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Music Curriculum

Below is a grade-level specific list of the curriculum taught in Amberle's music classes and the Content Standards they meet. 


Grades and programs taught by Amberle are Kindergarten, 1-2, 3, 4, Choirs, Band


Kindergarten

30 minutes a week on Thursday afternoons 

Content Learned:

Elements of rhythm: Eighth notes, Quarter notes, Quarter rests, Half Notes, Dotted half notes, Whole notes. (the last two were just introduced last week

* Students are able to identify and clap basic rhythms, identify beatsaurally, and they are able to read basic rhythms while playing on percussion instruments. 

Dynamics: Piano, Forte (also the motions associated with these dynamics)

Emotions: What emotion belongs to what song.

Composers: What a composer is and songs that certain composers are known for:

                                    Rossini: William Tell Overture

                                    Mozart: Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, Don Giovanni

                                    Stravinsky: Firebird

* Students are able to identify each piece and name the composer that wrote it. Also they know the brief story belonging to each piece.

Musical vs. Ballet vs. Opera: What are the similarities/differences in students own words

Words and music: Students can use their own words to describe pieces they hear.

 

Content Standards covered:

1.1 Use icons or invented symbols to represent beat.

1.2 Identify and describe basic elements in music (e.g., high/low, fast/slow, loud/soft, beat).

2.1 Use the singing voice to echo short melodic patterns.

2.2 Sing age-appropriate songs from memory.

2.3 Play instruments and move or verbalize to demonstrate awareness of beat, tempo, dynamics, and melodic direction.

3.3 Use a personal vocabulary to describe voices and instruments from diverse cultures.

3.4 Use developmentally appropriate movements in responding to music from various genres and styles (rhythm, melody).

4.2 Identify, talk about, sing, or play music written for specific purposes (e.g., work song, lullaby).

5.1 Use music, together with dance, theatre, and the visual arts, for storytelling.

 

Content Standards yet to be covered:

2.4 Create accompaniments, using the voice or a variety of classroom instruments.*

3.1 Identify the various uses of music in daily experiences.*
3.2 Sing and play simple singing games from various cultures.

4.1 Create movements that correspond to specific music.*

5.2 Identify and talk about the reasons artists have for creating dances, music, theatre pieces, and works of visual art.

 * Briefly covered, but I am planning to cover in more detail later on              


Strengths: Good amount of time for attention and content. Having the class on a full non-minimum day is excellent and the class is ahead of MANY other Kindergarten classes.

 Weaknesses: Obtaining a media device to play visual recordings is a little difficult.

 


1st and 2nd grade

50 minutes on Wednesday afternoons  

Content Learned:

Singing Position: Proper posture, listening to those around you while singing, etc.

Solfege & Hand Signs: Also used with the songs they are learning

Major Scale with Solfege

Putting together rhythm, pitch, and solfege: Sight-reading folk tunes that they may already know

Identifying patterns: Basic form, notes travelling up and down referring to pitch, etc.   

Singing games from other lands: Kye Kye Kola (West Africa)

Form: covered Echoing, Verse/chorus, AB

Words and music: Students can describe the quality of music and instruments using their own words (bright, dark, sad, happy, fast, slow, smooth, rough, etc)

Etiquette: Students know when to clap, sit, stand, etc during a performance

  *This is also practiced during class with student performances

Instrument families: Students know the basic four families and can usually place each instrument accurately in the appropriate family.

Age appropriate songs: Ex. Rockin’ Robin, Arabian Nights, Stand Up, etc.

Basic listening dictation

 

Content Standards covered:

1st Grade

1.1 Read, write, and perform simple patterns of rhythm and pitch, using beat, rest, and divided beat (two sounds on one beat).

1.2 Identify simple musical forms (e.g., phrase, AB, echo).

1.3 Identify common instruments visually and aurally in a variety of music.

2.1 Sing with accuracy in a developmentally appropriate range.

2.2 Sing age-appropriate songs from memory.

2.3 Play simple accompaniments on classroom instruments.

2.4 Improvise simple rhythmic accompaniments, using body percussion or classroom instruments.

3.2 Sing and play simple singing games from various cultures.

3.3 Use a personal vocabulary to describe voices, instruments, and music from diverse cultures.

4.2 Describe how ideas or moods are communicated through music.

5.2 Describe how the performance of songs and dances improves after practice and rehearsal.

 

