Comparison of Standards


National Standards for Music Education
  1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
  4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
  5. Reading and notating music.
  6. Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
  7. Evaluating music and music performances.
  8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
  9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
Ward Method in Relation to the National Standards for Music Education
As it stands, the Ward Method is admirably suited to meeting the needs of virtually all the National Standards for Music Education:
  • From the beginning students are required to sing alone and with others (Standard 1), learning how to match pitch and sing in various scales and modes.
  • Through a variety of creative activities the students learn to improvise melodies and variations (Standard 3).
  • From first grade, students learn how to compose and arrange music within the guidelines specified by the Method (Standard 4).
  • At every level of the Ward Method, students are taught to sight-read music, first using number notation and solfège, then do clef, then treble and bass clef (Standard 5). A number of in-class and homework exercises teach the students to notate and visibly express the rhythmic movement of melodies.
  • In higher grades the students learn to use specific musical terminology to describe their compositions and those of others (Standard 6).
  • Using stated guidelines, the students also learn how to evaluate each other’s music (why one melody may be more expressive than another) and how the music is performed (Standard 7).
  • With only minor adjustments (e.g.. adding use of rhythm sticks) the Method can be used to teach percussion during rhythm exercises, whilst the simple melodies learned in early grades constitute a varied and easy repertoire for recorder and other instruments (Standard 2).
  • Concepts of melody, rhythm, arsis and thesis developed in the Ward Method can be applied to all forms of music, dance, movement etc. (Standard 8).
  • Singing a repertoire which ranges from Gregorian chant, simple folk songs, a Bach chorale to modern liturgical music allows students to understand music in relation to history and culture (Standard 9).