Religious Music

Music with Religious Implications

In keeping with NYSSMA’s fundamental purpose, which is, to advance the cause of music education in New York State, NYSSMA® believes that music chosen for study/performance, shall be quality literature which possesses clear artistic and educational value. NYSSMA® recommends that local school districts establish a policy regarding the use of music with religious implication, and advocates the following guidelines based upon prevailing precedents and educational consensus.


  1. Music chosen should be quality literature which possesses clear educational value: musical, historical and cultural.
  2. Selection of music should be based upon the developmental level of the students and the overall curriculum goals of the music program.
  3. Music should be appropriate for the performance at any time.
  4. Music should be reflective of, and enhance student awareness and appreciation of various cultures.
  5. Teachers should present the music in a sensitive manner emphasizing the educational and multi-cultural value of the music, rather than any religious/seasonal aspect.


Marschilok, Edward, (1991). Decisions of the New York Commissioner of Education Relating to Music Education. School Music News, 54(6)

Passed and adopted by the NYSSMA® Executive Council June 18, 1994