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Instrumental Music

Sixth– Eighth Grades

Standards, Learning Expectations, and Performance Indicators

Course Description:

Instrumental Music is a course that provides musical performance and study for students in
grades 6-8. Through the mediums of band and orchestra, the course is designed to develop
proficiency in musical performance, an understanding of the art of music, and an appreciation of
the creative and intrinsic values of music which can result in a life-long avocation.

Content Standard 1.0: Singing

Students will sing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

Learning Expectations:

The student will

1.1 Demonstrate an understanding of the elements of music through singing selected musical
examples.

1.2 Demonstrate an understanding of the elements of harmony through singing chorales and
selected examples up to two (2) parts in complexity.

Performance Indicators:

At Level 1, the student is able to

• demonstrate proper technique in breathing;


• sing a basic two-part harmonization, with both parts utilizing the same rhythm for
performance stability.

At Level 2, the student is able to

• demonstrate basic knowledge of solfege;


• sing a two-part round.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• employ proper vocal technique in unison singing;


• sing one part of a two-part harmonization.

Sample Performance Task:


Students will be assigned a short vocal excerpt to be performed in class as a group. Evaluation
will be conducted by the teacher along teacher generated guidelines assessing qualities such as
tone, pitch, rhythm, and ensemble.

Integration/Linkages:

Language Arts, Social Studies, History, National Standards for Arts Education.

Content Standard 2.0: Playing Instruments

Students will perform on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.

Learning Expectations:

The student will

2.1 Demonstrate continuing tonal development and an understanding of the characteristic


qualities of sound.

2.2 Employ the techniques of sight-reading and performance on musical works from many
compositional periods with characteristic interpretive elements.

2.3 Demonstrate that technique includes the proper development and understanding of correct
posture, hand position, fingering, wind articulation and percussion sticking as well as
demonstrate facility in selected scales and rudiments.

2.4 Employ the symbols of dynamic control and demonstrate the nuances of phrase shaping;
assess appropriate ways to interpret the expressive qualities of music, developing these nuances
through dynamic control, tempo variation, and phrase shaping.

2.5 Differentiate between correct and incorrect pitch and distinguish the listening responsibilities
within an ensemble as an individual performer, employing these responsibilities to perform with
expression and technical accuracy a varied repertoire of instrumental literature

Performance Indicators:

At Level 1, the student is able to

• discern tonal characteristics of specific instrumental families and then specific


instruments;
• identify and perform basic rhythm studies by counting or performing a single pitch of
choice;
• demonstrate correct posture in sitting and standing positions;
• identify dynamic and music expressive symbols and their corresponding definitions;
• identify written examples of notes and tell whether a certain pitch is higher or lower in
regards to another pitch.

At Level 2, the student is able to

• demonstrate proper breath and embouchure control to produce a characteristic tone;


• sight-read a given etude of appropriate difficulty;
• write out examples of given scales and/or rudiments;
• distinguish and identify various music expressive devices on a recording;
• employ proper expressive devices within a short excerpt of appropriate difficulty.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• discern and employ characteristic tone within a group and/or individual performance;
• illustrate, through performance, rhythms and note values and be able to assess and apply
the relationship between articulation and musical styling;
• perform and assess selected major scales and rudiments and demonstrate aural
discrimination through ear training in ensemble and individual settings;
• distinguish that musical expression includes variation in dynamics, tempo, and phrase
styling and demonstrate the appropriate employment of these expressive devices;
• employ the appropriate expressive and technical components of music through
performance of a varied repertoire of instrumental literature.

Sample Performance Task:

Students will be assigned an appropriate short excerpt within the student's proficiency level. The
student will prepare the etude with teacher input and on his/her own. The student will then
perform it for the teacher. Assessment will be by teacher observation evaluating qualities such as
tone, rhythm, intonation, technique, and musicality.

Integration/Linkages:

Science, History and Social Studies, Math, Language Arts, National Standards for Arts
Education

Vocational skills emphasized and developed: Teamwork, Critical Thinking, Group Decision
Making.

Possible Career Paths: Performing musician.

Content Standard 3.0: Improvising

Students will improvise melodies, variations, and accompaniments.


Learning Expectations:

The student will

3.1 Create a simple rhythmic or melodic improvised solo over a given chord progression,
through the medium of a traditional ensemble.

