• HEATHCOTE

     

    MUSIC CURRICULUM

    Headphones and moving music           SUMMARY


    Grades K-5

    Music begins similarly each year in every grade by opening with the learning of a meaningful and musically inspiring song that culminates in an all-school sing-along at Heathcote’s Circle of Friends Assembly in September. This launch to the year really gets the students excited about their musical learning and gives them an immediate and tangible sense of the unique joy that can be experienced through song and creating music as a community. Each grade level will explore this song through a variety of activities that build a closer connection to the piece, musically and culturally.  Similarly, the closing of the school year offers the students a chance to perform for one another with a “Talent Day” in each section so that they can perform with the comfort and support of their classroom community. The ability to perform alone or in a small group is a skill that is revisited routinely at every grade level as is the comprehension and practice of being a good audience. 


    During the year each grade level embarks on an exploration of a specific group of musical concepts, elements and genres of music. It is through these explorations that each grade meets, develops and revisits basic skills and foundations of music. And, whenever possible, the students are engaged in higher order thinking skills by being guided to use these skills and knowledge in analytical, evaluative, and creative ways. The units of study are flexible and reflect both the goals of the K-5 music curriculum, but also the students and areas of particular interest or inquiry that they demonstrate in the music room. And, when possible, specific units are designed to work in a cross-disciplinary manner to enhance the work or projects being pursued in the general classroom or in one of the other special areas. 


    One part of the music classroom at Heathcote, which is not easily defined, is the enormous effort placed on getting the kids to “talk about music” and being able to communicate about and around music. In many lessons there is time spent discussing music - be it in review or in preparation to work with a new piece, or planning how to create a new version of a piece, or how musical components connect with one another, or what they noticed about the music or how our work progressed.  In our “music listening” discussions, the students are routinely instructed to look at music in two ways: One way is fact based: what did we hear, what is the song about, what instruments, etc. The second way is more creative or opinion based: how does this song make you feel, what does it sound like, what does it make you think about, etc. With such a large emphasis on these kinds of discussions, each student’s willingness to participate through sharing and as good listeners is essential to his or her overall success in our music classroom. The students become better at evaluation, but also in expand their understanding that music allows for interpretation and personal expression. 


    In grades 3-5 we are also actively using journaling and workshop style teaching in the music classroom. The journals allow each student, even those who are apprehensive about participating verbally, to express his or her thoughts about music in written form.  Students also turn and talk to partners, with small groups, and then with the whole group. This constructivist style supports the work being done in the regular classroom by reinforcing many of the skills, which are used in their balanced literacy work. 







    Heathcote General Music Curriculum 

    Listed by Grade with a Basic Outline of CONCEPTS and SKILLS


    Kindergarten

    Key Concepts: Understanding the difference between RHYTHM and BEAT. Understanding the concept and use of DYNAMICS. Understanding the concept and use of changes in TEMPO. Introduction to basic notation especially to quarter and eighth note (long and short).  Moving to music. Learning to sing and try a solo. Learning to sing or play with the group. Learning to do two things at the same time. Learning to play and sing at the same time. Learning to listen and describe music. Instruments: voice, melody bells, small hand percussion, some drums. 


    Grade 1

    Key Concepts: Understanding the difference between RHYTHM and BEAT. Understanding the concept and use of DYNAMICS. Understanding the concept and use of changes in TEMPO. Understanding the direction of a MELODY. A more in depth understanding of quarter and eighth notes. Learning to sing or play a solo. Learning to sing or play with the group. Learning to do two things at the same time. Learning to play and sing at the same time. Reinforced by learning to sing and move at the same time. Or, by playing a hand clapping game while singing. Learning to listen and describe music. Learning to understand musical FORM. Learning to identify the TIMBRE of instruments. Learning to find a story or other creative images when listening to music. Instruments: voice, melody bells, small hand percussion, some drums, xylophones and metallophones, some work with iPads.  


