Return to Index
Print Preview

Instrumental Ensemble I :: Introductory

TEKS Strand Expectations
Foundations: Music Literacy Students identify, and distinguish between, melody and harmony while listening and playing. They define concepts of intervals, chord structure, and music notation. They use standard notation and study and define concepts of performance.
Creative Expression

Students perform literature composed for a variety of instrumental and vocal combinations including trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, septets, mariachi, and ensemble. They build a repertoire that reflects the diversity of literature. They develop independence and leadership skills that are not as easily attained in larger groups. Participation in a variety of different instrumental chamber groups expands students' musical horizons.

Focusing on the content of the course rather than on preparation for solo and ensemble competition, performance and performance theory is essential to understanding the workings of ensembles. For example, balancing and blending sound requires different problem-solving skills in a string quartet than in a symphonic setting. Ensembles perform student compositions. Playing reinforces aspects of musicianship such as establishing precision without the presence of an adult director; leading and responding in a small group format; and listening and tuning horizontally and vertically.

Historical and Cultural Relevance Classes discuss the history and cultural origins of compositions, composers, and musicians. Students examine the historical and cultural conventions and the stylistic demands of the genres they study.
Critical Evaluation and Response Students perform for teachers and for each other. Audience members listen attentively and give constructive, critical feedback to performers.

Students in the Central High School Instrumental Ensemble I class visit the fine arts department of a nearby community college. The college has an ensemble that specializes in late 18th-century chamber music. Students attend a performance of the ensemble and afterwards have an opportunity to meet with the performers and examine their instruments.

When the students return to school, they discuss the similarities and differences among the instruments. They talk about why each instrument has evolved as it has and how modifications have changed or improved the sound of instruments. Students also discuss the quality of the performance, noting the balance and blend of the instruments.

Additionally, students evaluate the performance according to evaluation criteria they have established as a class. When they recognize features of the performance that are not addressed by their criteria, they modify the criteria.

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.