From the Virginia Standards of Learning:
The content of the Music Standards of Learning is intended to support the following goals for students:
• Develop understanding of music through experiences in singing, moving, listening, and playing instruments.
• Develop the ability to read and notate music.
• Create compositions that transcribe their thoughts and emotions into concrete musical forms of human expression.
• Exercise critical thinking skills by investigating and analyzing all facets of the music discipline.
• Demonstrate awareness of and responsibility for the safe and ethical use of materials, equipment, methods, and technologies.
• Demonstrate understanding of the relationship of music to history and culture.
• Make connections between music and other fields of knowledge.
• Demonstrate the ability to apply aesthetic criteria for making artistic choices.
• Develop awareness of copyright and royalty requirements when rehearsing, performing, or otherwise using the works of others.
The scope and sequence of the Music Standards of Learning reflect the gradual progression in musical development that culminates in a high level of artistic attainment. The standards are organized by grade levels and areas of instruction—Music K–12 (K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6–8, and 9–12), Instrumental Music (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Artist), and Vocal/Choral Music (Beginning, Intermediate, Advanced, and Artist). Within each level or area, the standards are organized into four related strands: Performance and Production, Cultural Context and Music Theory, Judgment and Criticism, and Aesthetics. Although the strands are presented separately for organizational purposes, in practice they are integrated throughout all music instruction, regardless of the particular classroom or ensemble experience. They shape the music experience and guide the instructional process at all grade levels.
Performance and Production
Students will demonstrate mastery of musical skills and concepts at levels of increasing difficulty. They will learn to participate in music as a musician through singing, playing instruments, improvising, composing, and moving to music. Students will participate in all aspects of music production and demonstrate appropriate use of related materials, methods, and technologies.
Cultural Context and Music Theory
Students will understand music within the contexts of culture, music history, and music theory. They will study and practice music theory through music reading, notation, and sight-reading. They will use critical thinking skills to analyze the manner in which music is organized. Students will identify the style and distinctive characteristics of music that delineate each of the basic music historical periods as well as the influence of technology and compositional techniques employed in all genres of music. They will investigate the vocal timbres that are unique to children, adolescents, and adults. Students will be guided in the development of criteria for making informed artistic judgments about music, as well as about the other arts, and for evaluating the role of music in society. They will examine the interrelationships of current events, developing technologies, and music in society.
Judgment and Criticism
Students will observe, listen, respond, reflect, analyze, interpret, and evaluate music. They will articulate an objective evaluation of musical works by analyzing creative musical elements and production as a whole. Students will be guided in the development of criteria for making informed artistic judgments about music, as well as about the other arts, and for evaluating the role of music in society. They will apply these processes in creating and evaluating their own musical works.
Students will reflect on and respond to the sensory, emotional, and intellectual qualities of music. They will examine various cultural perspectives and the factors that shape aesthetics responses. By viewing and evaluating the works of musical artists, students will become aware of the contribution of music to the quality of the human experience.