Grade 2 Music

Artistic development at ACS is guided by the National Core Arts Standards. In the Elementary division, these standards are taught in Drama and Dance, Music, and Visual Arts (Art) classes. The standards are divided into 4 key areas: Creating, Performing/Presenting/Producing, Responding, and Connecting.

Music Literacy: Conversational Solfège

Introduction

The simple premise on which this method is based is the same one which is advocated for the teaching of foreign languages (or even one's own initial language). One should learn with his/her ears before learning with his/her eyes. In learning one's own language, there are five or six years in which language skills are developed by ear before the reading and/or writing of language is introduced. This natural process enables one to instinctively communicate verbally with words and later, after learning to read, learn to write those thoughts down. While this method does not advocate waiting five or six years to introduce the reading and writing of music, it does advocate developing conversational skills prior to reading and writing skills.

Process

This process seems especially well suited to an art which is aural - music. Learning to understand music by ear and later by reading and writing ensures that the ear and musical mind are playing an active role in the processing of musical ideas. It ensures that understanding and creating music occur through the musical manipulation of sounds rather than the mere manipulation of symbols. The manipulation of symbols does not ensure musical thinking, whereas the manipulation of sounds pursues the desired task. After all, "music" is not the symbols found on the printed page but the sounds that reach the ear. In some countries, the word "music" is never used to refer to the printed copy. Rather, the printed copy is referred to as the "notation." This method proposes a process which ensure the "music" is learned and aurally understood first and then later bonded to the "notation."

Content

The selection of songs and rhymes used in this method are those from the rich repertoire of traditional folk songs and rhymes. It is believed that those songs and rhymes best reflect the natural melodic and rhythmic inflection of our musical language as well as the aesthetic subtlety of those people who created and/or shared those songs and rhymes for generations. This is a literature driven curriculum.The order of rhythm and tonal patterns used in this method were determined through a thorough investigation of those rhythm and tonal elements which occur regularly in traditional children's folk songs and rhymes, from the simplest to the more complex.

- Excerpt taken from Conversational Solfege - Level 1 by Dr. John Feierabend

The Method

Step 1 Readiness Rote

Songs and rhymes are learned by rote that contain rhythm and/or tonal content, which will be studied later. Rhythm and tonal patterns can also be echoed on a neutral syllable at this step.

Step 2 Conversational Solfege Rote

Rhythm syllables and/or tonal syllables are introduced. Patterns are spoken or sung by the teacher with the syllables and students repeat, by rote, those patterns with the syllables. During this stage, students bond rhythm and tonal patterns with aural labels.

Step 3 Conversational Solfege Decode - Familiar

This stage serves as an evaluation to see if students have bonded rhythm and/or tonal patterns with the correct syllables. The teacher speaks or sings familiar patterns with neutral syllables and familiar songs and rhymes, and the students repeat the patterns, songs, and rhymes with rhythm or tonal syllables.

Step 4 Conversational Solfege - Decode Unfamiliar

This stage serves as an evaluation to see if students have bonded rhythm and/or tonal patterns with the correct syllables and can generalize those syllables to unfamiliar patterns, songs, and rhymes. The teacher speaks or sings an unfamiliar pattern with neutral syllables and unfamiliar songs and rhymes.

Step 5 Conversational Solfege Create

This stage develops the ability to think original musical thoughts. Students create original rhythm or tonal patterns using rhythm or tonal syllables.

Step 6 Reading Rote

During this stage, students are introduced to notation symbols. The teacher reads notated patterns for the students. The students repeat each pattern while looking at the notation.

Step 7 Reading Decode - Familiar

This stage serves as an evaluation to see if students have bonded the notation for rhythm and/or tonal patterns with the correct syllables. The teacher asks the students to think through notated patterns with rhythm or tonal syllables and then speak or sing them aloud using the rhythm or tonal syllables.

Step 8 Reading Decode - Unfamiliar

This stage serves as an evaluation to see if students have bonded the notation for rhythm and/or tonal patterns with the correct syllables and can generalize that knowledge to unfamiliar patterns, songs, and rhymes. The teacher asks the students to think through unfamiliar notated patterns with rhythm or tonal syllables and then speak or sing them aloud using the rhythm or tonal syllables. Patterns, songs, and rhymes used at this stage have not been presented previously.This requires visual decoding skills and inference thinking. This stage is often referred to as sight-reading.

Step 9 Writing Rote

During this stage, students learn to write notation. Students should copy existing patterns, songs, and rhymes and be instructed in proper manuscript techniques.

Step 10 Writing Decode - Familiar

During this stage, students engage both conversational decoding skills and writing decoding skills. The teacher speaks, sings, or plays familiar patterns or phrases from a song or rhyme with neutral syllables or the text. Students thinks each pattern with rhythm or tonal syllables (Step 3) and then write the notation for the pattern (writing - decode).

Step 11 Writing Decode - Unfamiliar

During this stage, students engage both their conversational decoding skills and writing decoding skills. Their teacher speaks, sings or plays unfamiliar patterns or phrases from a song or rhyme with neutral syllables or the text. Students think the pattern with rhythm or tonal syllables (Step 4) and then write the pattern (writing - decode). Again, students will discover that by conversationally speaking or singing syllables they are telling themselves what to write! This stage requires aural and visual decoding as well as inference thinking. This stage is usually referred to as dictation.

