• Orchestra Essential Questions:


    Why do humans participate in and value music?

    How can we expand and develop ourselves through music?

    What does it mean to be musically and artistically creative?

    What does it mean to be "one person" and "one group" at the same time?

    How does practice impact your development as a musician? (think of technique, musicianship, and musical understanding) 

    What is music?

    How can we contribute to bettering ourselves and our classmates in our class?


    Instrument Care, Maintenance, and Physical Function

    How do our instruments function?

    How does this knowledge impact our care for them and our musical development?

    • What core fundamentals of our instruments do we need to maintain daily?
    • How do we keep our instruments in good condition?
    • How do our instrumentss work to produce sound?
    • How do vibrations translate to pitch and music?
    • How can we use our knowledge of how sound works to develop as musicians?
    • What technology is available today to help us maintain our instruments?


    Technique and Skills

    How can we manipulate our instruments to develop our artistry?

    • What does having good posture mean for playing instrument?
    • How does posture affect our ability to play our instrument?
    • How does posture affect our endurance and health?
    • How do we tune our instruments?
    • What do we know about how we learn that can help us practice and develop?
    • How does the bow hand and arm affect the tone and artistic sounds we can produce on our instruments?
    • What role does the left hand play in producing various tones and colors on stringed instruments? 
    • How can left and right hand technique be developed in and out of class?


    Thinking as an Individual and Ensemble Musician

    What does it mean to be "one person" and "one group" at the same time?

    • What are similarities and differences between playing music as an individual and as a group/ensemble?
    • How does our individual preparation impact the progress of a musical group?
    • What are desirable attributes of a successful musician? 
    • Are conductors necessary for music ensembles? What are their functions?
    • How do we play together?
    • How does a musician develop rhythmic counting skills to become independent? Why is this  important?
    • What is your experience like in music when you are by yourself vs. the social dynamic of being with other people?


    Relationship with your instrument, music, our lives, history, and our world

    Why do humans participate in and value music? How are we growing through music?

    • How can we connect the music we study in classes to our personal lives?
    • How can we connect the music from our personal lives to the study of music in classes?
    • How can we connect the music we study in classes to learning in our other classes?
    • What role does music play in shaping a society’s culture?
    • What role does music play in reflecting a society?
    • Who are some of history's musical thinkers (i.e. composers, performers, writers) and what can we learn from them?
    • In what ways are playing an instrument valuable to us as students?
    • Is music diverse? What is diversity in music?
    • What obstacles or challenges do you face as an instrumentalist? How will you overcome these obstacles?
    • What does it feel like to overcome obstacles on your instrument?
    • In situations where you are currently overcoming an obstacle, how is the problem best approached?
    • How has playing music helped to shape your development as a person?
    • In what ways can you carry your experiences in music out of the classroom and out into the world?
    • What is the relationship to music and other ways of being and knowing (i.e. art, science, math, physical education, etc.)?

     Musical Understanding, Creativity, and Aesthetic Judgment

    • How would you describe and evaluate the music we are studying now? What do you like and dislike?
    • What would you change in our pieces if you could? What note(s), rhythm(s)? 
    • How would you describe the relationship of pitch, rhythm, tone, dynamics, and other musical elements to each other?
    • How does the way we choose to interpret the elements of music alter musical meaning?
    • What are the benefits and drawbacks to standard musical notation?
    • How can listening skills develop or change through learning the elements of music?
    • How is your musicianship impracted by reflection and musical listening?
    • What happens when you try to create your own music? 
    • What makes learning an instrument and being in orchestra an artistic endeavor?