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Fine Arts - Music Curriculum
Music Aesthetics
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.

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Objective 1
Develop technical performance skills.

  1. Explore and illustrate the expressive uses and potential of the voice and body to communicate an idea or a feeling.
  2. Explore and discuss the expressive uses and potential of other musical instruments and equipment to communicate an idea or a feeling.

Objective 2
Perform varied repertoire.

  1. Read/sing/play additional songs in class and describe the various rhythms, textures, modes, harmonies, and forms experienced.
  2. Read/sing/play excerpts of selected music in class and describe the expressive effects that can be used to create style and impact.


Standard 2
Students will improvise and compose music.

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Objective 1
Improvise rhythmic and melodic ideas and phrases.

  1. Create a different sequence of an existing song; e.g., AB, ABA, verse/chorus.
  2. Plan textures for a completed sequence.
  3. Add expressive qualities to the sequence; e.g., tempo, dynamics, stylistic effects.
  4. Present (perform/record) sequence in class and discuss the choices made.
  5. Organize timbres and sequences into phrases, e.g., build melodic patterns into a sequence of phrases, experiment with various instrumentations for the phrases.

Objective 2
Write original melodies.

  1. Finish partially written phrases.
  2. Write variations of a given phrase.
  3. Write a consequent phrase for a given antecedent phrase.


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

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Objective 1
Describe the elements of music.

  1. Demonstrate how expressive qualities within music affect its ability to communicate; e.g., dynamics, tempo, timbre, pitch, stylistic effects.
  2. Explain how time is used to communicate meaning in various musical selections; e.g., beat, meter, rhythm, accent.
  3. Describe how a melody conveys a message; e.g., types of motion (conjunct/disjunct), range of pitches, rhythmic motion, mode, lyrics.
  4. Illustrate how form communicates meaning in music; e.g., repetition, contrast, variation, introduction, coda, climactic sequences.
  5. Describe the texture; e.g., monophonic, homophonic, polyphonic, heterophonic.
  6. Analyze the harmony; e.g., dissonant, consonant, diatonic (type of mode), chromatic.

Objective 2
Analyze and evaluate musical examples.

  1. Demonstrate acceptable performer and audience etiquette.
  2. Describe music events/changes as they occur in recorded or live excerpts; e.g., tempo, meter, harmony, dynamics, texture, form (AB, ABA, rondo, theme and variations, etc.), instrumentation.
  3. Describe the emotions and thoughts the music communicates and analyze how it does so.
  4. Compare and contrast music styles from a variety of cultures and time periods, including non-western music.
  5. Analyze and evaluate the difference between expressing personal preferences in music and critiquing a music composition or music performance.

Objective 3
Document personal growth as a musician.

  1. Keep a journal and/or write reflection on personal experiences in music.
  2. Select a piece of own completed work that most clearly illustrates progress and explain this choice to teacher and/or parents.

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.

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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. Explain how people celebrate, mourn, create, communicate ideas, help others, express feelings, come together, and/or enjoy themselves through music.
  2. Explain what music means personally.
  3. Play/sing/read and enjoy music related to various cultures, times, and places.
  4. Tell how music connects to other disciplines.

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 .  
These materials have been produced by and for the teachers of the State of Utah. Copies of these materials may be freely reproduced for teacher and classroom use. When distributing these materials, credit should be given to Utah State Board of Education. These materials may not be published, in whole or part, or in any other format, without the written permission of the Utah State Board of Education, 250 East 500 South, PO Box 144200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-4200.
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