Course SummaryBoost your confidence as you study for the NYSTCE - Music test by reviewing the video lessons and quizzes in this study guide course. Use these mobile-friendly, flexible materials to help you boost your music knowledge and earn the best score possible on the exam.
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About the Course
To earn certification as a music teacher in New York State, you need to pass the New York State Teacher Certification Examinations (NYSTCE) Music content specialty test (CST), as well as the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test (LAST) and the Assessment of Teaching Skills - Written (ATS-W). The four-hour CST in music features multiple-choice questions and a constructed-response assignment.
We have developed this study guide to help you prepare for the NYSTCE - Music CST. Explore various musical forms, scientific elements of sound production and principles of singing. You also can build your listening skills, your knowledge of vocal and instrumental ensembles and your understanding of various musical periods, including Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and Romantic. Additionally, this course addresses numerous genres of music, such as jazz, musical theater and popular music, and the following topics:
- Elements of music notation, melody and harmony
- Meter and rhythm
- Composing, arranging and improvising music
- Understanding instruments
- Principles of conducting
- Opera and orchestral music
- Modern era and contemporary music
- World music history
- Music in society
- Music's relation to other disciplines
The NYSTCE - Music CST features 90 multiple-choice questions in four subareas - music theory, music performance, listening skills and music history and culture - as well as a constructed-response question in music history and culture. The listening skills section of the test is given first. Test-takers listen to audio recordings as a group and record their answers. They can then proceed with this rest of the exam at their own pace.
NYSTCE - Music CST Preparation and Registration
Our music course, which features a mix of videos, transcripts and self-assessment quizzes, was put together by experienced professional educators. Most of the video presentations can be watched in less than 10 minutes, and while packed with information, they're also engaging and easy to follow. The purpose of the quizzes is 2-fold: they can help you gauge your knowledge of music while introducing you to the types of questions you're likely to see on the NYSTCE - Music CST.
This content specialty test is offered just four times a year in February, April, July and October. Regular registration can be completed through the NYSTCE website up to approximately four weeks before the exam. During registration, you can choose which institutions you'd like to receive your test scores.
NYSTCE - Music CST Scoring
You can check your test scores online approximately four weeks after your test date. Your score also will be sent to the New York State Education Department and any school systems or other institutions you indicated during the registration process.
To qualify for certification, you must earn a minimum score of 220 on a scale of 100-300. Your test report will note whether you passed or failed the exam, your total score and your score in each of the following subareas:
This subarea makes up approximately 18% of the NYSTCE - Music content specialty test. Topics covered might include elements of melody, harmony and musical notation, as well as your understanding of meter, rhythm and tempo. You also might be asked about composition techniques, as well as ways to arrange and improvise music.
This subarea comprises around one-fourth of the test. You might face questions about the science behind sound production, as well as principles of singing and conducting. This section also covers keyboard, percussion, string and wind instruments, in addition to instrumental and vocal ensembles.
Another quarter of the music CST tests your listening skills. For this subarea, you'll listen to musical recordings and then answer questions about those recordings. This might include putting a recording into historical or cultural context, identifying elements of melody or harmony, or recognizing compositional form or textural elements. You also might be asked to pinpoint errors in pitch, rhythm and other aspects of a musical performance.
Music History and Culture
Approximately 22% of the exam focuses on music history and culture. Multiple-choice questions in this section address the development of Western music from the Middle Ages through the present. You might be asked about major composers, including Handel, Mozart and Glass, as well as major periods of music, such as Renaissance, Baroque and classical. You'll also be expected to have an understanding of American music, including jazz and Broadway, and American instruments like the dulcimer and banjo. Additionally, questions might focus on the purposes of music and ways it relates to other forms of art.
Music History and Culture Constructed-Response Assignment
This subarea, which counts for approximately 10% of your score, requires that you pen a written response of around 150-300 words on a specified topic. Your response will be judged on how well you answered the question overall, how well you applied appropriate knowledge and skills and how well you supported your answer with examples and reasoning.
NYSTCE is a registered trademark of the New York State Education Department and Pearson Education, Inc., which are not affiliated with Study.com.
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