Grades 1-5 General Music CurriculumScroll down to read about the musical skills, concepts, and activities each grade level will learn over the course of this school year. In addition to the topics and concepts described below, students in each grade level prepare for and present a music program performance each year.First Grade students will strengthen steady beat skills through songs, games, and moving to march music by John Philip Sousa. They will also learn about Russian composer Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and listen to music from and watch an excerpt of The Nutcracker, learn about jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker, and listen to the musical story of Peter and the Wolf by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. Students will learn to perform and read macrobeat and microbeat ("big" and "little" beat) rhythms and rests in duple meter (quarter note, or 'du'; paired 8th notes, or 'du-de'; and quarter rest), and will experience singing/moving to music in triple meter and performing the resting tone of songs and tonal patterns in major and minor tonalities. Students will also improvise and compose music using patterns they have learned.John Philip SousaSecond Grade students will review rhythm notation and rhythm syllables for macro- and microbeats in duple meter (du, du-de, and rest) and will be introduced to notation for elongations in duple meter (half note, or 'du-u'), as well as singing/experiencing music in triple meter. They will sing tonic and dominant patterns in major and minor tonalities (combinations of do-mi-so/so-fa-re-ti and la-do-mi/mi-re-ti-si) and will learn to read the major tonic pattern and the pitch re on the staff. Students will continue to improvise and compose using the new pitches and rhythms they learn. They will also listen to music by Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, including excerpts from his opera The Magic Flute; sing, listen to, and learn about Native American music; and learn about jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald and the 'scat' style of jazz singing. They will also study musical instrument families and the science of sound - how things make sound and how sounds can be changed - in coordination with 2nd Grade New Jersey science standards, and they will collaborate with classmates to create and perform a free-form composition using percussion instruments.
Wolfgang Amadeus MozartThird Grade students will review rhythm notation and rhythm syllables for quarter notes and paired 8th notes in duple meter (du and du-de) and elongated rhythms such as half notes (du-u) and will be introduced to macro/microbeats in triple meter (du and du-da-di). They will also be introduced to syncopated rhythm patterns (du-DE-de). They will review staff notation for the major tonic triad (do-mi-so) and the pitch re and will be introduced to the pitches fa, la, and ti as well as minor tonality. Students will continue to improvise and compose using their new rhythms and pitches. Third graders will be learning about, singing songs, and listening to music from Africa, Caribbean, Mexico, and Asia and will learn folk dances from Mexico and other cultures; and listen to/learn about music from the American colonial period.
Mbira (thumb piano)Fourth Grade students will review notation for quarter notes (du), 8th notes (du-de), half notes (du-u), and syncopation (du-DE-de) in duple meter. They will also review rhythms in triple meter. They will review staff notation for the pitches do, re, mi, fa, so, la, and ti, and will learn to place these pitches in major and minor tonic and dominant functions. Fourth graders will also learn to play the recorder and participate in a practicing incentive program called Recorder Karate. Fourth graders will sing and record patriotic songs using digital recording software, listen to the music of ragtime composer Scott Joplin, compare/contrast traditional and modern versions of holiday songs, and listen to and learn about music by pop musician Michael Jackson. They will participate in cooperative movement activities such as folk dances and hand-clapping games from the United States and other cultures. In coordination with the 4th Grade social studies curriculum, students will also learn about musicians from New Jersey, including Frank Sinatra, Wayne Shorter, and Bruce Springsteen and will collaborate to compose a song or rap using facts about the state of New Jersey.
Scott JoplinFifth Grade will review notation for rhythms and notes on the staff learned in previous years and will continue learning more complex rhythm patterns, including combinations of 16th notes and 8th notes (du-ta-de-ta, du-de-ta, du-ta-de) in duple meter and various rhythms in 6/8 meter. They will work with harmony using tonic, dominant, and subdominant chords. They will improvise and compose rhythms and work collaboratively with other students to perform and create body percussion patterns. They will study the history of our National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," as well as perform and explore music of our American heritage, including cowboy songs, sea chanties, and other work songs. Students will listen to and learn about the music of American composer Aaron Copland, and explore elements of music within his compositions. They will learn about and sing songs from musical theater productions. Students may also use technology devices to create and record original rhythms and melodies using looping, layered sounds, and found sounds.