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NYSSMA & the Common Core

NYSSMA Curriculum Committee - A Standards Crosswalk Between Common Core and Music 

This crosswalk documents the alignment between selected learning goals from the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English Language Arts (ELA), and Mathematics. As New York State has adopted these standards, it presents us with a new and dynamic opportunity to demonstrate alignment between the learning described in the standards, and the concepts commonly taught in the music classroom.

This is not an exhaustive document, but rather a beginning. The reader is encouraged to continue to build the crosswalk with additional connections from classroom experiences. For more information, please visit


 Domain  Core Curriculum Standard  Music
Counting & Cardinality
Know number names & counting sequence
Know rhythmic value of notes and rests
Operations & Algebraic Thinking 

Represent addition/subtract with objects

Generate and analyze patterns


Math problems using note values

Performance of rhythmic/tonal patterns

Musical form

Number & Operations Fractions 

Understand fractions as numbers

Understand fraction equivalents

Rhythmic values of notes & rests

Duple/triple meter

Measures Sub-division Rhythm pyramid (whole, half, quarter, etc.)

Measurement & Data 

Classify objects & count number of objects

Work with time

Measure lengths Describe & compare measurable attributes Represent and interpret data

Time signature

Organize sound over time (rhythmic aspect)

Tempo Intervals Science of sound (frequency, amplitude, etc. of sound waves) 


Identify & describe shapes

Graph points to solve real-world problems

Making inferences & justifying conclusions from observation 


Melodic contour

Timbral & pitch qualities of instruments (size, string length, overtone series, acoustics) 

Ratio & Proportional  Relationships

Ration concepts and use reasoning to solve problems

Linear arrangement of rhythmic relationships (melodic construction - augmentation, diminuition)

Vertical arrangement of rhythmic relationships (rhythms lining up between parts)

English Language Arts 

 Strand  Core Curriculum Standard  Music
Reading for Literature

Recount stories, fables, etc.

Words/phrases describe rhythm & meaning

Overall structure of story

Different points of view of characters

Identify who is telling story Compare/contrast two or  more versions of story Determine theme and analyze its  development Compare/contrast written work to media version Make connections between written text and other perspectives 

Folk songs

Rhythms, patterns, repetition, form

Form Texture & balance Timbre (melody/harmony) Theme & variations Motivic development Programmatic composition Culture connections to music
Reading for Information

Questions re: details of text

Know/use text features

Meaning of domain specific words Describe overall structure of events, ideas, concepts or info Distinguish own point of view Engage in group reading with purpose & understanding

Critical listening

Expressive markings in music

Music specific vocabulary Form React to music, improvisation Sing and play with others 
Reading Foundational Skills

Print concepts

Phonological awareness

Phonics & word recognition Fluency

Read music notation, follow own part

Sound production, diction, articulation

Lyrics, rhythm, note reading Music reading, practice for fluency 

Write opinion supporting point of view

Draw evidence from text for analysis

Write information/explanatory texts Production and distribution of writing Short research projects Write to support analysis of topics or text Create text in response  to literary work 

Critical responses, written critiques

Reflection, improvement plan

Program notes Short research projects Music critiques Music composition 
Speaking & Listening

Ask/answer questions to clarify comprehension

Create multimedia presentation of stories or poems.

Engage in collaborative discussions initiate and participate effectively in collaborative work. Evaluate speaker's point of view. Include multimedia components to clarify information. Make strategic use of digital media. 

Critical listening for performance in ensemble

Create audio recording of performance

Rehearsals, peer evaluation, group composition Student-led chamber ensemble(s) Analyze music composition Use music software/tech in composition Enhance composition/performance through media 


Identify connections between words & their use

Correct use for frequently confused words

Use knowledge of language to write, speak, read, listen Use nuances in word meanings Distinguish shades of meanings Acquire & use domain-specific words and phrases Demonstrate command of conventions of standard English 

Musical vocabulary

Clarify misused vocabulary (hi/low, soft/loud)

Use music vocabulary to describe music Expressive quality of lyrics Various tempi/expressive markings Write or speak about music Phrasing, articulation, expression markings