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The Orchestra Rocks

Standards and Acknowledgements

Learning Standards

National Core Arts Standards for Music

Common Anchor #1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
Common Anchor #2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
Common Anchor #3: Refine and complete artistic work.
Common Anchor #4: Analyze, interpret, and select artistic work for presentation.
Common Anchor #5: Develop and refine artistic work for presentation.
Common Anchor #6: Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
Common Anchor #7: Perceive and analyze artistic work.
Common Anchor #8: Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
Common Anchor #9: Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
Common Anchor #10: Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
Common Anchor #11: Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.

New York City Department of Education Blueprint for Teaching and Learning in the Arts: Music

Strand 1 Music Making: By exploring, creating, replicating, and observing music, students build their technical and expressive skills, develop their artistry and a unique personal voice in music, and experience the power of music to communicate. They understand music as a universal language and a legacy of expression in every culture.

Strand 2 Developing Music Literacy: Students develop a working knowledge of music language and aesthetics, and apply it to analyzing, evaluating, documenting, creating, and performing music. They recognize their roles as articulate, literate musicians when communicating with their families, schools, and communities through music.

Strand 3 Making Connections: By investigating historical, social, and cultural contexts, and by exploring common themes and principles connecting music with other disciplines, students enrich their creative work and understand the significance of music in the evolution of human thought and expression.

Strand 4 Working With Community and Cultural Resources: Students broaden their perspective by working with professional artists and arts organizations that represent diverse cultural and personal approaches to music, and by seeing performances of widely varied music styles and genres. Active partnerships that combine school and local community resources with the full range of New York City’s music and cultural institutions create a fertile ground for students’ music learning and creativity.

Strand 5 Exploring Careers and Lifelong Learning: Students consider the range of music and music-related professions as they think about their goals and aspirations, and understand how the various professions support and connect with each other. They carry physical, social, and cognitive skills learned in music, and an ability to appreciate and enjoy participating in music throughout their lives.

Common Core State Standards Initiative

Through hands-on activities and a culminating interactive performance with a professional orchestra, Link Up helps to address the Common Core State Standards, empowering students through learning activities that emphasize college and career readiness and help students
  • demonstrate independence
  • build strong content knowledge
  • respond to the varying demands of audience, task, purpose, and discipline
  • comprehend and critique
  • value evidence
  • use technology and digital media strategically and capably
  • come to understand other perspectives and cultures

While the Link Up curriculum focuses primarily on music performance skills, content knowledge, and creativity, students also build core capacities in English and math. Through composition, active listening, describing and analyzing standard repertoire, and a focus on the historical context of orchestral music, Link Up provides students with the opportunity to put these core capacities to use in a new domain. Specific activities throughout the curriculum also address these English and math capacities directly, encouraging reading, writing, and quantitative thinking.



“Come to Play” by Thomas Cabaniss. © by MusiCreate Publications. Performed by the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and Moran Katz.

“Drumlines” music and instructions by Thomas Cabaniss. © by MusiCreate Publications. Performed by Thomas Cabaniss and Justin Hines.

“O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff. Published by Schott Music GmbH & Co. Kg, Mainz, Germany. © 1937 (p) 1984. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of European American Music Distributors Company, sole U.S. and Canadian agent for Schott Music GmbH & Co. KG, Mainz, Germany. Performed by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, the Bournemouth Symphony Youth Chorus, the Highcliffe Junior Choir, Greg Beardsell, Mary Denniss, Markus Eiche, Andrew Knights, Thomas Randle, Claire Rutter, Marin Alsop, Conductor. Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc. Play-along tracks performed by Shanna Lesniak, Moran Katz, and Shane Schag.

“Mars” from The Planets, by Gustav Holst. Performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra Chorus, Claire Rutter, Soprano, David Lloyd-Jones, Conductor. Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc.

Finale: Allegro con fuoco, from Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36, by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Performed by Daniel Barenboim / Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (p) 1997 Teldec Classics International GMBH. A Warner Music Group Company. Produced Under License From Teldec Classics International. Timing: 9:06. ISRC: D.

The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten. © 1947 by Hawkes & Son (London) Ltd. Courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes. Instrument excerpts performed by The Fountain Ensemble and narrated by Hillarie O’Toole. Theme performed by London Symphony Orchestra and Steuart Bedford. Courtesy of Naxos of America.

All scores reprinted with permission. All recordings © (p) 2012 The Carnegie Hall Corporation, except where noted.

The Augurs of Spring / Dances of the Young Girls from The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Craft. Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc. Play-along tracks performed by Jason Loffredo and Phil Bravo.

“In the Field Stood a Birch Tree,” Russian folk song, arranged by Sasha Papernik. Play-along tracks performed by Sasha Papernik, Moran Katz, and Shanna Lesniak.

Il Trovatore, Act II: Vedi, le fosche notturne, “Anvil Chorus,” by Giuseppe Verdi performed by the Budapest Festival Chorus and Hungarian State Opera Orchestra. Courtesy of Naxos of America, Inc. Play-along tracks performed by Jason Loffredo, Moran Katz, and Shanna Lesniak.

Special Thanks

Special thanks to Maria Schwab and the students of PS 84Q, Katie Traxler and the students of PS 51M, and the Brooklyn Steppers for their participation in the creation of video resources for Link Up, and to Dianne Berkun for her work with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus.


Thomas Cabaniss, Composer; Daniel Levy and Tanya Witek, Writers; Amy Kirkland, Editor; Sophie Hogarth, Illustrator; Scott Lehrer, Audio Production; and RPP Productions, Inc., Video Production.

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