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MS & HS Instrumental Band

5-12 Instrumental Curriculum


Curriculum: Introduction



Music is an integral part of a complete education. A fundamental goal of music education is to develop the  necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes for students to use and respond to music effectively and independently throughout their lives. The musically educated person should differentiate these essential learnings:


            1. Use wisdom in applying musical skills, knowledge and attitudes in diverse settings.


            2. Be skillful as a consumer, performer or creator of music when using it as an avocation or vocation.


            3. Be sensitive to the elements of music as they interact and contribute to its beauty and form.


4. Be skillful in understanding and using musical symbols to perform, interpret, create and respond to music.


5. Be aware of and recognize the value of the world's musical heritage, feeling comfortable with music in varied settings and respecting individuals' unique contributions, aspirations and values.


6. Recognize the inter relatedness of the arts and other existing disciplines, while using music as a context to develop as literate (in  terms of communication, higher order thinking, learning, and technology skills), productive, culturally sensitive, citizens of the world.


7. Continue to pursue music in life as a consumer, performer and/or creator by evaluating and understanding music in relation to its setting and        purpose.



Curriculum: Course Overview





This instrumental music course will provide students with an understanding of musical, historical, cultural and aesthetic perspectives in the emerging global society through the use of diverse musical elements.




The instrumental music program will promote process-based education in a safe and enriching environment. The instrumental music education program will provide the opportunity for students to develop learning skills, self-esteem, and a positive work ethic that will promote scholarship in other areas of education.




This instrumental music course will develop in students the ability to work effectively through such traits as industry, persistence, cooperation (working with others), and eagerness to grow. Opportunities shall be given students for self-expression and self-discovery in music, a respect for and an appreciation of outstanding cultural developments, and an awareness of the aesthetic values in all aspects of life. Through instrumental music education the student will acquire knowledge, skills, and attitudes which will help to make him or her a more desirable member of society. The knowledge, skills, and attitudes desired can be best imparted through a program which is based upon general and specific goals focused on the process of knowledge acquisition in a self-assessed program.




Students in this program are required to complete all assigned homework, participate in all curricular performances, attend all curricular rehearsals and demonstrate through the assessment process an effort to improve. Grades are assessed on a personal basis and are not contingent upon the abilities of other students.



Curriculum: Infusion Topics





Students will gain an understanding of global history through the use of quality music from various periods in history. Historical perspective, relationship of the music to other factors of the era and significant qualities of the music that indicate the period are elements that will be covered. Students will be expected to demonstrate their knowledge of these elements through the use of stylistic performance, class discussions, written papers and exams.




Students will experience music from different regions of the world. Musical selections chosen to highlight different regions will be discussed in class. Students are expected to participate in class discussions, complete any written work and demonstrate comprehension of the style through their performance.




Cultural aspects are important to the advancement of students through the music program. Students will perform music that represents different cultural idioms. Students will discuss the cultural elements, demonstrate their knowledge through the performance of the musical styles present in the musical selections and complete all written work concerning the cultural elements discussed in class.




Aesthetic values are paramount to the complete development of any student. Students will discuss value elements in all forms of music. The ability to judge quality in other areas of their life is critical to demonstrating their knowledge. Students will participate in class discussions using vocabulary that demonstrates a comprehension of value judgment and, if required, complete a written exam discussing the quality of a chosen element of American culture.


Cross-curricular Applications


Music must provide students with content that can easily transfer into other curricular areas. Historical parallels, global perspectives and cultural elements are key components for cross-curricular expansion. As students are made aware of these elements and how they relate to other areas they will have gained valuable insight into the development of historical, social and individual perspectives.



Curriculum: Standards



Content Standard #2: Playing alone and with others


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students perform with expression and technical accuracy a large and varied repertoire of instrumental literature with a level of difficulty of GRADE 1-5.

2. Students perform an appropriate part in an ensemble, demonstrating well-developed ensemble skills.


(indicated by appropriate posture, playing position, expressive/stylistic performance, breath/stick control)


Content Standard #3: Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students improvise rhythmic and melodic variations on designated tonalities.

2. Students improvise original melodies over given chord progressions, each in a consistent style, meter, and tonality.


(indicated by awareness of chord changes, rhythmic motifs, stylistic practice, tonality)


Content Standard #4: Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students compose/arrange music demonstrating imagination and technical skill in applying the principles of composition.


