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Fine Arts - Music Curriculum
Course Preface Course Preface
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Core Standards of the Course


Standard 1
Students will use body, voice, and instruments as means of musical expression.

Objective 1
Produce a beautiful tone.

  1. Produce an acceptable tone over a limited range of the guitar using proper posture, left and right hand position, and finger stroke.
  2. Diagnose the cause of unacceptable tone personally and in the tone of other students.
  3. Present and teach the principles of proper posture, hand position, and finger stroke to other students.
  4. Consistently use proper posture, hand position, and finger stroke with less prompting by the teacher as study continues.

Objective 2
Demonstrate technical performance skills.

  1. Distinguish between sharpness and flatness in pitch.
  2. Demonstrate proper tuning techniques including matching pitch from a keyboard, another guitar, or pitch pipe and tuning the guitar to itself using the “fifth fret” tuning method.
  3. Perform the following chords in first position: A, Amaj7, A7, A7sus, Am, Am7, B7, Bm, C, Cmaj7, C7, D, Dmaj7, D7, Dm, Dm7, E, E7, E7sus, Em, Em7, F, Fmaj7, G, G7.

Objective 3
Demonstrate notational literacy.

  1. Identify and correctly explain standard notation symbols in guitar music.
  2. Explain how to interpret guitar tablature correctly.
  3. Read guitar music written in chord symbols, tablature, or standard notation.

Objective 4
Demonstrate productive rehearsal habits.

  1. Show respect for the rehearsal process.
  2. Contribute positively to the risk-taking classroom environment.
  3. Assist in the organization and care of music department supplies, facilities, and equipment.

Objective 5
Demonstrate knowledge, use, and care of selected instruments.

  1. Identify and explain the head, tuning machines, nut, neck fretboard, frets, strings, soundhole, bridge, saddle, body, and waist of the guitar.
  2. Explain and demonstrate string replacement, use of case, proper storage environment, and cleaning of the guitar.
  3. Explain the evolution of instruments that preceded the guitar.

Objective 6
Perform varied repertoire.

  1. Perform a variety of simple melodies.
  2. Perform simple songs with a variety of strumming patterns, hammer-ons, pull-offs, bass runs, etc.
  3. Demonstrate a sense of rhythm and the ability to sing on pitch.
  4. Sing simple familiar songs while accompanying self.


Standard 2
Students will improvise and compose music.

Objective 1
Improvise rhythmic and melodic ideas and phrases.

  1. Perform melodic, rhythmic, and chordal call/response, question/answer activities.
  2. Play back simple scale fragments or rhythm motives with and without accompaniment.
  3. Play back chord progressions from familiar songs and/or create an accompaniment pattern within the chord progression.

Objective 2
Record musical thoughts in standard notation.

  1. Accurately count, clap, and play rhythms using various time signatures.
  2. Identify the key, meter, and form of simple songs.
  3. Notate simple single-note melodies within a given chord progression.
  4. Write a simplified lead sheet of a simple song.


Standard 3
Students will expand music listening skills and use music vocabulary to analyze and evaluate music.

Objective 1
Analyze and evaluate musical examples.

  1. List, using the vocabulary of music, important criteria for determining the quality of a music performance.
  2. Using this list, identify, analyze, and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in performance.
  3. Prescribe adjustments needed to strengthen individual and ensemble performance.
  4. In the music you play or listen to: (a) compare and contrast styles from a variety of cultures and time periods; (b) describe the emotions and thoughts the music communicates and how it does so.

Objective 2
Evaluate ensemble performances.

  1. List important criteria for determining the quality of a music performance.
  2. Evaluate, using this list, strengths and weaknesses in performance and prepare suggestions for improvement.
  3. Demonstrate proper behavior while at a concert.
  4. Compare/contrast live musical performances with recordings.

Objective 3
Document personal growth as a musician.

  1. Using the criteria from Objective A, evaluate strengths and weaknesses in personal performance.
  2. Organize and maintain records of completed work; e.g., recordings, journal writings, sketch book self/peer/teacher/adjudicator assessments.
  3. Select a piece of own completed work that most clearly illustrates progress and explain this choice to teacher and/or parents.
  4. Explain how the quality of own performance affects the performance of the whole group.

Discover Meaning

Standard 4
Students will find avenues of understanding and communication through connecting music to personal growth, the joy of living, traditions, culture, and history.

Objective 1
Examine how music relates to personal development and enjoyment of life.

  1. Evaluate how the study of music expands the ability to communicate with and understand others.
  2. Tell how music can be a joyful part of daily activities.
  3. Describe how making music together helps develop skills and success in working with others.
  4. Describe how self and/or class have used music to be of service to someone.
  5. Explain how participation in music can become a lifetime pursuit and/or develop analytical and creative thinking skills.

Objective 2
Experience how music connects us to history, culture, heritage, and community.

  1. Demonstrate how people celebrate, mourn, create, communicate ideas, help others, express feelings, come together, and/or enjoy themselves through music.
  2. Perform and enjoy music related to various cultures, times, and places.
  3. Explain what the music experienced above means personally.

UEN logo - in partnership with Utah State Board of Education (USBE) and Utah System of Higher Education (USHE).  Send questions or comments to USBE Specialist - Cathy Jensen and see the Fine Arts - Music website. For general questions about Utah's Core Standards contact the Director - DIANA SUDDRETH .  
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