Making Sense of the Common Core

making sense of the common corerecommended by Rachel Steele, School Music Specialist

There are a few things in life that EVERYONE has an opinion on: Religion, politics, coconut, and the Common Core.  Music teachers can be especially, uh, sensitive about this subject.   Regardless of personal feelings, it seems that the Core is here to stay in most states, and integrating it into music classes is something that nearly everyone has been asked to do.

Sharon Burch, an exemplary elementary music educator, (most famous as the creator of Freddie the Frog) has written a no-nonsense, easy-to-follow guide to navigating the in’s and out’s of the core.  The foundation of the book is this: “You are a music teacher first, incorporating the Common Core second.”   Ms. Burch asserts that music teachers already teach many, many lessons that support the common core, or could support it with a few easy “tweeks.”  What “Making Sense of the Common Core” strives to do is give you the resources, verbage and other needed information to talk to administrators and other educators in their language about what you are teaching and how you are teaching it.

This succinct 70 page resource tells you only what you need to know, in a format that makes the exploration of the Core as painless as possible.  Appendices include lesson plan templates and documentation charts, as well as a list of resources Sharon recommends.  The book also comes with a digital download code that allows you to down find these documents online so you can start using them right away.  While the book is aimed at K-5 music teachers, secondary music educators will also find the ideas useful and applicable.

Making Sense of the Common Core by Sharon Burch…………………………………………….$12.99

For more information about this resource, common core music ideas, or other general music products, please contact us at or give us a call at 1-800-42-MUSIC, ext. 1.

Rachel Steele has been at Stanton’s since 2013. She previously taught middle school and high school band and choir for 13 years, and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from The Ohio State University. Currently a member of the Heisey Wind Ensemble and a musician at Epiphany Lutheran Church (Pickerington OH), Rachel also enjoys reading, sewing, baking and the Pittsburgh Steelers!


Categories: Classroom General Music, Music Education, Staff Picks, Teacher Materials

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