Grade 4 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.

Curriculum Overview


The focus for Elementary Music at ACS is to continue to develop units of instruction and assessments for our four Artistic Processes: (1) making meaningful expression such as performing on an instrument or singing (​PERFORMING),​ (2) expressing personal ideas by composing or improvising music (​CREATING​), (3) responding to music such as critiquing the work we hear (​RESPONDING​), (4) interpreting symbolic expression by different disciplines, cultures, and history (​CONNECTING​). The integration of technology with music-specific digital tools is ongoing to enhance the learning opportunities for all students, “Communicate effectively for a given purpose” and “Recognize and respect other cultural context and points of view”.

All students will develop knowledge of the varied career pathways that can be accomplished while participating in core music.

All students will prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

As a means of having a uniform teaching approach and methodology for core music, grades KG1 - 5, the music curriculum program created by Dr. John Feierabend will be utilized. A national leader in music education, Dr. Feierabend is ProfessorEmeritus of Music Education at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford and is a past President of the Organization of American KodályEducators.

Beginning in second grade and continuing through fifth grade, students begin ​Conversational Solfege Level One1, Feierabend’s curriculum for teaching music literacy. This method uses a twelve-step process developing students’ aural skills, like the way language is taught, before musical symbols are introduced. The curriculum incorporates rhymes, songs, games, and movement activities. This provides teachers with opportunities for differentiation (process as well as product), meeting the needs of individual students and their various learning styles, specifically visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners.

Steps one and two are rote learning, or “readiness” activities that have students echo the teacher. Steps three and four involve “ConversationalSolfege” techniques in which the teacher speaks/sings familiar and unfamiliar patterns and the students are then required to aurally decode. These steps serve as an assessment of the skills gained and also require students to use higher-order thinking. In step five students are asked to create their own rhythm and tonal patterns then followed by musical notation.

In the sixth step, students read patterns and music by rote and then decode familiar and unfamiliar patterns and songs (read/sing out loud) similarly as they do in language literacy classes. Following three reading steps, the students then begin to write notation. In step eleven, the teacher speaks, sings, or plays unfamiliar rhythm and tonal patterns for students to write down. The final step in the twelve-step process is composition. They are required to first create their own musical patterns, and then write them down. Students are informally assessed at each step with a summative assessment at the end of step twelve.

Based on this methodology, the Grade 2 through Grade 5 General Music Units of Instruction include all twelve steps of Units 1-10 and Unit 19 of Conversational Solfege, Levels One and Two with 3-4 units apportioned to each grade. In Grade 5, students are required to complete a vocal assessment. Additionally, there is a Grade 2-5 unit devoted to Music and Movement.

Click ​Music At-a-Glance for the National Core Arts Standards for MusicClick ​National Core Arts Standards to learn more about the Arts Standards. Click here to view the What We Learn - Grade 4 infograph. Click here for this year's ES Music Curriculum Overview Video.


Unit Sketch

The movement themes of Rudolf Laban provide an ideal portfolio of movement possibilities. Through these activities children will develop body coordination as well as expressive sensitivity, especially when carefully coordinated with recorded music that complements the expressive quality of the movement.

Enduring Understandings

Students will understand that...

  • Choreographers use a variety of sources as inspiration and transform concepts and ideas into movement for artistic expression.

  • The elements of dance, dance structures, and choreographic devices serve as both a foundation and a departure point for choreographers.

  • Choreographers analyze, evaluate, refine, and document their work to communicate meaning.

  • Space, time, and energy are basic elements of dance.

  • Dancers use the mind-body connection and develop the body as an instrument for artistry and artistic expression.

  • Dance is perceived and analyzed to comprehend its meaning.

  • Dance is interpreted by considering intent, meaning, and artistic expression as communicated through the use of the body, elements of dance, dance technique, dance structure, and context.

  • Criteria for evaluating dance vary across genres, styles, and cultures.

  • As dance is experienced, all personal experiences, knowledge, and contexts are integrated and synthesized to interpret meaning.

  • Dance literacy includes deep knowledge and perspectives about societal, cultural, historical, and community contexts.


Students will be able to...

  • 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

  • Define the following terms: folk dance, movement theme, steady beat, rhythm, and tempo

  • Demonstrate awareness of body parts and whole; awareness of time; awareness of space; awareness of levels; awareness of weight; awareness of locomotion; awareness of flow; awareness of shape; awareness of others; student created movement

  • Demonstrate the following: hop (one foot), jump, leap, gallop, skip, do-si-do, elbow swing, kick, sashay, forward, backward, clockwise, and counterclockwise; and formations such as circle, line, and scattered formation