Foundations of Music Education


Lecture:  Curriculum in Music Education

Syllabus    Course Outline



Is it what students must do, what students must know, or how they should be taught???


The origin of the word is interesting

In Latin, a curriculum was a course - the kind you run around

the word came from 'currere' (to run)

(World Wide Words)

Using this analogy, there is an obvious goal, a specific focus, a determination of purpose.


overcoming whatever obstacles may be in his/her path


boy climbing obstacle course



overcoming whatever obstacles may be in his/her path

Here are some curriculum killers. 

Have you heard these before?  Have you used these before?


"The main thing is to 'expose' them to different kinds of music."

"As long as everyone is participating, I am happy."

"I don't have time to teach them anything except the performance pieces."

"We just want them to have a good time in music."

"It's impossible to adequately assess a student's progress in music."


The starting line is when they walk into the music classroom or rehearsal hall.

The finish line is what they know and are able to do when they leave the music classroom or rehearsal hall.




Each state has its own statutes regarding curriculum:

For example, in the Texas Education Code, Chapter 74, under "Required Curriculum," it says:


(a)  A school district that offers kindergarten through Grade 12 must offer the following as a required curriculum:

(1)  a foundation curriculum that includes:

(A)  English language arts;

(B)  mathematics;

(C)  science; and

(D)  social studies, consisting of Texas, United States and world history, government, and geography; and

(2)  an enrichment curriculum that includes:

(A)  to the extent possible, languages other than English;

(B)  health, with emphasis on the importance of proper nutrition and exercise;

(C)  physical education;

(D)  fine arts;

(E)  economics, with emphasis on the free enterprise system and its benefits;

(F)  career and technology education; and

(G)  technology applications.

(b)  A school district must provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills of the appropriate grade levels in the foundation and enrichment curriculum as specified in paragraphs (1)-(19) of this subsection. A school district may add elements at its discretion but must not delete or omit instruction in the foundation and enrichment curriculum specified in subsection (a) of this section.

What are the essential knowledge and skills of the appropriate grade levels?

Take a look


Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Fine Arts


Check out the level you teach

(Click on the bullet, or scroll to the bottom to open a PDF file)




Here's the problem . . .

I knew there would be a catch!!




They tell you what "Point B" in the 'race' should be,

but they don't tell you how to get there



Each school district is responsible for its own specific method to achieve these prescribed outcomes.  

Scary, huh?



There is quite a bit of reading for this week, so go ahead and read Chapter 3 in your textbook. 

As you read, think about your own teaching experience. 

Do you have a prescribed course that your students figuratively "run around"?




Below are 4 documents which are parts of a seminar on Curriculum. 

Read these as part of Assignment #4 (listed on your Course Outline).


Works Cited

TEA. (2007). Required Curriculum; Essential Knowledge and Skills. In T. E. Agency (Ed.), Title 19, Part 2, Chapter 74, Subchapter A, Rule 74.1.




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