Step 12 Writing Create

This skill requires students to conversationally create through inner hearing (Step 5) and then writing decode by transferring their musical thoughts into notation. This skill is usually referred to as composition.

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand that...

  • The creative ideas, concepts and feelings that influence musicians' work emerge from a variety of sources.
  • Musicians' creative choices are influenced by their expertise, context and expressive intent.
  • Musicians evaluate and refine their work through openness to new ideas, persistence, and the application of appropriate criteria.
  • Musicians' presentation of creative work is the culmination of a process of creation and communication.
  • Performers' interest in and knowledge of musical works, understanding of their own technical skill, and the context for a performance influence the selection of repertoire.
  • Analyzing creators' context and how they manipulate elements of music provides insight into their intent and informs performance.
  • Performers make interpretive decisions based on their understanding of context and expressive intent.
  • To express their musical ideas, musicians analyze, evaluate and refine their performance over time through openness to new ideas, persistence and the application of appropriate criteria.
  • Musicians judge performance based on criteria that vary across time, place and cultures.
  • Individuals' selection of musical works is influenced by their interests, experiences, understandings and purposes.
  • Response to music is informed by analyzing context (social, cultural and historical) and hw creators and performers manipulate the elements of music.
  • Through their use of elements and structures of music, creators and performers provide clues to their expressive intent.
  • The personal evaluation of musical works and performances is informed by analysis, interpretation and established criteria.
  • Musicians connect their personal interests, experience, ideas and knowledge to creating, performing and responding.
  • Understanding connection to varied contexts and daily life enhances musicians' creating, performing and responding.
  • Singing and playing an instrument are means of communication, capable of expressing feelings and emotions that surpass the spoken language.
  • Humans are born with an instrument for making music-the voice.
  • Playing an instrument allows a musician to express musical ideas that exceed the range, timbre, and dynamics of the voice.
  • The depth of musical knowledge one possesses impacts how, and to what degree, one analyzes, describes, and evaluates music.
  • The music to which one has been exposed influences one’s musical preferences.
  • People listen to music for a variety of reasons (e.g. to be energized, to gain focus, to enhance or alter a current emotional state, to entertain).
  • Listening to music evokes emotions, whether or not one has chosen to listen to it.
  • Music connects us to the past, present, and future.

Skills

Students will be able to...

  • Chant rhythmic patterns and sing/play (on non pitched age-appropriate classroom instruments) songs/rhymes using “ta” and “ta-ti” (quarter note, paired eighth notes)
  • Conversationally decode familiar and unfamiliar rhythmic patterns and songs, phrase by phrase, using “ta” and “ta-ti”
  • Conversationally create (improvise) rhythmic patterns using “ta” and “ta-ti”
  • Read, create and write (compose) rhythmic patterns using “ta” and “ta-ti”
  • Write stems, note heads, and beams properly
  • Perform/respond to music by using age appropriate movements and movement themes (based on suggested movement repertoire)
  • Perform a variety of age-appropriate folk dance movements and folk dances while singing
  • Recognize patterns in movements and their connection to musical form
  • Make connections between movements and dances to other disciplines (math, language arts, social studies, geography, P.E., art), cultures and their daily lives

I Can Statements

Creating

Imagine

    1. I can create different words to a song.
    2. I can create rhythm patterns

Plan and Make

    1. I can create different words to a song.
    2. I can create rhythm patterns.

Evaluate and Refine

    1. I can revise my plan for a composition.
    2. I can revise my plan for an arrangement.

Present

    1. I can perform my composition.
    2. I can perform my arrangement.

Performing

Select

    1. I can select two pieces of music to perform.
    2. I can explain why I selected two pieces of music to perform.

Analyze

    1. I can tell same and different.
    2. I can describe the different between beat and rhythm.

Interpret

    1. I can choose how to interpret a piece of music.

Rehearse, Evaluate and Refine

    1. I can revise my plan for a composition.
    2. I can revise my plan for an arrangement.
    3. I can keep a steady beat.
    4. I can track the beat.
    5. I can sing a solo.
    6. I can match my teacher's voice.
    7. I can sing a solo.
    8. I can match my teacher's voice.
    9. I can create different words to a song.
    10. I can create rhythm patterns.
    11. I can do a circle dance.
    12. I can move in many different ways.

Present

    1. I can perform for others.

Responding

Select

    1. I can explain what I like about a piece of music.
    2. I can explain why I like a piece of music.
    3. I can discuss what I hear in a piece of music.
    4. I can analyze how musical elements affect the performances of musical pieces.

Analyze

    1. I can tell between fast and slow.
    2. I can tell between loud and quiet.

Interpret

    1. I can discuss what I think a piece of music is about.

Evaluate

    1. I can justify my evaluation of a performance.
    2. I can write rhythm patterns
    3. I can write melodic patterns
    4. I can read rhythm patterns
    5. I can read melodic patterns
    6. I can show good audience behavior.

Connecting

    1. I can make connections to creating, performing and listening.
    2. I can connect music and art.
    3. I can connect music and language arts.
    4. I can connect music and math.
    5. I can connect music and science.
    6. I can describe how sound and music is used every day.
    7. I can connect music and art.
    8. I can connect music and language arts.
    9. I can sing songs from around the world.
    10. I can discuss how musicians can use technology.
    11. I can discuss how composers use technology.