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K-16 Music Educators National Certification Standards

In September of 1998 a committee of K-16 music educators from around the country, in conjunction with representatives from MENC and under the direction of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS, with offices in Southfield, Michigan and Arlington, Virginia), began drafting certification standards for national certification in music education. These standards have been designed to define and describe accomplished music teaching, and achievement of these standards will lead to National Board certification in music education. In light of recent list activity on this topic, these standards are of concern to all of us in the music education profession.

After 7 drafts, the Music Standards Committee forwarded the developing standards to the National Board's Standards & Professional Development Working Group at their recent meeting in Seattle, Washington. The Working Group approved the standards for the next stage of development, the public comment period. Approval by this group is rarely achieved for any set of standards on the first hearing, so I am pleased that this process is moving forward at the present pace.

I am sending this message to you because you may have an interest in receiving these standards for commentary. There are two ways to request a copy of these, as follows: (a) you may call NBPTS directly at 1-800-22-TEACH; or (b) you may contact the NBPTS website at The standards will be sent to you free of charge in about three weeks, when they are printed and ready for distribution.

Please give this information to other music education colleagues at your university or school, and share this with colleagues at other universities, schools, and school districts who may have an interest in this project. Your input is very valuable and will be taken very seriously in the final revisions of this major document. The committee now plans to reconvene in mid-July to revise the document in consideration of the comments made during this period.

Tim Brophy <>
Memphis, Tennessee
Member, Music Standards Committee

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The Canadian Music Educators' Association has a downloadable draft of their "Standards for Canadian Music Education" which has benchmarks for grades k-8. click on Special Projects, then "Musical Understanding - concepts and skills. It is in MSWord format.