Illinois Learning Standards
Stage J - Fine Arts—Music
Students who meet the standard understand the sensory
elements, organizational principles, and expressive qualities
of the arts.
- Analyze and evaluate the use of sensory elements in a
- Analyze the form of complex musical compositions.
- Interpret how aesthetic qualities (e.g., interrelationship
of elements and principles; performance venue, practice/
preparation, instrumentation) communicate ideas and/or meaning
in student and professional performances/ compositions.
- Critique the quality and effectiveness of artists' performances/compositions.
Students who meet the standard understand the similarities,
distinctions, and connections in and among the arts.
- Critique the dominant artistic components (i.e., elements,
principles, expressive ideas; processes, technologies; creative
processes) using appropriate vocabulary in all the arts.
- Evaluate the use of similar and distinctive artistic components
across art forms.
- Analyze how different art forms combine to create an interdisciplinary
work (e.g., ballet, musical theatre, opera, cinematography,
Students who meet the standard understand processes,
traditional tools, and modern technologies used in the arts.
- Compare and contrast sound production of instruments from
- Demonstrate basic vocal and/or instrumental production
techniques (e.g., breath support, posture, bowing).
- Use standard notation to record one's own and others'
- Sight-read an instrumental or vocal score of up to four
staves, demonstrating accuracy in reading symbols for pitch,
rhythm, expressive qualities, and articulation/diction.
- Demonstrate the ability to read written notation for a
vocal or instrumental part.
- Critique the effectiveness (e.g. style, interpretation,
instrumentation) of a performer or conductor.
- Analyze the way in which performers or conductors interpret
the intent of the composer in a recorded or live performance.
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 4 (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; with clear articulation/ diction;
and with expression appropriate for the work being performed.
- Improvise original melodies in a variety of styles over
given chord progressions, each in a consistent style, meter,
- Compose or arrange music demonstrating imagination and
technical skill in applying the principles of composition.
Students who meet the standard can analyze how the
arts function in history, society and everyday life.
- Evaluate the function of the arts in historical, societal,
economic, and personal contexts (e.g. careers, aesthetics,
commentary or criticism, predictor of or catalyst for change,
tools for learning, economic contribution, therapy, propaganda/
advertising, making the invisible visible, cross disciplinary
- Evaluate the ways the arts are used to inform and persuade
through traditional and contemporary art forms.
- Examine the purposes and effects of various media (e.g.
film, print, multimedia presentations) in terms of informing,
entertaining, and persuading the public.
- Hypothesize how the arts will function in the future as
a result of changes in traditional and contemporary media.
Students who meet the standard understand how the
arts shape and reflect history, society and everyday life.
- Analyze the impact of political actions, current events,
and natural phenomena (e.g., wars, civil unrest, disasters,
economic prosperity, discovery, technology, legislation)
on the development and production of art.
- Cite examples of where the arts shaped aspects of a culture
(e.g., Dionysian theatre festival, Renaissance church art
and music, cinema and the Depression). Analyze how historical
and cultural contexts influence arts processes and products
(e.g., Reformation, patronage system, invention of microphone,
camera, and printing press, WPA).
Return to Fine Arts Classroom
Assessments and Performance Descriptors