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Nebo Elementary School

Department of Fine Arts
Overview of Classroom Music Curriculum

The purpose of the Nebo Elementary Department of Fine Arts is to equip students with the tools of music, movement, and technology understanding so students will think artistically, express themselves, and share in the artistic expressions of others.

Research shows that children discern musical elements in the following sequence:

  • Volume (Loud and Soft) (Related to Big and Small in movement)
  • Tempo (Fast and Slow)
  • Timbre (Speaking vs. Singing, instrument sounds)
  • Pitch (High and Low Note many students say “High and Low” in reference to volume)
  • Meter (Duple vs. Triple)
  • Tonality (Major vs. Minor) (many people in American culture will think “Happy” vs. “Sad”)
  • Harmony (Vertical relationships between pitches)

Thus, children will be able to tell the difference between volume and tempo before they can understand Pitch and Meter. Children between 5 and 8 years of age will usually easily discern the upper steps but will need instruction and experience to progress down the list. In fact, many adults do not completely understand the tonal and harmonic aspects of music. (Notice how many people say they like music because of its “beat” (Tempo) or the “words/singer’s voice/sound/instruments” (Timbre))

Just as music has a sequence of skills, movement and dance also have a sequence:

  • Stationary vs. Locomotor
  • Fast vs. Slow
  • Big vs. Small
  • Hard vs. Gentle
  • Rotational vs. Axial
  • Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical

Through game songs, chants, movement, and instrument playing children learn the tools of music and movement understanding so students will think artistically, express themselves, and share in the artistic expressions of others.

K-5 Technology Objectives and Activities map for Music:

The following represents music objective and activities goals during the year:

Kindergarten and 1st Grade:

Musical Opposites:

  • Awareness of Beat: Steady Beat versus No Beat
  • Long and Short durations
  • High and Low Pitch
  • Fast and Slow Tempo
  • Stationary and locomotor movement


Singing tonic and dominant patterns in neutral syllables and solfeggio
Clapping duple and triple patterns

Musical Forms:

  • ABAB
  • ABA

Story Songs and Games

Folk Dancing:

  • Line Dances
  • Circle Dances
  • Game Dances


Identify Classroom Instruments and Families:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Drums
  • Shakers

Identify Orchestral Instruments and Families:

  • Strings
  • Brass
  • Woodwinds
  • Percussion

PTA Program preparation and performance.

2nd and 3rd Grades:

Rhythmic Understanding:

  • Difference between Steady Beat and Rhythm
  • Use Kodaly syllables to label half, quarter, and eighth note patterns in duple meter.
  • Be able to clap and perform sixteenth note patterns from rote and from notation.
  • Read patterns in duple meter from notation.
  • Write duple meter patterns with half, quarter, and eighth notes.
  • Perform duple meter patterns with body, voice, and instruments.

Pitch Understanding:

  • Use solfeggio syllables to sing major tonic and dominant patterns
  • Play ostinato patterns on pitched percussion instruments with singing and drumming.
  • Play melodic patterns on pitched percussion instruments.
  • Reading melodic patterns from the staff.
  • Writing melodic patterns in major using notation.
  • Identify letter names of pitches written on the treble cleff staff.

3rd Grade only:

  • Play recorder with proper embouchure, tone quality, hand position, and articulation.
  • Read pitch patterns using the recorder.
  • Play simple folk songs on recorder from memory and from notation.

Use digital media to illustrate musical form.
Use sign language to perform with vocal music.

4th and 5th Grades:

Rhythmic Understanding:

  • Identify difference between duple and triple meters from notation and by ear.
  • Compose rhythmic ostinatos for classroom songs and dances. Perform these ostinatos on pitched and non-pitched percussion instruments.
  • Compose and perform a 4 measure rhythmic composition.
  • Use notation software to write down musical ideas.
  • Use digital media to perform and record rhythmic patterns

Use computer, sound recording software, and wave creating software to identify timbre, pitch, and amplitude visually through sound waves graphs.

Use computer and sound recording software to record self and class for self evaluation.

Pitch Understanding:

  • Identify major, minor modes from notation and by ear.
  • Identify pitch letter names from staff and notation.
  • Compose melodic ostinatos for classroom songs and dances.
  • Perform these ostinatos on pitched classroom instruments and recorders.
  • Compose and perform a 4 measure melodic composition.
  • Use notation software to write down melodic ideas
  • Use digital media to perform and record melodic patterns.


Play recorder with proper embouchure, tone quality, hand position, and articulation.
Read pitch patterns using the recorder.
Play simple folk songs on recorder from memory and from notation.

Use digital media to research and create multimedia presentations about instruments of the orchestra and composers and their music.

Select appropriate instruments and musical fragments to illustrate a story with sound and narration. Use digital media and computer technology to record and arrange melodic fragments to illustrate a story.

Identify band and orchestral instruments and families.


Email Mr. Michaud





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