Frequently Asked Questions:
This page contains answers to common questions of students and parents.
Are art & music required subjects for students in K-12 public schools of NYS?
Yes. The Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Part 100 specify that
public school students are to receive music instruction in grades PreK-K (CR
100.3(a)), grades one through six (CR 100.3(b)), and over grades seven and
eight (CR 100.4). Additionally, students in grades nine through twelve must
have the opportunity to complete units of credit in music to satisfy Regents
diploma requirements and to complete Regents sequences in Music or Fine Arts.
Does art and music instruction have to provided by a certified educator?
Yes. Students must receive instruction from a certified teacher. Teachers
certified in art and teachers certified in music hold a special subject
certificate which is valid in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and grades 1-12.
Are there NYS Standards for teaching art and music?
Yes. The Visual Arts and Music are two of the four disciplines included in
the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts. The Learning Standards
for the Arts were adopted by the Board of Regents in July of 1996 and
codified into Commissioner's Regulations Section 100.1(t)(1)(v) in September
What is included in the document "Learning Standards for the Arts?"
The Learning Standards for the Arts specify expectations for student
achievement in music as well as dance, theatre and visual arts. The
standards are outlined in the developmental levels of Elementary (up to and
including grade 4), Intermediate (Grades 5-8), and Commencement (Grades 9-
12). The Commencement level expectations are further divided into General
Education (Grade 9 or completing one unit of credit) and Major Sequence
(Grades 9-12 or completing three or five units of credit). In addition to
standards, key ideas and performance indicators, the Arts Standards document
includes sample tasks and samples of student work.
What is the high school graduation requirement in art/music?
Students first entering grade nine in 2001 and thereafter must successfully
complete one unit of credit in the Arts (dance, music, theatre or visual
arts) as part of Regents diploma requirements (100.5(b)(7)(iv)(e). State-
developed or State-approved high school music courses taught by a certified
music teacher may be used to satisfy the diploma requirement, as part of a
sequence, and/or for elective credit.
Can any art or music course be used to satisfy the Arts requirement?
No. Only those courses which have been State-developed or State-approved may
be used to satisfy the Arts diploma requirement in music. State-developed
courses include Music Workshop (Music in Our Lives), Band, Chorus, Orchestra,
Music Theory and Studio-in-Art.
Are Art and Music Sequences still an option for high school students?
Yes. Public schools must offer students the opportunity to begin an approved
sequence in the arts (music, visual arts, theatre, dance) in grade nine (CR
100.2(h)). High school students who first enter grade 9 in 2001 and
thereafter are no longer required to complete sequences as part of Regents
diploma requirements. However, all students must be given the opportunity to
complete music sequences which may be used to fulfill diploma requirements.
Additionally, students pursuing a Regents diploma with advanced designation
and who complete a five-unit sequence in the arts (visual arts, music, dance
and theatre) are not required to complete the additional two units of a
language other than English (CR 100.5 (b)(7)(v)(c)).
What is the status of K-12 music instruction in New York State?
According to information taken from the Basic Educational Data System in New
York State, a high number of students (1,990,311) and a significant number of
teachers (7,623) participated in K-12 music instruction in the 2001-2002