Comparison of Standards
National Standards for Music Education
- Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
- Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
- Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
- Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
- Reading and notating music.
- Listening to, analyzing and describing music.
- Evaluating music and music performances.
- Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
- Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
Ward Method in Relation to 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).