Using the Common Core Reading Standards in the K-1 Music Classroom

May 13, 2016 / By: Rachel E. Skunes

Music educators look to the National Core Arts Standards as a guide to creating meaningful experiences for their students centered on the knowledge, skills, and reasoning required to succeed in music. Similarly, the Common Core State Standards guide classroom teachers in English Language Arts and Math instruction. Many music educators are asked or mandated to include the Common Core State Standards in daily instruction without being given resources or aide to do so. The purpose of this paper is to provide music educators with an explanation of the Common Core English Language Arts Reading Standards and to propose ideas for incorporating them in primary grade levels, while first and foremost providing a joyful, creative, and meaningful musical education for their students that emphasizes the National Core Arts Standards. To begin, the author provides a history of the Common Core State Standards, focusing on the English Language Arts Reading Standards. Next, the author addresses the current literature relevant to Common Core and music education. In Chapter Two, the author addresses the Reading Standard: Foundational Skills, and Chapter Three focuses on the two remaining strands of the Reading Standards: Informational Text and Literature. As each strand and subsequent anchor skills are addressed, three questions are answered:

1. What is this skill?

2. How does this skill relate to music education?

3. What are practical applications for music educators regarding this skill?

A sample lesson is included with each anchor skill to provide music educators with ideas for implementing reading strategies. This paper aims to provide a clear explanation of the Common Core State Standards in Reading so that music educators may escape the experience of being overwhelmed when asked or mandated to incorporate reading literacy in their daily teaching.