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High school credit for applied music study.

Although many states have in place a high school credit program for applied music study, not all school districts are willing to grant credit for music study outside the school cirricula. The relationships that independent music teachers develop with public school music teachers are essential to school districts accepting high school credit for outside music study. Mutually supportive interaction between private music teachers and public school music teachers will greatly facilitate the growth and progress of high school credit programs.

Students in Washington state may receive high school credit for applied music study through the Washington State MTA High School Credit program. This arrangement with the state of Washington is endorsed by the Washington Music Educators Association, (the state MENC organization) and is in the State Board of Education Rules and Regulations.

To qualify for credit the student:

* Must study a balanced program of repertoire, memorizing at least one composition from each of the four historical musical periods

* May substitute one ensemble piece or one accompaniment of comparable difficulty in one of the four musical periods

* Must study material chosen by the teacher at the appropriate level for the student

* Must perform a minimum of two memorized pieces in the WSMTA annual Adjudications Program

Additional study is recommended in the areas of composition, improvisation, ear training, form and analysis, music history, sight reading, technique and etudes and written theory.

Evaluation is based on study over each term or grading period. The teacher and student set goals in repertoire, technique, theory and other areas and the teacher determines how and when the evaluation will be given.

Each school decides the unit of credit given. The standard unit of credit is the same as for any elective course. A WSMTA certified teacher is required to teach 36 weeks of lessons in the school year and students must make up any lesson or practice missed. The student must attend a minimum of one 45-minute private lesson per week and practice a minimum of five hours a week in the specified area of applied music. The student's work is evaluated by the independent teacher, in cooperation with the school music teacher. A letter or pass/fail grade, depending on district policy, is filed with the school at the appropriate time. The teacher completes a report and returns it to the student's school counselor at the end of each grading period.

The Edmonds School district, near Seattle, is an example of how this design works. The Washington Administrative Code, WAC, defined by the state legislature and board of education, includes areas of planned learning experiences primarily conducted away from school facilities.

Each school district may accept or reject proposals for credit from private music study or govern such studies as they see fit. The Edmonds School district has been granting credit for applied music study for many years; students may apply through their class counselors or a music department chair and may receive either vocational or arts credits.

Although WSMTA's guidelines are very similar, the district has its own set of guidelines and policies, which states:

* Students must participate concurrently in a school music program

* Students must perform in the Washington Music Educators Solo and Ensemble contest or the Washington State Music Teachers Adjudications.

"Education beyond the school classroom is essential. In Edmonds, we've worked closely with the private teachers to recognize that effort and appropriately reward students as they continue in these life experiences," says Frank DeMiero, former music supervisor, Edmonds School district.

Mary Jane Clarke, NCTM, maintains an independent piano studio. She holds a B.M. degree from the University of Puget Sound, has done graduate work at the University of Washington and privately studied piano. Clarke is a member of the MTNA Board of Directors.

Carolyn Malnes is an independent music teacher in Lynnwood, Washington. She has been newsletter editor, young composers projects and composition competition chair and co-chaired the first State Leadership Seminar for Washington State MTA. Malnes is Northwest Division president-elect.
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Title Annotation:Forum Focus: Arts Awareness and Advocacy
Author:Malnes, Carolyn
Publication:American Music Teacher
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2005
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