(indicated by awareness of distinct styles, creativity in using the elements of music for expressive effect)


Content Standard #5: Reading and notating music


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students demonstrate the ability to read an instrumental score by describing how the elements of music are used.

2. Students sight-read accurately, and expressively, music with a level of difficulty of GRADE 1-5


(identified by recognition and definition of standard notation symbols for pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression)


Content Standard #6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students analyze and describe uses of the elements of music in a given work that make it unique, interesting, and expressive.


(indicators include listening, analyzing, and correcting own performance errors; identifying the form of the

music; understands how the elements of music are used in a variety of genres and cultures; describes the

uses of elements of music and expressive devices)


Content Standard #7: Evaluating music and music performances


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students evolve specific criteria for making informed, critical evaluations of the quality and effectiveness of performances, compositions, arrangements, and improvisations and apply the criteria in their personal participation in music.

2. Students evaluate a performance, composition, arrangement, or improvisation by comparing it to similar or exemplary models.

3. Students evaluate a given musical work in terms of its aesthetic qualities and explain the musical means it uses to evoke feelings and emotions.


(indicated by awareness and utilization of criteria in evaluation of personal and group performance, specific identification of specific performance challenges, ability to reasonably describe improvement goals, and rationalization of expressive possibilities available in music performance)


Content Standard #8: Understanding relationships between music, the other Arts, and disciplines outside the Arts.


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students explain how elements, artistic processes (such as imagination or craftsmanship), and organizational principles (such as unity and variety or repetition and contrast) are used in similar and distinctive ways in the various arts.

2. Students compare characteristics of two or more arts within a particular historical period or style and cite examples from various cultures.

3. Students explain ways in which the principles and subject matter of various disciplines outside the arts are interrelated with those of music (e.g., language arts: compare the ability of music and literature to convey images, feelings, and meanings; physics: describe the physical basis of tone production in string, wind, percussion, and electronic instruments and the human voice and of the transformation and perception of sound).


(indicators include oral or written explanation describing components, principles, or processes which unify

various Arts disciplines and other disciplines outside of the Arts.


Content Standard #9: Understanding music in relation to history and culture


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students classify by genre or style and by historical period or culture (including American musical culture) representative aural examples of music and explain the reasoning behind their classifications.

2. Students identify various roles (e.g., entertainer, teacher, transmitter of cultural tradition) that musicians perform, cite representative individuals who have functioned in each role, and describe their activities and achievements.


(indicators include oral or written explaination describing relevant historical/cultural relationships of the music

studied in the band class)


Content Standard #10: Identifying and demonstrating movement elements and skills.


Achievement Standard, Proficient:

1. Students demonstrate appropriate posture, movement, and coordination in a rhythmic context.

2. Students demonstrate projection while performing.

3. Students demonstrate the ability to remember extended movement sequences.

4. Students demonstrate a high level of consistency and reliability in performing technical skills.

5. Students perform movement skills with artistic expression, demonstrating clarity, musicality, and stylistic nuance.

6. Students refine technique through self-evaluation and correction


(indicators include appropriate performance practices of movement required in the marching band program

and the ability to identify needed improvements)


Content Standard #11: Understanding choreographic principles, processes, and structures.


Achievement Standard, Proficient:


1. Students demonstrate an understanding of choreographic principles, processes, and structures or forms.


(indicators include leadership of marching squads, suggestion of performance improvements, and appropriate

individual performance in relation to the entire formation.)



Curriculum: Benchmarks


Content Standard #2: Playing alone and with others


 I. The wind/percussion student continues to develop higher order thinking skills demonstrating attention to factors required in appropriate performance practice. The wind student integrates the following skills in every performance of his/her instrument.


A. Appropriate Air System:

(1) Model proper posture. (5-12)

(2) Full breath intake. (5-12)

(3) Consistent, forceful flow of air resulting in quality tone production. (5-12)

B. Embouchure Control:

(1) Placement of the lips. (5-12)

(2) Placement of the lower jaw. (5-12)

(3) Control of the facial muscles. (5-12)

(4) Placement and use of the tongue. (5-12)

(5) Relaxed throat. (5-12)

C. Appropriate head and hand positions:

(1) Head held erect. (5-12)

(2) Demonstrate appropriate instrument carriage. (5-12)

(3) Finger positions. (5-12)

(4) Hand, wrist and lower arm positions. (5-12)

(5) Proper use of the neck strap (for appropriate instruments). (5-12)

