Core Knowledge Music and Visual Art
"Students are learning about Shakespeare, Da Vinci and the Gutenberg printing press in their regular classrooms at the same time we are learning about instruments, music forms and famous composers of the Renaissance period in the music classroom. Students see music as a integral part of life, culture and human history. This is how it should be presented to students. It is knowledge building on knowledge, a principle at the heart of the Core Knowledge philosophy, the most unified and organized system I've ever been associated with in my 12 years of teaching!"-Jason Ferguson, General Music TeacherThe arts are not a peripheral part of the Core Knowledge curriculum, but an essential part of the knowledge children learn in the early grades.
Early instruction in the arts should be non-competitive, and provide many opportunities to sing, dance, listen to music, play act, read and write poetry, draw, paint, and make objects. Equally important, when children are young and receptive, they should be exposed to fine paintings, great music, and other inspiring examples of art. As children progress in their knowledge and competencies, they can begin to learn more about the methods and terminology of the different arts, and become familiar with an ever wider range of great artists and acknowledged masterworks.
Through attaining a basic knowledge of the arts, children are not only better prepared to understand and appreciate works of art, but also to communicate their ideas, feelings, and judgments to others. A good understanding of the arts grows out of at least three modes of knowledge - creative (i.e. directly making artworks), historical, and analytical. Early study of the arts should embrace all three modes with special emphasis on creativity and active participation.
The arts guidelines in the Core Knowledge Sequence are organized into two main sections: the Visual Arts and Music. While the Sequence does not present other arts such as dance or drama as separate disciplines, their importance is acknowledged and they have been incorporated in other disciplines in the Sequence (for example, dance is in Music; drama, in Language Arts).
Music lessons feature activities and works that illustrate important musical concepts and terms, and introduce important composers and works. When appropriate, topics in music may be linked to topics in other disciplines. Music content is studied in the following areas: elements of music (rhythm, melody, harmony, form, timbre, etc.), listening and understanding, songs, composers and their music, musical connections, orchestra, vocal ranges, American musical traditions, and Classical music, from Renaissance to Romantic.
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