3.2 Create an improvised solo on melodies over a given chord progression, through the medium
of jazz.

3.3 Create an improvised solo within specified guidelines, focusing on rhythm only.

Performance Indicators:

At Level 1, the student is able to

• create a rhythmic improvised solo on a single pitch;


• create an improvised solo using only three (3) pitches over a given chord;
• create an improvised rhythmic solo without an accompaniment.

At Level 2, the student is able to

• create an improvised solo over a recorded set of chords;


• improvise a solo using only three (3) pitches over a given blues progression;
• create an improvised solo using only one (1) note over a given chord progression.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• create an improvised solo in an ensemble setting;


• create a simple improvised jazz solo over a given chord progression of appropriate
difficulty;
• Create an improvised solo utilizing rhythm as the main subject for improvisation.

Sample Performance Task:

Students will be given a specific pitch and asked not to deviate from that pitch. Students will, by
using the concepts of space and time, improvise a single pitch solo through altering the rhythm.
Assessment will be done with the use of a teacher-generated rubric.

Integration/Linkages:

History and Social Studies, National Standards for Arts Education

Multi-cultural awareness
Content Standard 4.0: Composing

Students will compose and arrange music within specified guidelines.

Learning Expectations:

The student will

4.1 Compose music demonstrating creativity in using the elements of music for expressive
effect.

4.2 Arrange music for an appropriate performance medium.

4.3 Develop an appropriate orchestration from a selected musical example.

Performance Indicators:

At Level 1, the student is able to

• create an original melody;


• create a variation of a given melody;
• demonstrate proper transpositions of the various instruments.

At Level 2, the student is able to

• create an appropriate harmonization under a given melody;


• orchestrate a two-part keyboard composition;
• take a given instrumentation and transpose it for another set of instruments.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• create an original composition within specified guidelines;


• create an arrangement or transcription;
• create an orchestration within specified guidelines.

Sample Performance Task:

Student Performance-Students will create an arrangement to be rehearsed and performed in an


acceptable venue. Assessment of such creations would include but not be limited to
performances of these arrangements/compositions in an acceptable venue.

Integration/Linkages:

History and Social Studies, Language Arts, National Standards for Arts Education.
Content Standard 5.0: Reading and Notating

Students will read and notate music.

Learning Expectations:

The student will

5.1 Apply and evaluate notated musical concepts in order to sight read accurately and
expressively.

5.2 Analyze and perform nonstandard notational symbols used by some 20th century composers.

Performance Indicators:

At Level 1, the student is able to

• correctly identify pitches and rhythmic values;


• identify nonstandard notation.

At Level 2, the student is able to

• correctly notate proper rhythmic values from a given aural example;


• illustrate nonstandard notation in written assignments.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• employ proper notational concepts in group and/or individual performance;


• employ proper nonstandard notational concepts in group and/or individual performance.

Sample Performance Task:

Students will listen to a rhythmic pattern played live or on a recording and then dictate the
rhythm using the correct notation. The teacher will determine the information given to the
students prior to playing the example and the number of times an example may be heard.
Assessment is made through a comparison of the note and rest values performed with those
written.

Integration/Linkages:

Math, History and Social Studies, Language Arts, National Standards for Arts Education

Content Standard 6.0: Listening and Analyzing


Students will listen to, analyze, and describe music.

Learning Expectations:

The student will

6.1 Demonstrate a knowledge of the technical vocabulary of music.

6.2 Explain, analyze, and describe the use of compositional devices and techniques in a given
work.

Performance Indicators:

At Level 1, the student is able to

• demonstrate basic understanding of musical notation and expressive devices;


• identify various composers and the style of music the given composer represents..

At Level 2, the student is able to

• examine and discuss a given melody with appropriate vocabulary;


• distinguish from aural examples the appropriate style and period of music history the
example represents.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• examine and assess musical excerpts utilizing appropriate vocabulary;


• construct written and/or oral reports on musical form in regards to common practice
periods.

Sample Performance Task:

Students will analyze a given melody discussing such items as key signature, form, expression,
and phrase structure. Assessment is made through evaluation of the quality and correctness of the
analysis.

