You are on page 1of 4

Unit Topic and Rationale

Wednesday Enrichment Days Each student at Bauder Elementary School recieves one 45 minute music class each week. On Wednesdays, students in 4th and 5th grade receive an extra, or enrichment day, in one of the four encore subjects (Art, Technology, Physical Education or Music). The music enrichment for 4th and 5th graders this semester is choir. In choir, students discover the joy of singing, and the power of good music to strengthen and unify both individuals and groups. Throughout the semester, students discover and develop talents, and learn quality music while building friendships and having fun. By singing in a choir, students learn how music works, how to make it and understand the cooperative effort required to sing in a choir. Ultimately, in offering choir as an enrichment option, our goals are to further develop childrens musicianship skills, nurture a deeper appreciation of the choral art through communal singing, and foster a life-long love of choral singing. The Unit I have been teaching the students from our first day of choir. I chose the repertoire, and rehearsed the students as they learned and polished the music. While the 4th and 5th graders are learning the same pieces, and will ultimately perform together, the classes meet separately. My unit focuses specifically on the fourth grade class. This class is the first experience many have ever had in a choir, let alone reading music. In the unit, students learn the basic components necessary to navigate and sing through a piece of music. Students first learned the note names on the lines and spaces in the treble clef. They then learned basic musical symbols seen in any piece of music, such as the clefs, grand staff and bar lines. Students then learned to navigate through a piece of music by following measure numbers, repeat signs, and symbols such as D.S al fine. Students then learned the basics in singing expressively, through dynamics, tempo markings, and other expressive symbols. Because this unit is tied directly to the learning of the choral pieces, students demonstrated understanding of the topic while learning and singing the choral repertoire. Connections to Colorado and National Standards Teaching choir at an elementary level addresses many of the fourth grade music standards. The tables in the following pages show the Colorado state standards and national standards of music for students in the fourth grade, and activities in the curriculum that aim to meet the standards.

Colorado State Standards

Standard 1. Expression of Music 4th Grade Expectations 1. Perform using accurate production techniques. Curriculum Activities 1. Students perform two to three-part vocal music. 2. Students watch the conductor, follow meter patterns, tempo, and dynamic changes. 3. Students practice correct

2. Perform a variety of rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic patterns. 3. Perform extended melodies from the treble staff using traditional notation. 3. Theory of Music 1. Application and demonstration of the use of more advanced dynamics, tempo, meter, and articulation using appropriate music vocabulary.

4. Aesthetic Valuation of Music

2. Identification of aural and visual notations of basic music forms. 4. Identify and aurally recognize melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic patterns. 2. Comprehend and respect the musical values of others considering cultural context as an element of musical evaluation and meaning.

posture, breathing, and diction through warm-ups and repertoire. 1. Students perform solfege challenge during warm-ups and while learning repertoire. 1. Students sing notated melodies in choral pieces, identifying and demonstrating correct pitch, rhythm, and expressive qualities. 1. Students define and describe vocabulary for mezzo-piano/mezzo-forte, and accelerando/ritardando, and identify occurences in music. 2. Students perform pieces demonstrating proper dynamics, tempo and articulation. 3. Students explain the function of the top and bottom numbers of a time signature in each of their pieces. 1. Students visually identify and apply D.S. al Coda in choral piece In the Stillness. 1. Students identify and use do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti, and high do during solfege ladder challenge. 1. Students sing sing pieces in different languages, understand the translation, and the context of the musical style.

National Standards
Standard 1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music. Curriculum Activities 1. The repertoire performed by the choir this semester is two to three-part vocal music, in various styles, tempos, and languages. 2. Students demonstrate knowledge of solfege during warm-ups and while learning repertoire. 3. Students perform pieces demonstrating proper dynamics, tempo and articulation.

5. Reading and notating music.

1. Students sing notated melodies in choral pieces, identifying and demonstrating correct pitches, rhythms, and expressive qualities. 2. Students discuss the basics in reading music, including clefs, grand staff, bar lines, and measure numbers. Students demonstrate understanding of the knowledge by navigating through each of their pieces of music, following along each measure number. 2. Students visually identify and apply D.S. al Coda in their music, In the Stillness. 6. Listening to, analyzing, and describing 1. Students define and describe vocabulary for music. mezzo-piano/mezzo-forte, and accelerando/ritardando, and identify occurences in music. 2. Students explain the function of the top and bottom numbers of a time signature in each of their pieces. 3. Students are able to identify sections of pieces that repeat, and identify if they are exactly the same or just similar. 7. Evaluating music and music performances. 1. Throughout rehearsals, the teacher asks for feedback from the students on their performance, including good qualities, and areas for improvement. 9. Understanding music in relation to history 1. Students sing sing pieces in different and culure. languages, understand the translation, and the context of the musical style. Choral Unit in the Curricular Sequence: Why Now? Music is a subject that students often experience starting at an early age. Those fortunate enough to have an elementary music program begin as early as Kindergarten, gradually learning basic musical elements and skills including singing, playing instruments, pitch and rhythm. Through activities in regular music class, students gain a general understanding of the solfege syllables (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti), basic rhythms (ta, ti-ti, tika-tika, tam-ti, etc), and basic musical terminology (dynamics, harmony, ostinato, meter, form, etc). The logical next step is for students to apply this knowledge to some type of performance. As a member of a choir, students begin to visualize the concepts they have learned from an early age. Students begin to become fluent in the language of music by experiencing the music. The acts of performing and responding to music provide a means for development and growth in the ability to express the otherwise inexpressible and to facilitate growth in many areas of academic development. Learning to read and notate music in choir opens a limitless body of musical styles, forms and repertoire, and allows the students to see what they hear, and hear what they see. Many of these students will continue music in middle school and high school, and acquiring the skills necessary to read music, understand and apply information in performance are essential

to learn before they join larger and more advanced ensembles. This choir and unit will provide students with the skills necessary to succeed in the future. Global, Personal, and Specific Significance Music is a universal language. The world is very diverse. It is populated with over seven billion people and over 6,500 different languages. While lives, cultures, viewpoints and traditions differ from culture to culture, reading music is one constant factor globally recognized. Music is incredible in its ability to have a diverse existence of sounds, emotions, instruments, rhythms, and genres. Music reaches every part of us, because music is a form of expression. Music allows people to connect with people on a high level that words cannot express. Cultures have their own style and unique performance practices, but the act of reading music stays constant. Musicians who travel to different countries often experience language and cultural barriers. Despite these barriers, musicians of all ages, languages and cultures consistently come together to perform. Students who learn to read music and navigate through a piece of music early in life will be able to communicate and perform globally. Personally, whether or not students in choir intend to be professional musicians, they learn to be creative and innovative. They learn to problem solve and analyze, and they gain skills that will be the key to a future in a more diverse and competitive workforce. Music students use critical thinking, self-assessment, reasoning, problem solving, and collaboration. All of these skills, even at a 4th grade level, prepare students for higher education and the 21st century workplace. A high percentage of students at Bauder Elementary School may never experience choir if it were not offered at school. Many do not have the money or time to discover opportunities outside of school. Students in a more affluent families and communities may have the means to private lessons and extracurricular choirs. However, most students at Bauder are limited to what is provided in school. This choir is offered during the school day to accommodate those students whose parents would be otherwise unable to transport before or after school. It is important that each student be given an equal opportunity to experience and develop the skills necessary to participate in a choir, regardless of social or economical status. The choir will perform at the end of the school year for International Day. The students are excited to demonstrate their hard work and knowledge in reading and performing music.