D. Technique adequate to perform wind literature at appropriate levels:

(1) Demonstrate adequate finger/tongue coordination as technique level increases in fluency. (5-12)

(2) Demonstrate adequate finger dexterity. (5-12)

(3) Display a continuing refinement of tone quality. (5-12)

(4) Demonstrate an understanding of tuning and intonation. (5-12)

(5) Demonstrate adequate endurance. (5-12)

(6) Employ appropriate articulations as suggested by the composer. (5-12)

E. Demonstrate appropriate tuning procedures.

(1) Identify factors that can cause poor intonation in ensemble performance and explain what can be done about each factor. (6-12)

(2) Illustrate and explain the phenomenon of acoustical beats.  (9-12)

(3) Demonstrate the appropriate techniques for adjusting pitches both seated and while playing. (5-12)

(4) Accurately tune their instrument. (6-12)

(5) Identify the intonation deficiencies and tendencies of their instrument. (7-12)


The percussion student integrates the following skills in every performance of all percussion instruments:


A. Matched grip and stroking.

(1) Thumb and first finger grip. (5-12)

(2) Remaining three fingers check. (5-12)

(3) Back of hand up. (5-12)

(4) Correct wrist action. (5-12)

(5) Lack of arm movement. (5-12)

(6) Apply proper stick control on percussion instruments. (5-12)

B. Maintains the best tone quality from all percussion instruments.

(1) Proper position/height of each instrument. (5-12)

(2) Proper addressing of each instrument. (5-12)

(3) Appropriate playing area on each instrument. (5-12)

(4) Correct body posture while performing each instrument. (5-12)

C. Develop technique adequate to perform literature at appropriate levels.

(1) Demonstrate adequate dexterity as technique level increases. (5-12)

(2) Demonstrate proper tone production as technique level increases. (5-12)

(3) Demonstrate good intonation as technique level increases. (5-12)


II. Expressively perform music of an appropriate proficiency level

A. Perform with increasing musical sensitivity at the appropriate grade level:

(1) Demonstrate sensitivity to proper phrasing within appropriate style. (7-12)

(2) Demonstrate sensitivity to appropriate dynamic contrast. (5-12)

(3) Demonstrate sensitivity to tempi fluctuations. (5-12)

(4) Demonstrate an understanding of appropriate balance when performing in a group to make the suitable decision of volume. (5-12)

(5) Demonstrate an understanding of proper blend when performing in a group demonstrating  through performance an understanding of contrasting and interweaving dynamics, balance, and intonation. (5-12)

(6) Demonstrate an understanding of good intonation when performing individually or in a group. (5-12)

B. Explore and demonstrate musical effects which alter the timbre such as vibrato, glissando, and mutes. (7-12)

C. Exhibit divergent thought processes in the application of expressive elements. (7-12)

D. Display a comprehension of basic conducting patterns. (5-12)


III. Accurately sight read band literature of appropriate proficiency level.

A. Attention given to accurate:

(1) Rhythm. (5-12)

(2) Pitch. (5-12)

(3) Articulation. (5-12)

(4) Expressive and stylistic elements. (5-12)

IV. The wind/percussion student continues to develop a sense of personal responsibility, positive work habits, and a commitment to musical growth.

A. Attention given to:

(1) Care and maintenance of the instrument. (5-12)

(2) Appropriate home practice habits. (5-12)

(3) Punctuality and regular class attendance. (5-12)


V. Commit himself/herself to pursue excellence in all his/her musical endeavors. (5-12)


VI. The wind/percussion student continues to develop a sense of community as (s)he works with other students in the group.

A. Attention given to:

(1) Unity demonstrate in the group activities. (5-12)

(2) Pride evident the group. (5-12)


Content Standard #3: Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments


I. Exhibit creativity in improvisation.

A. Melodic improvisation demonstrating:

(1) Unity of thematic content. (5-12)

(2) Uniformity of rhythmic motives. (5-12)

(3) Conformity to tonality. (5-12)

(4) Use of appropriate scale in melodic patterns. (5-12)

(5) Creativity in variations. (5-12)

B. Harmonic improvisation demonstrating: 

(1) Understanding of tonality. (7-12)

(2) Consideration of chord structure and progression. (7-12)


