Common Core In Music Education

Common Core State Standards

Hicksville Public Schools ( Music Standards in Math and Writing)

Standards in the classroom- Foust

Teaching Channel

Nafme advocacy

Example Activities:




Example Lesson Plans:


Common Core: Fact and Fiction


McElligot’s Pool, The Song!

Students will learn about verse and chorus,  listen to the teacher sing “McElligot’s Pool, The Song”, identify the verse and chorus, then sing the song along with the teacher.


McElligots Pool The Song Paint


Listening Post

The students will listen to The Carnival of the Animals: The Aquarium, discuss why the music is “fish like”, then create a movement and/or dance using streamers that goes along with the music.

One fish, Two fish, Three fish, Four

The student will play, “One fish, Two fish, Three fish, Four” on recorder with one-hundred percent accuracy.

This song is a representation of the fish that are in the book, McElligot’s Pool. In the beginning there is just one fish (fish #1), but then it is joined by many fish (fish #2, 3, and 4). The close harmonies represent the fish all trying to get to McElligot’s Pool, and then the final chord represents them finally finding the pool.




The student will create a paper plate fish in class, name their fish, and then place them on a “sea wall” in the classroom.

I will pass out paper plates, markers, crayons, and whatever other craft items might be available and have the students create their own fish. After the students are done, I plan to have a long row of blue paper across one of the walls in the classroom and have the students place them on it. This activity ties in with my book, McElligot’s Pool, because it’s about the different types of fish that may be traveling to McElligot’s Pool.

I’ve included a link below to a site on how to make the paper plate fish.





BoomWhackers Paint





The student will identify the number of and the color of each type of fish and then respond with the correct type of rhythm.

Throughout the book McElligot’s Pool, each page is either in black and white or color. Also, throughout the book are pages with multiple fish and some with just one fish. As I read the book the students will identify whether or not the page is black and white or color, then they will respond with the correct rhythm according to the picture above. As I turned each page I will give them a few seconds to look at it, then I’ll count them off by giving them four beats and then let them clap the correct rhythm. 

Crescendo and Decrescendo

The student will show how dynamics change in the music through physical actions such as marching and dancing.

The fourth movement of the symphonic poem, Pines of Rome by Ottorino Respighi is a wonderful example of contrasting dynamics. I had in mind that the teacher could start the song at around 3 minutes. They would have the students stand in a circle and start marching on beat with the music. As the music gets loud and soft, they would exaggerate or simplify their movements. This coincides with the book the teacher would be teaching on, McElligot’s pool, in that the young man’s idea of the pool gets larger and larger as the story progresses.