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Fine Arts - Music Curriculum
Orchestra I
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. Demonstrate correct playing position, including the position of the instrument and the right and left hands.
  2. Demonstrate how to release muscle tension and focus arm weight into the strings.
  3. Play with a straight bow stroke and use different parts of the bow: middle, tip, frog, full bow.

Objective 2
Demonstrate technical performance skills.

  1. Practice and perform with habits that enable accurate intonation; e.g., tune strings, match pitch, play half and whole steps, master different finger patterns, and play various scales accurately.
  2. Demonstrate bowing techniques appropriate to the style of music to be learned; e.g., slurs, connected (legato, detache), stopped, (staccato, marcato), and/or bounced (spiccato).
  3. Perform a range of dynamic contrasts and tempo changes.
  4. Demonstrate technical fluency and speed.
  5. Discover how to play at least one simple folk song by ear.

Objective 3
Demonstrate notational literacy.

  1. Identify and define standard notation terms and symbols for pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression.
  2. Demonstrate use of music symbols through copying short passages (and/or writing dictated rhythms and pitches) and playing from them.
  3. Demonstrate reading fluency through singing and reading games and/or exercises.
  4. Sight-read a new piece with the correct rhythms and pitches.

Objective 4
Demonstrate productive rehearsal habits.

  1. Come to rehearsal prepared, do your best, and respect others.
  2. Assist in the care of facilities and equipment.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge, use, and care of instrument.
  4. Explain and/or teach the principles of any of the performance objectives to classmates as needed.

Objective 5
Perform varied repertoire.

  1. Perform acceptably in public and/or for adjudication orchestra pieces in the style indicated.
  2. Identify and define standard notation terms and symbols for pitch, rhythm, dynamics, tempo, articulation, and expression.
  3. Demonstrate ability to follow the conductor.
  4. Successfully prepare and perform accompanied solos and small ensemble pieces.
  5. Display performance etiquette.


Standard 2
Students will improvise and compose music.

Objective 1
Improvise rhythmic and melodic ideas and phrases.

  1. Explore possibilities of sounds that can be produced on the instrument.
  2. Improvise simple rhythms.
  3. Improvise simple melodies using limited pitches and/or creating variations of a familiar tune.

Objective 2
Record musical thoughts in standard notation.

  1. Practice notation skills through copying music and/or playing rhythm and staff games.
  2. Notate improvised and/or dictated rhythms and pitches separately.
  3. Combine notated rhythms and pitches to make a melody and notate it on the staff.
  4. Move from sound to symbol individually or as a class.
  5. Improvise short melodic phrases, variations of a given phrase, and/or a consequent phrase for an antecedent phrase.
  6. Invent a notation system that describes the music you improvised or reminds you what to play next.
  7. Notate the rhythms and pitches on a staff.

Objective 3
Write original melodies and short compositions.

  1. As a class or individually, compose a simple melody, notate it on the staff, and play it.
  2. As a class or individually, write a composition or an arrangement that fits a simple music form such as AB or ABA.


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. Describe music events/changes as they occur in performance repertoire or in recorded examples; e.g., tempo dynamics, instrumentation.
  2. Explain how music you play is constructed; e.g., identify the time signature and any changes; find and play the key/home note; identify the form (AB, ABA, rondo, theme and variations).
  3. Discuss these characteristics of the music listened to or played.
  4. Compare and contrast styles from a variety of cultures and time periods.
  5. 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. Using this list, identify, analyze, and evaluate 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 B, evaluate strengths and weaknesses in personal performance.
  2. Organize and maintain records of completed work; e.g., recordings, journal writings, 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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