II. Exhibit experimentation with non-traditional notation. (9-12)


III. Conceive dynamic contrast and incorporate it into their individual performance.


Content Standard #4: Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines


I. Compose short melodies and evaluate their aesthetic value.

A. Melodic composition demonstrating:

(1) Continuity of melodic contour. (9-12)

(2) Variety in rhythmic motives. (9-12)

(3) Conformity to tonality. (9-12)

(4) Unity with harmonic background. (9-12)

(5) Intent for expressive contour.  (9-12)


II. Exhibit legible penmanship in traditional notation.

A. Manuscript demonstrating:

(1) Appropriate placement of note on the staff. (5-12)

(2) Use of correct rhythmic notation matching intent. (5-12)


Content Standard #5: Reading and notating music

I. Recognize note names/staff positions and corresponding correct fingerings/slide positions/location. (5-12)


II. Apply in performance all rhythmic, tonal and interpretive knowledge acquired in prior training to all performances on his/her instrument.

A. The students should be able to:

(1) Demonstrate through performance the conductor's beat, pulse and meter. (5-12)

(2) Demonstrate understanding and performance ability of major and minor tonalities, scales and intervals. (6-12)

(3) Recognize and incorporate the musical symbols of pp, p, mp, mf, f, ff, cresc, decresc, sfz, and fp in written pieces of music. (5-12)

(4) Demonstrate through playing the differences among Allegro, Andante, Moderato, Adagio, Vivace, Presto, Maestoso, A Tempo, Ritardando, Rallentando, Accelerando, and Allegretto.


(5) Other interpretive indications. (5-12)


III. Execute and demonstrate working knowledge of the chromatic scale. (6-12)


IV. Identify key signature as written in exercises and music studied. (6-12)


V. Employ duple, triple, and compound meter expanding to asymmetrical and polymeters when appropriate. (6-12)


VI. Demonstrate understanding of the meanings of all musical terms and vocabulary encountered in the literature performed. (5-12)


VII. Demonstrate through performance an understanding of basic articulations:


A. Interpretation of Style - The students should be able to . . .

1. Recognize and play the staccato, slurred, and tongued notes as written in the music. (5-12)

2. Recognize and play Marcato, Accent, and Tenuto. (5-12)


VIII. Orally count and identify fundamental note and rest values as presented in lesson book and music studied in class. (5-12)


IX. Identify and demonstrate proper ornamentation where appropriate in the literature being studied.(7-12)


X. Identify through expressive performance the use of rhythm which influences drive, energy, and life in the music.


A. Apply expressive sensitivity with rubato in individual performance.  (7-12)

B. Exercise aesthetic judgment in the application of expressive elements. (7-12)


Content Standard #6: Listening to, analyzing and describing music.

I. Analyze and describe specific events in an aural example utilizing appropriate

musical terminology and vocabulary.

A.  Demonstrated through:  recognition of compositional devises used in the performance literature.



II. Listening to his/her performance, analyzing it, and determine the appropriate action to correct the identified errors. (5-12)


III. Evaluate their contribution to the balance within the band and make the suitable decision of volume. (5-12)


IV. Discern the melody line of a piece of music. (5-12)


V. Identify rhythmic patterns within melodies. (5-12)


VI. Recognize tension and release in aural examples. (7-12)


VII. Locate and identify important melodic ideas: main themes, counter melodies,

subordinate themes. etc. (5-12)


VIII. Analyze the characteristics of melodic ideas in terms of the following:

(A) Form: 1) phrases, 2) motif, 3) periods (9-12)

(B) Dynamic contour of patterns (9-12)

(C) Progression: 1) diatonic, 2) chromatic (9-12)

(D) General qualities: 1) lyric, 2) dramatic, 3) etc. (9-12)

(E) Ornamentation: 1) embellishments (9-12)

(F) Relationship of melody to textures. (9-12)

IX. Examine overall tempo indications identifying the relationship of tempos (similar and contrasting); the use of tempos as a factor in establishing general feelings (slow-tragic, majestic, heavy, joyous, humorous, etc.) (6-12)


X. Interpret variations and interruptions of tempo:

(1) ritardandos (5-12)

(2) accelerandos (5-12)

(3) rallentandos (5-12)

(4) stringendo (5-12)

(5) rubato (5-12)

(6) grand pause (5-12)

(7) fermata (5-12)

XI. Utilize critical divergency in rhythmic judgment. (9-12)


XII. Compare in writing two similar works. (9-12)

Content Standard #7: Evaluating music and music performances


I. Make critical evaluation of ensemble performance. (5-12)


II. Evaluate individual performance. (5-12)


III. Discuss the effectiveness of particular arrangement. (5-12)


IV. Listening to the group's performance, analyzing it, and determining the appropriate action to correct the identified errors. (5-12)


V. Evaluate individual balance within the band to make the suitable decision of volume. (5-12)



Content Standard #8: Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.


