Using the CMES: Where to Begin?

The CMES is a comprehensive resource and there are an infinite number of ways this content can be used. As an example there are four different pathways described below.


Pathway 1: Faculty Recommendations

Perhaps you have arrived here because your professor has requested that you watch a specific video or a specific series of videos. The videos are organized on the home page for easy viewing. Following the instructions in the “how to” guide and video, you can gain access to the activities and resources that surround each video.

Your professor might have even asked you to complete a particular discussion question or activity and to add your response to this shared online community. Answers to discussion questions are public and can be viewed and responded to by anyone within the system.

Another approach your professor might suggest is for you to watch a specific video and be prepared to talk about it in class the following day. You can supplement your knowledge by exploring the accompanying resources or by completing activities. A full citation for every resource is provided to allow you to find the resources in your local university library, and many of the resources are direct links to content that is openly available on the internet.

Your professors have been provided with assessments that are specific to each video, so you might want to be prepared for a pop quiz on the video content!


Pathway 2: Personal Path

Your own curiosity may serve as another pathway into the content. Perhaps your professor has asked you to watch a particular number of videos or they have simply asked you to enter the series and explore on your own.

If this is the path you take, it’s advisable that you view a variety of different videos, perhaps even portions of videos, until you settle on those that are most meaningful to you. Exploring the suggested resources or completing activities, either discussion questions or projects, can further your learning on a particular topic. It is recommended that you contribute by answering discussion questions, as this allows students from across the country to read your thoughts and share their perspectives. Posting your answers will help to bring you into a larger community of future music educators.


Pathway 3: Badging

The Collaborative Music Education Series allows for students to earn digital badges by completing projects related to the video content. Perhaps your professor has asked that you earn a specific badge or make your own decision about which badge to complete. Maybe you have elected on your own to earn a badge as you want to be able to show others your achievements.

The badge themes correspond with the National Core Arts Standards in Music: Creating, Performing, Responding, and Connecting. Badging in one, several, or all of the themes, including the National Core Arts Standards meta badge, will further your knowledge by guiding you through specific projects related to video content.

The badges within this program are intended to align with the National Core Arts Standards for music. Using these standards as a model for teaching, this badging system is intended to supplement your learning and preparation with projects directly related to each Artistic Process within the standards.

Badging allows you to demonstrate to others, including future employers, that you have a level of expertise and understanding of the National Core Arts Standards framework. Badging will also help you to navigate the learning opportunities provided within the context of this series.

The badges you earn can be displayed on your resume, e-portfolio, or online professional profile to demonstrate your achievements. The evidence you create will accompany the badge, and can be easily shared with future employers.

For more information about badging, visit the Badges tab at the top of this website. There you will find “how to guides” and videos that describe what a digital badge is, and how to earn one through this project.


Whether your professor advises a specific path, requests that you complete a badge or two, or if you find your own way through the materials, you will be on a correct path! Use this content in whatever ways are valuable to enjoy your learning.