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Music, Middle School 1 - Orchestra

TEKS Strand Expectations
Foundations: Music Literacy Students can usually read and sing more notes than they can play. Singing exercises enable students to learn the rhythm and pitch of new literature without addressing the coordination challenges of playing instruments. Students read music in the treble clef and bass, or alto, clef. Beginning literature is usually limited to the use of quarter, half, whole, 8th, and 16th notes, corresponding rests, and dotted quarter and dotted half notes. Students play a major scale, recognize melodic and rhythmic patterns, understand altered tones and the significance of both key and meter signatures.
Creative Expression Students primarily play in the keys of C, D, and G major and learn to play as a group. They practice managing their instruments, playing the correct notes and rhythms at the right time, producing quality sounds, reading music, and following the director. Instruction utilizing reading, writing, singing, listening, and performing demonstrates that a student knows how to count rhythms, understands meter signature and the relation to the number of beats in the measure, and can reproduce the notes vocally, thereby establishing pitch relationships.
Historical and Cultural Relevance Literature is based on folk and traditional materials. Selections are generally short with limited ranges, melodic and rhythmic repetitive phrases, and simple styles. Historical and cultural influences are studied in the contexts of listening and performing. Students learn the origins of traditional materials, identify composers, and listen to exemplary models.
Critical Evaluation and Response Students who are aware of the correct technique and pitch can practice productively at home. Establishing criteria for each new stage of learning assists students in assessing the quality of personal work. Reflecting on personal and group work reinforces instrumental techniques. Developing and demonstrating daily acceptable rehearsal etiquette is an important part of being in orchestra.

Jamie Gere's sixth-grade orchestra students focus on learning how to hold their instruments and bows. Some of their initial class exercises involve rhythmic patterns played on open strings. In addition, students study relationships among bow pressure, speed of the bow, and placement of the bow on the strings. Students incorporate previous ear training when learning how to place their fingers to produce additional notes.

At the end of each practice session, students pair off and evaluate themselves and their partners on the skills learned that day, using criteria for successful performance that were developed during the class period.

Differentiation Strategies for Students with Special Needs
©Copyright 2015, Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts (CEDFA). This chart is developed by the Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts (CEDFA) as a resource for Texas teachers. All rights reserved.
Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts (CEDFA)
9233 Partridge Circle
Austin, TX 78758
Phone: 512-491-8087
©Copyright 2015; Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts all rights reserved.