2nd grade

1.1 Read, write, and perform simple rhythmic patterns, using eighth notes, quarter notes, half notes, and rests.

1.2 Read, write, and perform simple patterns of pitch, using solfege.

1.3 Identify ascending/descending melody and even/uneven rhythm patterns in selected pieces of music.

1.4 Identify simple musical forms, emphasizing verse/refrain, AB. (ABA will also be covered later)

1.5 Identify visually and aurally individual wind, string, brass, and percussion instruments used in a variety of music.

2.1 Sing with accuracy in a developmentally appropriate range.

2.2 Sing age-appropriate songs from memory.

2.3 Play rhythmic ostinatos on classroom instruments.

2.4 Improvise simple rhythmic and melodic accompaniments, using voice and a variety of classroom instruments.

3.2 Sing simple songs and play singing games from various cultures.

4.2 Create developmentally appropriate movements to express pitch, tempo, form, and dynamics in music.

4.3 Identify how musical elements communicate ideas or moods.

4.4 Respond to a live performance with appropriate audience behavior.

5.1 Identify similar themes in stories, songs, and art forms (e.g., patterns, texture).

5.2 Identify and discuss who composes and performs music.

 

Content Standards yet to be covered:   

1st grade

3.1 Recognize and talk about music and celebrations of the cultures represented in the school population.  

3.4 Use developmentally appropriate movements in responding to music from various genres, periods, and styles (rhythm, melody, form).       

4.1 Create movements to music that reflect focused listening.

5.1 Recognize and explain how people respond to their world through music.           

 

2nd grade            

3.1 Identify the uses of specific music in daily or special events.

3.3 Describe music from various cultures.

4.1 Use the terminology of music in discussing individual preferences for specific music.

 

Strengths:

With a combined class, the students get to hear a variety of opinions from each other and interact to create a dynamic classroom environment.

 Weaknesses:

The large size creates issues when trying to do movement exercises (they bump or hit each other and create problems that detract from the larger class).

The long length of time means that by the end of the 50 minutes, a handful of students lose focus or motivation to carry on with instruction.

 

Recommendation:

Split the class into grade groups and make the class time into 30 minute blocks. Though if more time is desired, have music more than once a week for 30 minutes each time. Also, change the day away from the minimum day so they receive the same amount of instruction as the other classes.

 


3rd grade

40 minutes on Wednesday afternoons

 

Content Learned:

Breathing: Control, using hot air vs. cold air, proper breathing habits (using ribs and abdomen to increase the amount of available air).

Fingering: CDEFGABCD

Articulation: Legato and staccato

Elements of Rhythm: Half notes, Whole notes, Quarter notes, Eighth notes, Quarter rests, Half rests, Dotted Half notes.

Solfege: Very briefly and in reference to learning the C Major Scale on recorder.

Listening dication: When I play a melody on recorder, they can play it back without having seen my hands.

Harmony

Major Scale utilizing harmony

Swung eighth notes: Introduced the “feel” of jazz, later will expand to improvisation.

Basic Music Theory: Notes, Staff, Treble clef, Rhythm, Measures, Barlines, Time Signatures

Composition: Students can write a basic melody on a staff.

 

Content Standards covered in reference to recorders:

1.1 Read, write, and perform simple rhythmic patterns using eighth notes, quarter notes, half notes, dotted half notes, whole notes, and rests.

1.2 Read, write, and perform pentatonic patterns, using solfege.

2.1 Sing with accuracy in a developmentally appropriate range.

2.4 Create short rhythmic and melodic phrases in question-and-answer form.

4.3 Describe how specific musical elements communicate particular ideas or moods in music.

 

Strengths:

Most of the students are driven to earn the belt “rewards”, so they practice individually during class when asked and the results are proven through performance.

This particular class truly wishes to learn more about the recorder so they are attentive when new information is introduced.

I believe the 40 minute time schedule is perfect.

Weaknesses:

Having the class on the minimum day reduces the amount of time I have with the students, so they are not as advanced as they COULD be, though I have every expectation that they will get to the black belt by the end of the class.

 

 


4th grade

50 minutes on Thursday afternoons

 

Content learned:

Polyphony: 3 part rounds

Solfege

Harmony

Consonance

Dissonance

Breathing: Hissing exercises, control, proper breathing techniques

Articulation: Staccato, legato, slurring, ties.

Duets: Students can play two different lines of music at the same time.

Major Scales C and D

Listening/Writing Dictation: I play a melody and they are able to write the rhythm and notes that I played (basic melodies only)

Intermediate rhythms: Students are able to either play or clap rhythms in 6/8, 9/8, 4/4, 2/4, 3/4

Half and Whole step movement: With basic singing warm-ups, students can move up by half steps with limited assistance.

