First, I just want to say I am not posting this to get anyone angry. I do not want to be pulled into war going on over the first draft of these standards that you can read here: http://nccas.wikispaces.com/Music+Standards. I am just a teacher who just finished her third year of teaching K-5 general music who has been trying to sit quietly in the background and get all the information I can about this topic before I make an informed opinion, and you know what? After reading everything that has been going on with these standards the past two weeks my thought is this..my opinion on these standards is incomplete. Why should I have a fully formed opinion on whether or not these standards are going to work if they are not finished yet? give me draft 2 or 3 and then I will make the choice of saying whether or not the next 30 years of my teaching is doomed.
These current standards up for public review are very vague, I will be interested to see where each important music skill is put into these standards and will be very interested if a standard class time for each grade level is put in here too so I would finally have an argument that my K classes are TOO LONG. I love how creating has become an important skill in these standards, it is important for children to create music. I’m wondering if composing will be added as well because they are two very important but different skills for students to learn. I also wonder if the word guided will be put into higher levels as well, I know I find myself guiding my students through assessments even up to grade 5. Not every student cannot do it by themselves, they need a teacher guiding them along the way to success even past the Kindergarten level. How is responding going to work in class to? I know for a fact not even my 3rd graders can choose their own music to sing yet. Are there going to be people coming from the committee to state conference to present suggestions on how that should happen?
I know when I took a look at these standards for the first time I was scared out of my wits. How are we going to be able to make the change from the 9 national standards we were so use to and taught in college (I have ten in my state, the 9 plus one more) Those were easy to understand, they were simple, and they were direct. Are these standards going to be the same way in the final product? Are they going to be new teacher friendly and very accessible to even non music educators? I hope to see a very similar format to the old standards or I fear a lot of new music teachers coming up are going to be throwing them to the wayside because of their complexities and vagueness.
Being one with only 3 full years experience under my belt I don’t expect my voice to be heard very loudly. I have been keeping off social media until now about this because I was sure my opinions and reactions would be thrown out by teachers who don’t know me. I figure a lot of young teachers like myself have not spoken up for the same reasons. From what I read so far from Draft 1, I am scared about the future of music education. I hope my fears are going to be calmed by Draft 2 but only time will tell. I know there are experienced music educators on this writing committee who are trying their best to please everyone but I am sure there are no young educators in that group so not many of their opinions about OUR future have come up. Give me a completed draft and I’ll be a voice, I’ll be in this game for much longer than most who are currently involved. Give myself and all the young educators out there confidence to say we are ready for the future with these new standards and give us a forum to discuss this and I’m sure you’d be surprised on what you hear.