First Grade Music Expectations

Throughout the First Grade, music class activities will continue to draw primarily from folk song literature and nursery rhymes. Students will be introduced to the Orff percussion instruments and continue sound exploration with unpitched percussion instruments through stories and improvisation. We will explore part independence with instrumental and movement ostinatos. There is a larger focus on rhythm reading using standard notation and vocal accuracy. We will also begin to look at instrument families.

(Compiled from the 1994 MENC Content Standards, NYC Arts Blueprint, and the Skills Scope Sequences of Making Music and Share the Music Series)

  1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music
    -will experience singing solo, in a small group, and with full class
    -will experience singing with piano, guitar, and Orff accompaniments as well as well as acapella
    -will sing with close or total accuracy in pitch and rhythm
    -will sing with clear diction
    -will sing with appropriate light head voice and good singing posture
    -will experience call and response and echo-singing
    -will practice vocal exploration with high, low, and middle sounds
    -will label/use appropriate speaking, singing, whispering, shouting voices
    -will develop repertoire of folk song literature from memory-will develop repertoire of spoken nursery rhymes from memory in various meters
    -will experience singing/chanting in various dynamics, tempos, expressive styles, and meters
    -will develop aural perception of melodic steps and skips, ascending and descending and repeated patterns
    -will develop audiation skills with familiar patterns and songs
  1. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
    -will explore percussion instruments and body percussion for sound effects in stories, mini-dramas, rhymes, and songs
    -will identify names of percussion instruments used in class
    -will demonstrate correct playing techniques of percussion instruments
    -will echo rhythmic patterns on instruments and body percussion accurately
    -will maintain steady beat (bilaterally and alternating) on various instrument while singing, chanting, or listening
    -will accurately perform a simple ostinato pattern on instruments and body percussion, first with speech and then while internalizing speech parts
    -will develop awareness of timbre categories: wood, metal, shaker, scraper, etc.
  1. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments
    -will experience improvising percussion accompaniments to nursery rhymes, songs, chants, and recorded music
    -will improvise short vocal answers in game songs with appropriate speaking or singing voice
    -will improvise simple rhythmic phrases in call and response form
  1. Composing and arranging music within specific guidelines.
    -will help create soundscape patterns for stories or rhymes
    -will help choose characteristic instrument sounds for various roles in stories, songs, or chants, and will explain their choices through class discussion
    -will help to compose original verses to familiar songs
    -will compose movement and instrumental introductions to familiar folk songs and speech pieces
    -will compose their own S-M or high-low songs and 4-beat rhythmic patterns
    -will create vocal exploration composition drawings and “conduct” the class in a performance
    -will create a contrasting B section in a class composition of AB form through change in dynamics, timbre, tempo, or texture
    -will create their own iconic notational system for a class composition
  1. Reading and notating music.
    -will use solfege and Curwen hand signs S, M, L, R, D when echo-singing while relating to the solfege ladder
    -will identify the music staff, line notes, space notes, and basic line-space pattern of solfege scale ladder
    -will be able to read simple four beat melodic combinations of S, M, L, R, and D on the music staff
    -will use standard rhythmic notation cards of quarter notes, eighth-note pairs, half notes, and quarter rest to notate simple four-beat rhythmic dictation phrases
    -will perform simple four-beat phrases on percussion instruments and body percussion by reading standard rhythmic notation, alone and with class
    -will interpret vocal exploration iconic notation (up/down/same) and relate it to standard pitch notation on the music staff
    -will identify, clap, and notate the rhythm and number of syllables in words and phrases
  1. Listening to, analyzing, and describing music. (Movement-see below)
    -will demonstrate appropriate listening behaviors for class and audience
    -will identify known instruments in listening examples by picture and name including flute, violin, piano, trumpet, and various percussion instruments
    -will describe the music using appropriate music vocabulary (listed below)
    -will identify the composer and title of the piece as well as understand what composer and title mean
    -will follow age-appropriate listening maps
    -will identify the texture of the piece as one, few, or many
    -will identify male, female, and child voices
    -will create listening maps for simple musical excerpts
    -will experience many genres of music and compare them using descriptive words
    -will experience programmatic music
    -will identify if parts of the music are the same or different and label parts accordingly, using simple two part patterns: AB, ABA, AABB, etc.
    -will identify ascending, descending, and repeated patterns in music
    -will identify if there are singers, instruments, or both
    -will experience music that has no steady beat
    -will experience and label “home” and away for tonal centers
  1. Evaluating music and music performers.
    -will be given the opportunity to express their opinion/thoughts/preferences for music heard in the classroom through discussion
    -will share “self-critiques” about their own performances
    -will participate in class discussions following music or video clip examples of how the music made them feel or act
    -will answer directed questions about the musical behaviors of the performers on stage and how it affected the show
  1. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
    -will experience literacy in the music classroom through singing books and adding music to stories
    -will perform mini-dramas from fairytales and fables using expressive voices and movement
    -will experience picture books with music accompaniment and discuss the differences between reading it both ways
    -will sing songs about topics they are studying in class such as animals, families, community, school, transportation, weather, etc.
    -identify related patterns in music andmath
    -identify how music can tell stories like a book using multiple verse songs
  1. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.
    -will learn folk songs and children’s games from various cultures
    -will discuss and understand roles of music in a culture
    -will attend live performances and concerts in their community and school
    -will share their musical experiences with the school community
    -will identify music makers in their families, schools, and communities
    -will understand that music reflects a composer’s ideas, feelings, or life experiences

Additional standards inspired by Dalcroze and Orff-Schulwerk:

  1. Movement and Dramatic Play:
    -will move appropriately to show expressive elements of the music
    -will learn to start and stop on the music’s cue
    -will be able to find and move to the steady beat using music that has a well-defined and even pulse; move to a variety of tempos
    -will be able to change movement accordingly to tempo changes and beat duration changes
    -will be able to demonstrate a varied repertoire of non-locomotor and locomotor movement skills including but not limited to: walk, run, hop, march, skip, gallop, sway, glide, jump, twirl, pat, tap, stomp, clap, snap, bend, balance, shake, stretch, etc.
    -will demonstrate moving their bodies like animals or storybook characters while acting out a scene
    -will demonstrate ability to control their movements inside of their own personal space
    -will be able to form and move in a line (follow-the-leader), a circle, and in free space with little assistance
    -will move with a variety of emotions, energy levels, and moods
    -will use a clear, expressive speaking voice with a variety of dynamics and tone qualities
    -will create movements to songs and poems for performances
    -will experiment with pathways in the air and on the ground
    -will be able to coordinate their locomotor movements during a singing game or circle dance
    -will explore concepts of large and small, heavy and light, tension and flow, accent and unaccented
    -will demonstrate movements of various durations related to rhythmic or melodic patterns