Visual Arts & Music Curriculum

The K-12 Visual Arts & Music Curriculum identifies what all students should know and be able to do in art education. Each grade or course includes the National Standards for Arts Education, the Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations for Visual Arts and Music and the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, research-based instructional strategies, resources, map (or suggested timeline), rubrics, and checklists.  

The curriculum provides learners with a sequential comprehensive education in Visual Arts and Music through the study of National Standards for Arts Education that include:

  • Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes.

  • Using knowledge of structures (elements) and functions (principles)

  • Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas.

  • Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures.

  • Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others.

  • Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines.

  • Singling alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

  • Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music

  • Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments

  • Composing and arranging music within specific guidelines

  • Reading and notating music

  • Listening to and analyzing, and describing music

  • Evaluating music and music performances

  • Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts

  • Understanding music in relation to history and culture

Through the study of Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations for Visual Arts & Music that include:

  • Artistic processes

  • Cultural contexts

  • Communication

  • Aesthetic judgment

grade level curriculum matrix / frameworkcurriculum timeframe / mapsArt K-2frameworkmap Art 3-4frameworkgr 3 mapgr 4 mapArt 5-6framework

gr 5 map (16 days) , gr 6 map (16 days)

gr 5 map (32 days) , gr 6 map (32 days)

Art 7-8framework

gr 7 map (16 days) , gr 8 map (16 days)

gr 7 map (32 days) , gr 8 map (32 days)

Art 9-12ceramics frameworkdigital photo frameworkfoudations visual design frameworkceramics mapdigital photo  mapfoudations visual design mapMusic K-2 framework mapMusic 3-4 framework mapMusic 5-6music frameworkband framework, chorus frameworkmusic  map, band map, chorus mapMusic 7-8music frameworkband frameworkchorus frameworkmusic  map, band map, chorus mapMusic 9-12 band framework, chorus frameworkband mapchorus map

Fine Arts Education Mission Statement 

The mission of the Middletown Public Schools’ Fine Arts Department is to provide for all students a life-long appreciation of music and visual arts which enhances their educational, cultural, and personal lives. This purpose is accomplished through various creative opportunities and performances at all levels.


Fine Arts Philosophy Statement

In Middletown Public Schools, we believe the Fine Arts (Music and Visual Arts) Program will:  

  • Establish clear expectations and hold students to high standards adhering to the Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations in the Arts, National Standards for Arts Education, Applied Learning Standards, and Student Learning Expectations.

  • Provide high quality instruction for students, using best practices, analysis of available data, and a variety of assessment strategies.

  • Differentiate instruction by varying content, process, and authentic products.

  • Integrate informational reading and writing (when applicable) throughout the curriculum.

  • Utilize technology to enhance student learning and support effective teaching. 

  • Encourage students to become confident and effective communicators, problem solvers, and life-long learners. 

  • Develop life-long appreciation of the arts and their contribution to everyday life.

  • Provide opportunities and resources to analyze the influence of culture, media, technology and other factors through recognizing the arts in everyday life. 

  • Provide a safe and nurturing environment for creative experimentation and risk-taking. 

  • Provide interdisciplinary connections/learning experiences. 

  • Encourage students to become confident and effective advocates for the arts and active members of the arts community. 

  • Encourage the school and community to adopt appropriate behaviors that would lead to an appreciation and support of the arts. 

  • Provide opportunities, encouragement, and the competency to pursue life’s goals as informed contributors to a diverse and global society.

  • Support educator growth and professional development opportunities within the district, region, and national organizations.