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Music Education

Philosophy of Music Education

Music is an integral part of a complete education. Music engages people in objective, subjective, symbolic, and concrete aspects of human experience.

Music education improves learning in other subjects. Quality music education

  • develops aesthetic awareness and sensitivity;
  • provides a source of enjoyment that enhances the quality of life from early experiences through adulthood;
  • provides a means for creativity and self-expression;
  • provides a sense of history and cultural heritage;
  • provides opportunity for visible success and achievement in the school and community;
  • develops life skills for work and personal success;
  • makes the school and community a more pleasant place to learn, work, and live;
  • increases the satisfaction derived from music throughout life; and
  • increases understanding of other cultures through music.


Music as an Art Form

"Humans throughout history have used the arts to express themselves to find beauty, attain a higher level of meaning and better understand themselves and their culture. The arts are the most human form of communication and expression." A Report on Arts Education in Wisconsin: The State Superintendent's Blue Ribbon Commission on Arts Education. 2000. Madison, WI: Wisconsin DPI.

The above statement embodies the guiding principles from the following various sources.

Guiding Principles from Vision 2020

Reimer, B. 2000. Why do humans value music?  In Vision 2020. Reston, VA: MENC.

The five dimensions of musical value:

  1. Music is ends and means. It is valuable in and of itself.
  2. Music encompasses mind, body, and feeling.
  3. Music is universal, cultural, and individual.
  4. Music is product and process.
  5. Music is pleasurable and profound.

Guiding principles from A Report on Arts Education in Wisconsin: The State Superintendent's Blue Ribbon Commission on Arts Education. 2000. Madison, WI: Wisconsin DPI. Selected points.

  • The arts are central to the development of a well-educated person and the core of all learning – connecting and enhancing whole-brain development.
  • The arts are intellectually challenging and contribute directly to the cognitive, emotional, physical, and emotional development of all students.
  • Higher order thinking skills – analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and critical judgment, including imaginative and creative thinking – are developed in the arts.
  • Students who are often turned off by traditional academic subjects find success in the arts.
  • The arts provide opportunities for success in the creative fields of all the arts as well as arts-related fields of study.


Wisconsin Standards for Music

The MPS music education curriculum is based on the Wisconsin Standards for Music. The standards help music education to develop a standards-based curriculum, improve instructional practice, and use assessments embedded in the learning process as an instrument of learning.

  1. Students in Wisconsin will sing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  2. Students in Wisconsin will play, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music on instruments.
  3. Students in Wisconsin will improvise music.
  4. Students in Wisconsin will compose and arrange music.
  5. Students in Wisconsin will read and notate music.
  6. Students in Wisconsin will analyze and describe music.
  7. Students in Wisconsin will evaluate music and music performances.
  8. Students in Wisconsin will relate music to the other arts and disciplines outside the arts.
  9. Students in Wisconsin will relate music to history and culture.
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