Elementary Music Curriculum

  • Every person should have the ability to perform, to create, and to listen to music with understanding. To achieve that end, every student should have access to a comprehensive, balanced, and sequential program of music study in school.

    General Music Power Standards

    1. Student understands rhythmic and melodic organization
    2. Music is a unique form of human expression
    3. Culture, time and history are reflected in music
    4. Student applies performance elements in music

    The following methods and mediums are used in the instruction of the North Thurston Public Schools Elementary music curriculum.

    A diverse collection of methods used by the music specialists creates a rich musical experience.

    • Orff Schulwerk
    • Kodaly
    • Dalcroze Eurhythmics
    • Creative Movement 

    Children should be active participants in the music making process with a goal of musical independence. The mediums through which students participate include:

    • singing
    • speech
    • soundscaping
    • moving
    • reading music
    • body percussion
    • playing instruments (pitched and unpitched percussion, recorders, ukulele)
    • writing music
    • listening
    • improvising
    • composing
    • responding
    • evaluating

    An understanding of music is gained through the sequenced development of concepts based on the elements of music: rhythm, melody, harmony, timbre, form, expressive elements, culture time and history, and performance. This “Scope and Sequence” illustrates the comprehensive, balanced, and sequential program of the North Thurston Public Schools Elementary General Music Department.

    Kindergarten Music

    Rhythm

    • Demonstrate steady beat
    • Echo clap following teacher’s lead

    Melody

    • Identify and demonstrate high/low pitches
    • Match pitch using: sol, mi

    Form

    • Recognize the beginning and ending of the song
    • Understand and perform echo by listening and responding
    • Experience same/different phrases and experience the concept of AB form through responding to contrasting sections

    Timbre

    • Identify the different vocal sounds – singing, talking, whispering and shouting
    • Identify the different instrumental sounds – woods, metals, skins, scrapers/shakers
    • Explore the use of body percussion

    Expressive Elements

    • Understand and demonstrate the concept of loud and quiet (soft) in musical sense
    • Understand and demonstrate various fast and slow tempi

    Performance

    • Create, perform, and respond with music skills and vocabulary
    • Perform and echo sol and mi

    Terms to know and use

    sound/silence  beat/rhythm long/short high/low
    AB echo form loud/quiet (soft) fast/slow same/different
    woods metals skins scrapers/shakers
    singing voice talk/whisper/shout sol, mi steady beat

    1st Grade Music

    Rhythm

    • Maintain Steady Beat
    • Understand beat and rhythm
    • Experience reading and echoing rhythmic phrases using quarter notes, paired eighth notes and quarter rests

    Melody

    • Identify high and low pitch
    • Sing in head voice and chest voice
    • Accurately echo melodic phrases
    • Read, and match pitch using: sol, mi, la

    Harmony

    • Perform chord bordun

    Form

    • Understand and use the repeat sign
    • Perform songs and instrumental pieces using echo
    • Experience Call and Response
    • Understand AB form

    Timbre

    • Identify solo and group performances
    • Distinguish the different sound qualities of four orchestral instrument families: woodwind, percussion, strings, brass
    • Recognize the difference between the adult and child voice

    Expressive Elements

    • Student demonstrates louder and quieter dynamics
    • Student demonstrates faster and slower tempi

    Composition/Performance

    • Create, perform, and respond, incorporating grade-level skills and vocabulary

    Terms to Know and Use

    melody quarter note repeat sign eighth notes
    quarter rest echo tempo orchestra
    strings brass woodwind percussion
    voice solo timbre chest voice
    head voice child voice adult voice la

    2nd Grade Music

    Rhythm

    • Experience duple and triple meter
    • Read, perform and accurately echo paired eighth notes, quarter notes, quarter rests, half notes, half rests
    • Experience ostinatos

    Melody

    • Identify round/canon
    • Identify melodic phrases that move upward and downward or repeat
    • Read and match pitch using: sol, mi, la, do and re

    Harmony

    • Perform level bordun and broken bordun

    Form

    • Understand and use question/answer
    • Understand and use ABA form

    Timbre

    • Identify orchestral instruments: Trumpet, Violin, Flute, Snare Drum
    • Identify solo, small group and large group performances