Integration/Linkages:

History and Social Studies, Language Arts, National Standards for Arts Education

Content Standard 7.0: Evaluating

Students will evaluate music and music performances.


Learning Expectations:

The student will

7.1 Develop criteria to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of music performances and
compositions.

7.2 Evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their own and others' performances, compositions,
arrangements, and improvisations by applying specific criteria appropriate to the style of the
music and offer constructive suggestions for improvement.

Performance Indicators:

At Level 1, the student is able to

• discuss the three building blocks of music (melody, harmony, and rhythm) and those
qualities which must be present for the existence of music of worth;
• present an oral critique of a recorded performance.

At Level 2, the student is able to

• gather professional critiques from a variety of media on a variety of performances,


analyzing their content in evaluating music of worth;
• construct a written critique of a recorded performance.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• construct a rubric with which to evaluate music or a musical performance;


• appraise, through written/oral critique, a recorded or live group/individual performance.

Sample Performance Task:

Students will collect professional critiques of musical performances from a variety of sources
such as newspapers, magazines, and the internet and broadcast media. In-class analysis of these
critiques will provide the students a basis for the development of their own language and criteria
for music evaluation. The students will then demonstrate an understanding of the basics of music
performance evaluation by writing a critique of a recorded musical performance.

Integration/Linkages:

National Standards for Arts Education, Critical Thinking Skills.

Content Standard 8.0: Interdisciplinary Connections


Students will understand relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the
arts.

Learning Expectations:

The student will

8.1 Illustrate how elements (i.e. color, balance, texture) are used in similar and distinctive ways
in various arts and distinguish how these elements are utilized throughout different historical
periods.

8.2 Inventory examples of music in today's environment.

8.3 Compare ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines are interrelated
with those of music.

8.4 Assess the role of technology in creating, producing and listening to music.

Performance Indicators:

At Level 1, the student is able to

• compare and contrast a basic concept such as color or texture shared by two art forms;
• assemble examples of how music is used in daily life;
• identify basic relationships of music to other disciplines;
• identify various technologies and their application in music.

At Level 2, the student is able to

• Compare and contrast a basic concept shared by an art form and another discipline
outside the arts such as ratio in comparing math to music;
• Compare and contrast the use of music in daily life from a variety of cultures;
• Present examples of how music is utilized by other disciplines;
• Present examples of the progress of technology throughout the history of music.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• Compare and contrast musical compositions from various historical periods and relate
these compositions to appropriate contemporaneous examples from other arts;
• Identify and present examples of how music has been used throughout history to enhance
life and compare and contrast those examples to today’s environment;
• Construct a written report assessing music and its relation to other disciplines, and /or
prepare a presentation on the practical integration of music and another discipline;
• Experiment with the various technologies used in producing music.

Sample Performance Task:


Students will select a compositional period for study. They will then describe the main stylistic
characteristics of the music of the period, and relate those characteristics to the visual art and
architecture of the same time. The level of student understanding will be assessed through a
written essay describing the relationships found between the music and the visual art and
architecture of the period.

Integration/Linkages:

Math, Science, History and Social Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts, National Standards for
Arts Education.

Content Standard 9.0: Historical and Cultural Relationships

Students will understand music in relation to history and culture.

Learning Expectations:

The student will

9.1 Compare and contrast various music genres and their historical backgrounds, and appraise
the historical and /or cultural contribution or significance of a given musical work.

9.2 Compare and contrast selected literature by genre or style and historical periods or cultures.

Performance Indicators:

The student is able to

At Level 1, the student is able to

• contrast two music genres and their historical backgrounds;


• identify the music genre or style of a historical period or culture.

At Level 2, the student is able to

• compare and contrast various music genres and their historical backgrounds and/or
cultural influences;
• compare music genres or styles of various historical periods or cultures.

At Level 3, the student is able to

• construct a timeline linking historical background and cultural influences in musical


styles;
• prepare a presentation on music in regards to a specific culture or event.
Sample Performance Task:

From a teacher-prepared list of appropriate compositions, students will select a piece for study.
Students will examine the impact that historical events occurring during the creation of the work
had on the composer and on his/her music. Assessment will be based on the student's ability to
describe relationships between the music and the correlated historical events.

Integration/Linkages:

History and Social Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts, National Standards for Arts Education