality teaching and learning for all students in all programs
  • allowing equal access to all students the skills that will assist them in being productive citizens
  •  allowing student demonstration of understanding beyond a paper-and-pencil test
  •  ensuring a school-wide natural integration of the program skills across all contents, beyond the program areas

The review of a program should be an on-going, year-round, reflective process. Through careful review schools will be able to identify strengths, which can be shared with other programs within the building. A careful review will also allow for the identification of weaknesses and areas of growth. It is to a school’s advantage to communicate the program review process and documents to all staff. As staff identifies their roles in supporting school programs, they can contribute to the process of evidence identification and program improvement.

Here you will find drafts of the three (3) program reviews as well as resources that can assist schools and districts in improving their programs.

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