    Expressive Elements

    • Understand and apply dynamic levels of piano and forte
    • Understand and apply, slow, medium and fast tempi

    Composition/Performance

    • Create, perform, and respond, incorporating grade-level skills and vocabulary.
    • Sing with good posture and eyes on the director

    Terms to Know and Use

    round/canon question/answer ABA pitch
    solo dynamics piano forte
    trumpet violin flute snare drum
    half note half rest tie do, re
    ostinato      

    3rd Grade Music

    Rhythm

    • Understand duple and triple meter
    • Experience time signatures 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 and 6/8
    • Read, and accurately echo rhythm phrases using dotted half note, whole note, whole rest
    • Understand measure and bar line and fermata
    • Performs ostinatos

    Melody

    • Identify steps, skips and same aurally
    • Understand that the staff has lines and spaces
    • Read and match pitch using: pentatonic scale, do, re, mi, sol, la, high do

    Harmony

    • Experience rounds
    • Understands that harmony is two or more different pitches sounding at the same time.

    Form

    • Understand and use introduction and coda
    • Experience 1st and 2nd endings

    Timbre

    • Identify orchestral instruments: Tuba, Cello, Clarinet, Bass Drum
    • Understand that sound is vibration
    • Understand the concept of timbre

    Expressive Elements

    • Understand and use crescendo and decrescendo
    • Understand largo and presto
    • Understand and perform accented beat

    Composition/Performance

    • Sing in tune using good diction and breath control
    • Create, perform, and respond, incorporating grade-level skills and vocabulary.

    Terms to Know and Use

    duple meter triple meter measure bar lines
    staff repeat step leap
    fermata accent introduction coda
    dotted half note vibration/sound dynamics crescendo
    descrescendo largo presto high do
    tuba cello clarinet bass drum

    4th Grade Music

    Rhythm

    • Experience syncopated rhythms, using a single eighth notes and eighth rests
    • Understand and use barred sixteenth notes
    • Understand time signatures
    • Aurally identify the correct written rhythm (quarter rest, paired eighths, quarter note, half note)

    Harmony

    • Performs rounds and/or partner songs
    • Experiences I and V chords

    Melody

    • Identify treble clef and the note names
    • Read, write and match pitch using: low sol, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, high do and low la

    Form

    • Identify and perform rondo form
    • Understanding D.S., D.C, 1st and 2nd endings

    Timbre

    • Identify Horn/Trombone, Guitar/String Bass, Saxophone/Bassoon, Timpani/Cymbals.

    Expressive Elements

    • Understands and uses pianissimo and fortissimo (pp,ff)
    • Understands andante, allegro
    • Understands and uses accelerando and ritardando
    • Understands and uses legato and staccato

    Composition/Performance

    • Demonstrate proper instrumental technique
    • Create, perform, and respond, incorporating grade-level skills and vocabulary

    Terms to Know and Use

    rondo form treble clef accelrando
    unison fortissimo (ff) pianissimo (pp) sixteenth notes
    pentatonic 1st and 2nd endings D.S. / D.C. ritardando
    strings woodwinds percussion brass
    guitar string bass saxophone bassoon
    horn trombone timpani andante/allegro
    fa low sol low la  

    5th Grade Music

    Rhythm

    • Understand and use rhythms including dotted quarter
    • Experience sixteenth note combinations and triplets
    • Understand the time signature of 6/8

    Melody

    • Identify sharp, flat and natural
    • Aurally discriminate between major and minor tonalities
    • Perform a major diatonic scale using recorder, pitched instrument or voice
    • Read, write, and match pitch using solfege notes low sol, low la, do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, and do’

    Harmony

    • Performs I, IV and V chords

    Form

    • Identify and perform theme and variation

    Timbre

    • Identify various vocal and instrumental ensembles including duets and quartets
    • Experience world instruments
    • Distinguish individual instruments within an ensemble

    Expressive Elements

    • Apply knowledge of timbre, tempo, dynamics through comparing and contrasting two different musical works

    Composition/Performance

    • Demonstrate proper instrumental technique
    • Create, perform, and respond, incorporating grade-level skills and vocabulary

    Terms to Know and Use

    sharp flat natural timbre
    major minor diatonic two part song
    theme and variation duet quartet sixteenth notes
    dotted quarter note ti