New Multimedia Standards in Massachusetts

The new Arts Standards in Massachusetts have officially been approved by DESE. There are now five disciplines in the arts, dance, music, theater, visual and the new multimedia strand. The 2019 standards are more cohesive between the disciplines allowing for easier reading, overlap of disciplines and connections to other curriculum areas.

As a participant on the Arts Standards review committee this summer, one of the shifts that happened in these standards that I’m excited about is the focus on the artistic process. There is a large shift from the product to the process. The goal is creating artistically literate students through the artistic practices in the content standards divided into 4 clusters that mimic the NCAS of 2014 (create, perform, respond, connect). The other big shift is helping students discover and connect with artist intent. Being intentional with the art create encourages students to tap into thoughts, feelings and emotions that were a secondary thought in the previous standards.

The new standards also lend themselves to multiple access points into a task or activity for students. Exploring these standards initially I have found that the less restrictions I put on a task, the more access points the task has for a student. The tasks also become more culturally inclusive as there is not a predetermined prescription of how the process needs to unfold.

Here are a few examples of experiences I’ve used with multimedia.

Kindergarten are using ipads to take pictures of red, yellow, green leaves. These pictures of leaves will be printed out to create a body percussion steady beat. Body percussion post for K is here. Check out how we incorporated multimedia into this project.

Fourth graders examined artwork and talked about different emotions and moods it created. They put together a few garageband loops to create a sound representation of what this artwork would sound like if it were music.

Students in Kindergarten taking pictures of leaves.

Fourth graders, using garageband loops to represent artwork.

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