Illinois Learning Standards
Stage E - Fine Arts—Music
Students who meet the standard understand the sensory
elements, organizational principles, and expressive qualities
of the arts.
- Describe the tempo(s) and dynamic level(s) in a complex
aural musical example.
- Identify the tone color(s) [timbre(s)] of the instruments
and/or voices in an aural musical example.
- Distinguish between the beat and the rhythm(s) of a given
- Identify the meter in a musical example.
- Distinguish major and minor tonalities in aural musical
- Describe melodic movement (e.g. upward, downward, steps,
skips, repeated notes) in an aural example.
- Distinguish between a melody with harmony and a melody
- Identify simple music forms (e.g. imitation, theme, variation)
when presented aurally.
- Justify the selection of organizational and sensory elements
to express a particular mood, emotion, or idea in an original
composition with environmental sounds, body sounds, or classroom
Students who meet the standard understand the similarities,
distinctions, and connections in and among the arts.
- Explain how elements, principles, and tools are combined
to express an idea in a work of art.
- Explain why specific elements, principles, and tools were
used in a work of art created by the student or another
Students who meet the standard understand processes,
traditional tools, and modern technologies used in the arts.
- Classify singers according to their vocal range.
- Identify orchestral/band instruments from aural examples.
- Classify instruments according to how their sounds are
produced (e.g., string, wind, percussion).
- Demonstrate basic vocal and/or instrumental production
techniques (e.g., breath support, posture, bowing).
- Write accurately melodies with rhythm patterns in whole,
half, quarter, eighth, and dotted notes and rests in 2/4,
3/4, 4/4, 6/8, 3/8 meter signatures.
- Sing or play accurately simple rhythmic and melodic patterns
from a written score.
- Classify musical groups according to their instruments/voice
(e.g., quartet, solo, band, orchestra).
Students who meet the standard can apply skills
and knowledge necessary to create and perform in one or more
of the arts.
- Sing or play music that has a difficulty level of 2 (on
a scale of 1 to 6) on pitch; in rhythm; with appropriate
timbre; with a steady tempo; with good breath, bow, mallet
or fingering control; and with clear articulation/diction.
- Improvise simple harmonic accompaniments using a variety
of sound sources.
- Create or arrange short songs or instrumental pieces within
Students who meet the standard can analyze how the
arts function in history, society and everyday life.
- Evaluate audience behaviors of self and others.
- Explain how works of art relate to the environment where
they are performed or displayed and how the space affects
the art works (e.g., outdoor sculpture, murals, theatre
in the round, dancing in a parade vs. on a stage).
- Describe how the site (e.g., outdoor art fair vs. museum,
half-time show at a sporting event vs. symphony hall) influences
who the audience is and the way the audience responds.
- Explain ways dance, drama, music, and visual art play
a part in everyday life (e.g. education, architecture, landscape
design, political cartoons, fashion design, background music,
- Analyze how the arts are used in commercial applications
(e.g., posters, TV commercials, package design, industrial
- Categorize types of artists with their art and art related
products or performances (e.g., commercial artist, artistic
Students who meet the standard understand how the
arts shape and reflect history, society and everyday life.
- Describe how the same idea is expressed in works of art
(e.g., portraits, wedding dances, national anthems) from
different cultures, times, or places.
- Compare the ways different cultures, times, or places
use materials to produce works of art (e.g., musical instruments,
masks, puppets, pottery, textiles).
- List artists who have made significant contributions and
describe their ideas.
Return to Fine Arts Classroom
Assessments and Performance Descriptors