Year At A Glance General Music
Units of Study, Themes and Special Focus Topics
Grade 5 Units of Study
Introduction to General Music Class (Active Listening , Imagination and Music Project)
Singing in Grade 5 (behaviors for singing, vocal and choral literacy skills)
Keyboard or Intermediate Recorder (performance based class to include basic solo and ensemble skills)
Keyboard or Intermediate Recorder (Classes swap units)
Music in Action Around the World: Students learn dances, songs, games and other musical practices from around the globe.
Song and musical listening selection themes: Multicultural
Interdisciplinary Focus Areas: Geographical connections to arts. Shared musical experiences throughout the world.
Performance Focus: Norms for ensemble performance (etiquette and practice.) Unison singing, recorder and keyboard instruction
Grade 6 Units of Study
Introduction to Active Listening (listening with a purpose in mind).
Students will learn to analyze music for the music fundamentals of beat, tempo, dynamics and instrumentation by applying knowledge of meaning and critical questions.
Rhythm Skill Building: a logical and sequential mini-unit intended to build rhythm literacy and playing skills. (designed as a strand that will be integrated throughout the year).
Beginning Guitar (students learn basic guitar skills and perform) or Singing in Grade 6 (students advance singing skills to more difficult literature and two part singing).
Beginning Guitar or Singing in Grade 6
Intermediate keyboards, learning to compose (students review skills from previous study and advance to playing harmonized melodies and simple composition).
Interdisciplinary Focus Areas: Americana (folk, spiritual, social action, historical, patriotic). Rhythms and mathematical connections, division, ratio, proportion and fractions. Writing: brief constructed responses to musical
Special Focus Areas: Rhythm: divisions of beat listening observations and written response using appropriate musical terminology and analysis.
Performance Focus: beginning guitar instruction. Performing alone and with others in parts to create harmony and simple orchestrations. Ensemble singing in parts with Americana theme while developing improved intonation and tone quality. Students evaluate and assess singing performances.
Grade 7 Units of Study
Intermediate Active Listening and Analysis: In addition to analysis for beat intensity, tempo, dynamics and instrumentation, students will understand the features of style and the impact of music fundamentals on style development.
Rhythm Skill Building: students will build on previously learned rhythm skills including ear training and composition that will be assessed.
Style project: students will study a particular style of music, analyze the characteristics and create a mixed media project (poem, essay, or visual) that reflects the characteristics. This will include an explanation and presentation.
Song composition: students will write a melody at the keyboard by writing or choosing a verse to use as a focal point. Students will learn to play in additional keys and with increasing complexity of harmonization. Students will learn a variety of accompaniment patterns for melodies.
Musical Theatre and Opera
Students will study and perform songs and skits from opera and musical theater repertoire. Students will prepare and perform a brief skit or scene from a selected show or opera.
Song and musical listening selection theme: Musical theater and opera themes.
Interdisciplinary Focus Areas: Historical connections with Opera, visual-arts, drama, and literature.
Special Focus Areas: Written responses to critical questions formulated through understanding core music fundamentals. Song writing (connecting melody to literary expression). Students will analyze and create to demonstrate understanding of genre and features of style.
Performance Focus: Students will compose and perform their own rhythmic composition. Students will compose songs with guidelines. Students will create, rehearse and perform class opera
Grade 8 Units of Study
Advanced Active Listening: Students will add analysis of melodic and harmonic features to previously learned fundamentals. Music Analysis and Response Project: students write a detailed response to listening to a song of their choice. The project is presented in report form to include research and final presentation to class. Presenter facilitates a discussion of points of interest after presenting their project song.
Percussion Ensemble Unit
Advanced rhythmic study through percussion performance. Students will study a variety of repertoire for pitched and un-pitched percussion instruments. Students will analyze, create, compose and perform in an ensemble setting.
Intermediate Guitar Unit
Students study Blues guitar styles (history, performance, characteristics). Students will play simple blues melodies and chord progressions and write a blues composition within prescribed guidelines. Students will perform their compositions in groups of twos.
Master pieces of Music: study of great musical masterpieces of all time, with a focus on multiple genres, student response to critical thinking questions, varied activities for engagement such as score reading.
Song and musical listening themes: Musical of personal importance.
Special Focus: Analytical writing through application of core music fundamentals. Performance skills on guitar with emphasis on the blues. Music and historical connections and its’ power to raise awareness, empathy for personal and social purposes.
Interdisciplinary Focus Areas: Students will make historical, emotional, and social connections through musical analysis, composition, performance and discussion. Students will learn to write a musical response essay preparing them for proficiencies required of them for high school graduation.
Performance Focus: Learning to choose and prepare a small ensemble performance.