    Grade 2

    Key Concepts: Understanding the difference between RHYTHM and BEAT. Understanding the concept and use of DYNAMICS. Understanding the concept and use of changes in TEMPO. Learning how to read MUSICAL NOTATION. Focus on FORM and memorizing and creating arrangements. Learning to sing or play or dance a duet. Learning to sing or play or dance with the group. Learning to do two things at the same time. Learning to play and sing at the same time. Reinforced by learning to sing and move at the same time. Or, by playing a hand clapping game or dancing while singing. Learning to listen and describe music. Learning to use descriptive and creative language when describing music. Writing new words to a song and creating new versions. Understanding rhyming and phrasing in the lyrics. Instruments: Voice, xylophones and metallophones, small hand percussion, more drums and drum circles, keyboards, iPads and Piano Maestro. 


    Grade 3

    Key Concepts: Being able to find the beat in the music and keeping time with more complicated song material. Understanding the difference between RHYTHM and BEAT. In depth study of creating rhythms within the beat. Working with OSTINATO patterns to accompany songs. Understanding the concept and use of DYNAMICS. Understanding the concept and use of changes in TEMPO.  More intensive focus on FORM and THEMES and memorizing and creating arrangements and some composing. Continued work with reading NOTATION. Learning to sing or play in a small group (4-6). Learning to sing or play or do movement with the large group. Continuing to refine being able to do two things at the same time: Learning to play and sing at the same time. Reinforced by learning to sing and move at the same time. Also learning how to play for someone else and get the timing right. Learning to listen, describe, and write about music. Learning to use descriptive and creative language when talking about music. Writing new words to a song. Understanding the rhyming and phrasing in the lyrics. Instruments: Voice, xylophones and metallophones, small hand percussion, even more drums and drum circles. An introduction to ukulele and guitar. Recording with the  large group and working towards performance readiness, plus more time with iPads and small group recording projects. 



    Grade 4

    Key Concepts: Being able to find the beat in the music and keeping time with more complicated song material with an increased emphasis on ¾ time. Understanding the difference between RHYTHM and BEAT. In depth study of rhythmic dance. Understanding the concept and use of changes in TEMPO.  More intensive focus on FORM and THEMES and memorizing arrangements and composing. More intensive focus on INSTRUMENTS of the ORCHESTRA and their TIMBRES. Continued work with reading NOTATION. Learning to dance with a partner or in a small group. Learning to sing or play in a small group (4-6). Learning to sing or play or do movement with the large group. Continuing to refine being able to do two things at the same time: Learning to play and sing at the same time. Reinforced by learning to sing and move at the same time. Also learning how to play for/with someone else and get the right timing. Learning to listen, describe, and write about music. Learning to use descriptive and creative language when talking about music. Instruments: Voice, xylophones and metallophones, small hand percussion. Extras: A grade-level trip to experience a live orchestral performance. 


    Grade 5

    Key Concepts: Being able to find the beat in the music and keeping time with more complicated song material with an emphasis on syncopation. More intensive focus on being able to “talk about music” with a focus on keeping music journals. Being able to read music and put together parts for Orff ensembles. Learning to sing or play in a small group (4-6). Learning to sing or play with the large group. Continuing to refine being able to do two things at the same time: Learning to play and sing at the same time. Reinforced by learning to sing and move at the same time. Also learning how to play for someone else and get the timing right. Building  deeper understanding of ENSEMBLE playing. Learning to listen, describe, and write about music. Learning to use descriptive and creative language when talking about music. Instruments: Voice, xylophones and metallophones, small hand percussion, drums, iPads and recording projects. Extras: A grade-level trip to experience a live choral performance. 


    Heathcote Choral Music Curriculum 

    Grade 4 & 5 Chorus


    Key concepts: Being able to sing with proper techniques including breath control, blending, posture, intonation, phrasing and enunciation. Working on ear training and vocal exercises. Being able to sing well and be a positive part of a large ensemble. Being able to sing in harmony and making a good balanced choral sound. Being able to sing all pieces from memory. Experiencing an in-depth exposure to elementary age-appropriate vocal music from many different genres. Being able to effectively  follow a conductor. Being able to sing and move at the same time. Being able to evaluate our progress and identify areas for improvement. Extras: Performing two concerts each year and knowing how to have stage presence. The first concert given in March is a program consisting entirely of choral music. The second is a combined concert given in June with the band and orchestra.