Music History: Dixieland (will also encompass Swing/Big Band, Bebop, and Jazz Rock by the end of the school year)

Basic Voice: Learning vocal warm-ups, ways to keep the throat/lips healthy, learning ways of memorization, and also singing music (currently working on Thriller due to high demand)

Composition: 4 bar melodies playable on recorder

Music Description: Students can describe voices and instruments using their own words

 

Content Standards in reference to recorder class:


1.1 Read, write, and perform melodic notation for simple songs in major keys, using solfege.

1.2 Read, write, and perform diatonic scales.

1.4 Describe music according to its elements, using the terminology of music.

2.3 Compose and improvise simple rhythmic and melodic patterns on classroom instruments.
3.1 Explain the relationship between music and events in history.
3.2 Identify music from diverse cultures and time periods.
4.1 Use specific criteria when judging the relative quality of musical performances.

5.4 Evaluate improvement in personal musical performances after practice or rehearsal.

 

Strengths:

There is a diversity present in the class as to what the students want to learn so (most of the time) they are agreeable to learning a wide variety of musical content.

The class is very vocal, so discussions are lively.

Weaknesses:

The class time is a little too long for one sitting, so students get restless by the end of class.

Recommendation:

I strongly recommend that the class is broken up to twice a week at 30 minute blocks.

 

 


Choirs:

50 minutes on Wednesday mornings, 40 on minimum days

Rhythms: Eighths, Quarters, Half Note, Dotted Half Notes, Rests, Sixteenths (advanced only). Students can place the correct number beats under the rhythms.

Solfege: Sight-reading and placing the correct solfege syllables under short melodic phrases.

Basic Music Theory: Parts of the staff, bass clef, treble clef, line and space names, note naming, rhythms listed above, measures, bar lines, time signatures (top and bottom numbers), note values, dotted note values and rest values.

 Songs (beginning):

Kyrie Eleison: Brief music history lesson, pronunciation of latin, brief form instruction (antiphonal or more commonly called echo).

Chili Caliente: Latin driven beat, exposure to sung Spanish, syncopation

Seasons of Love: Emotion in music, facial expression while singing, proper diction and vowel usage.

(NEW) Don’t Stop Believin’: Introduction to Journey, repeats, honest fun piece.

(NEW) Earth Song: Discussion of lyrics and bringing student’s attention to earth issues (global warming, use of fossil fuels, etc and what they can do to help the environment), 1st and 2nd endings, harmony.

Songs (advanced)

            Fireflies: complicated rhythm, beginning harmony, rests being crucial to the

feeling of the piece.

Seasons of Love: Emotion in music, facial expressions, basic conducting (four

pattern), discussion of RENT and how it relates to today, proper diction and

vowel usage.

(Sight-read) Solfege Waltz: Understanding how solfege operates and how it’s connected with the rise and fall of pitches.

(NEW) Don’t Stop Believin’: Intro to Journey, repeats, developing high register for females, and allowing males to sing out without worry.

(NEW this week) Footloose: Depending on class involvement, beginning adding developmentally appropriate movement to music, diction.

(POSSIBLE) Song from Wicked: Develop some knowledge of musical theatre, discussion on Twisted Fairytales to follow.

 

Strengths: Students can read very basic melodies and rhythms by themselves.

Weaknesses: Only 50 Minutes a week, so most of the material that is expected of a middle school/junior high school is not present due to lack of time.

 


Band:

50 minutes on Wednesday mornings, 40 minutes on minimum days 

Rhythms: Eighths, Quarters, Half notes, Whole notes, various rests. Students can number beats correctly orally when they are written on the board.

Breathing: Proper use of air.

Conducting: Basic four, discussion about breathing before the downbeat, ictus. Students can conduct eight bars of four with an even tempo using the correct pattern.

Articulation: Legato, slurring.

Fingerings

Pick-up Notes

Basic Music Theory: Parts of the staff, bass clef, treble clef, line and space names, note naming, rhythms listed above, measures, bar lines, time signatures (top and bottom numbers), note values, dotted note values and rest values.

The Standard of Excellence: Mid-book around 60’s

Performance evaluations occur about every three weeks and there has been one conducting test so far.

Strengths: Students can sightread basic melodies, write in rhythms underneath lines, and they are on track with other bands held once a week.

Weaknesses: Lack of materials àthere are not enough stands for everyone.

 

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