Curriculum reform requires that all teachers become teacher leaders. "This involves a commitment on the part of all to lead as experts in their subject area, their classrooms, and in the vision and mission of the school/district" (Hill, 2006, p. 178). Each teacher, especially the music educator, has to be an advocate for their subject within the curriculum. As the music curriculum is currently changing, the music educator should be aware of the issues that are being revised.
Most music educators realize the need for integration of music into other areas of the school curriculum but do not understand the effort that goes into forming an integrated lesson plan. When incorporating music into another subject, students gain a richer experience in their education. Perhaps the most important reason for music integration is fulfillment of the eighth National Standard: "understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts."
Music integration into a general subject area "provides solid links for learning" (Cane, 2012, p. 34). Students are more capable of linking subjects, such as music and science, together. Also, music integration has been found to improve students' achievement and motivation within the classroom. Sale and Osborn (2013) say, "Students can learn through their visual sense, applying pictures and architecture to the music they are studying" (p. 54). Teachers can integrate music with other disciplines, such as history or mathematics, but also with other arts, such as drama or art. Examples of drama in music are easy to see, and teachers can use art to inspire even a young student in achieving a beautiful sound.
"When music educators gather with classroom teachers to collaborate, the expectation should be purposeful methodology for both disciplines, where students are encouraged to use higher-order thinking skills as the process and product of learning are assessed " (Cane, 2012, p. 35). Collaboration implies music educators working with regular classroom teachers to integrate music into the daily curriculum. Having administrative approval toward a collaboration project is an important part.
Although not all subjects can be integrated with each other, music can be used and integrated with any subject easily. Music integration in the curriculum and the collaboration of music educators with other teachers is a necessity in contemporary curriculum development and reform. Many times both students and teachers profit through integration. Integration is not something that just happens within a curriculum; it comes through hard work and research.
Assessment is a challenge in curricular that music educators are facing. Because music differs in approach from other school subjects, music teachers have to use assessment somewhat differently than regular classroom teachers. Scott (2005) discusses three different roles of assessment – "of...