Music Curriculum Overview
According to the California Content Standards, the Music Content Standards are categorized as part of the Visual and Performing Arts Program. Students, ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade, will learn about music through artistic perception, creative expression, historical and cultural context, aesthetic valuing, and connections, relationships/application. The main goal for all the grade levels is to develop their appreciation, understanding, and passion for music.
Kindergarten students will learn how to use icons or invent symbols to represent beats and to identify or describe basic elements in music. Students will be able to apply their vocal and instrumental skills to creatively express their appreciation for music through singing and echoing short melodic patterns, playing percussion instruments to demonstrate awareness of beat, tempo, dynamics and melodic direction, and creating accompaniments with the use of voice and various classroom instruments. Part of music appreciation, they will learn to analyze the role and diversity of music through culturally different games, singing, rhythm, and melody. As students gain a better understanding of music, they will eventually be able to critically assess and derive meaning from works of music and performances of musicians. With this understanding, they will be able to apply what they learn in music across all subject areas.
First grade students will learn to read, write, and perform simple patterns of rhythm and pitch, using beat rest, and divided beat (two sounds on one beat). They learn how to identify simple musical forms and common instruments in a variety of music. Singing and instrumental skills are important in helping them to learn age-appropriate songs from memory and create simple rhythmic accompaniments. Students will further learn to recognize and talk about music and celebrations of cultures. Understanding about diversity of music will help first graders to use personal vocabulary to describe voices, instruments, and music from different cultures. As students gain a better understanding about music, they will create movements to music that reflect focused listening and describe how ideas or moods are communicated through music. Students will eventually be able to recognize and explain how people respond to their world through music.
In the second grade, students will first learn how to read, write, and perform simple rhythmic patterns, using eighth notes, quarter notes, half notes, and rest, and simple patterns of pitch, using solfege. They will be able to identify ascending/descending melody, even/uneven rhythm patterns, simple musical forms, visually and aurally individual wind, string, brass, and percussion instruments. Applying vocal and instrumental skills, composing, arranging, and improvising will further be emphasized in this grade level. Second graders learn to identify the uses of specific music in daily events or describe music from various cultures. As for their aesthetic valuing, they are able to use terminology of music in discussing individual preferences for specific music and respond to a live performance with appropriate audience behavior. Students will learn to identify similar musical themes in stories, songs, and art forms. They will be able to discuss who composes and performs music.
Besides learning the basic reading, writing, and performing, students are beginning to identify simple musical forms and describe the way in which sound is produced on various instruments. Students are also identifying melody, rhythm, harmony, and timbre; as well as identifying visually and aurally the four families of orchestral instruments and male and female adult voices. Vocal, instrumental, composing, arranging, and improvising skills are becoming more complex in that students learn to sing from memory, including rounds, partner songs and ostinatos. Students are playing rhythmic and melodic ostinatos on classroom instruments. They are also memorizing culturally diverse songs through playing and singing. By being able to make judgments about the quality of a musical performance, students are able to create appropriate movements to express pitch, tempo, form, and dynamics. By the end of the year, students are expected to be able to identify what musicians and composers do to create music. Third graders will be given the option to begin a band program at this grade level.
Students in this age level can read, write, and perform melodic notation for simple songs in major keys, diatonic scales, and rhythmic notation. They are able to describe music, using musical terminology, classify variety of instruments, and recognize aural examples of musical forms. Students will be singing varied repertoire of culturally diverse music accompanied by classroom instruments. They can compose and improvise simple rhythmic and melodic patterns. Fourth graders can explain the relationship between music and events in history, compare and contrast different musical styles, and recognize the influence of various cultures on music. At this level, students make judgments about the quality of musical performances and what characteristics make a work of art. They will be given the opportunity to be a part of a school band to further their interest and application in music.
At this level, students are expected to read, write, and perform simple melodic and rhythmic notation. They can listen to various vocal and instrumental ensembles from a variety of genres and cultures, and be able to identify and describe musical forms. Students can sing a varied repertoire of music by oneself and with others. They compose, improvise, and perform basic rhythmic, melodic, and chordal patterns independently on classroom instruments. In understanding about the role of music, students can describe the social functions of a variety of musical forms from various culture and periods. They are able to sing and play music in an ensemble, which will help them understand the role of music in a community. Students will be starting to form and put together an actual band program.
As students progress through the different learning levels of music, students not only can read, write, and perform music, but they can transcribe simple aural examples into rhythmic notation and sight-read simple melodies. They also are able to sing music written in two parts, compose short pieces of double and triple meters, arrange simple pieces for voices or instruments, and improvise simple melodies. As part of the music appreciation program, students are expected to analyze the role of music in the past and present cultures throughout the world, noting cultural diversity as it relates to music, musicians, and composers. Playing and being a part of the band program, students can critically assess and derive meaning from works of music and performance of musicians, according to the elements of music, aesthetic qualities, and human responses. Understanding music helps students develop competencies and creative skills in problem-solving and communication.
In the seventh grade music program, students will display their understanding of artistic perception through learning to read, notate, listen to, analyze, and describe music and other aural information, using the terminology of music. As for creative expression, students apply vocal and instrumental musical skills in performing a varied repertoire of music. They will learn to compose and arrange music, improvise melodies, variations, and accompaniments, using digital and electronic technology when appropriate. Along with creating and performing, students will analyze the role of music in past and present cultures throughout the world, noting cultural diversity as it relates to music, musicians, and composers. Furthermore, students will acquire the ability to critically assess and derive meaning from works of music and the performance of musicians according to the elements of music, aesthetic qualities, and human responses. In their ability to apply and connect what they have learned, students will apply what they learn in music across all subject areas. They will develop competencies and creative skills in problem solving, communication, and management of time and resources that will contribute to lifelong learning and career skills. Students will also learn about careers relating to music.