I. Compare two or more similar/diverse art forms. (5-12)


II. Identify conceptual similarities between art forms. (5-12)


III. Demonstrate an awareness of musical careers, hobbies, and opportunities available to them. (5-12)



Content Standard #9: Understanding music in relation to history and culture


I. The student continues to develop an appreciation for wind/percussion literature. (5-12)


II. Historical Information of a Composition - The students should be able to:


A. Share their understanding of the circumstances surrounding the creation of the work studied:

historical, cultural, social.

1) Identify the era of selections performed in class. (9-12)

2) Demonstrate knowledge of musical periods. (9-12)

3) Discuss the elements of a specific period. (9-12)

4) Identify dates for defined periods. (9-12)

5) Contrast two similar works from two separate periods. (9-12)

6) Relate music to other disciplines from a historical perspective. (9-12)

B. Relate contemporary events to the piece when applicable. (9-12)

C. Determine the purpose of the composition: musical play, ballet music, religious music, others (5-12)


III. Biographical Information about the Composer - The students should be able to:

A. Reveal the composer's nationality. (5-12)

B. Identify the era of the composer. (5-12)

C. Present general information about the composer's life and work. (5-12)

D. Explain the composer's contribution to the history of music. (5-12)


IV. Stylistic and Performance Practices of the Historical Period that the Composition Represents - The students should be able to:

A. Identify the role of the performer and the performance medium in the historical period of the pieces of study. (9-12)

B. Demonstrate the characteristics of the period related to the performance and interpretation of the pieces of study: interpretation of melodies, ornamentation, articulations, phrasing, timbres, rhythms, tempos, and dynamics. (9-12)


V. Demonstrate a general knowledge of the various style period of music in Western civilization. (9-12)


VI. Demonstrate an understanding of music of major composers of wind/percussion literature. (9-12)



Content Standard #10: Identifying and demonstrating movement elements and skills.


I. Exhibit correct marching style.

A. Appropriate posture.

1) Poise. (6-12)

2) Carriage. (6-12)

3) Uniformity with ensemble. (6-12)

B. Body articulation.

1) Carriage. (6-12)

C. Clarity of movement.

1) Movement initiation and halts. (6-12)

2) Turns. (6-12)

3) Consistancy of style (marching fundamentals). (6-12)

D. Stylistically accurate foot placement.

1) Heels at halt. (6-12)

2) Uniformity of marching style. (6-12)

II. Refinement through self assessment. (6-12)



Content Standard #11: Understanding choreographic principles, processes, and structures.


I. Improvisation of movement.

A. Creative and appropriate enhancement of drill. (6-12)

B. Selling the show (confidence and pride). (6-12)


II. Concept of form

A. Alignment (lateral/curve).

1) Interval. (6-12)

2) Distance. (6-12)

3) Dress. (6-12)

4) Uniformity of step (phasing). (6-12)

B. Contribution to definition of pattern. (6-12)


III. Relationship to the music.

A. Discuss choices in drill and effect on the show. (6-12)

B. Compare and contrast the way meaning is conveyed in the drill design. (6-12)



Curriculum: Performance Opportunities



The Band Department provides many opportunities for students to perform in various groups. Some of the performing groups are curricular; requiring attendance at all rehearsals and performances, and extracurricular; participation is optional or by audition. All performances and rehearsals are required for participating members. Units of instruction as described in this document apply only to the curricular activities as identified below.


Marching Band


Description: Marching Band will focus on the elements of movement through the programming, teaching, and performance of a field show. Students are required to attend rehearsals and all performances.


Concert Band


Description: Concert Band is the core of the music curriculum. This is the setting where students are exposed to many of the content standards. This group will explore the fundamentals of instrumental performing as an ensemble and individually. Students will develop and work towards the proficient level of the standards as outlined in this document.


Jazz Band


Description: The Jazz Band is an extension of the core music performance curriculum. Students will discover and demonstrate the diverse styles, history, and culture associated with jazz. This performance group will perform at concerts. Members are expected to attend all rehearsals as required by the instructor.