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The music curriculum provides opportunities for students to connect to the world around them through creating, presenting, appreciating, and responding to music. As students become aware of the expressive elements of music, they develop insight into human experience. Foundational knowledge and understanding of the elements of music supports students in developing music literacy and skills through active musical engagement in the areas of singing, playing, listening, moving, reading, and writing. This knowledge serves as the foundation from which students can further develop an understanding of and appreciation for the beauty of music within historical, cultural, and contemporary contexts. Through creative processes, students learn that individual and collaborative music making fosters the expression of ideas, feelings, and experiences.
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Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3
Organizing Idea
Foundational Elements: Music literacy is developed through knowledge and application of foundational elements.
Guiding Question
How can musical sounds be interpreted?
Guiding Question
In what ways can tone and duration contribute to music?
Guiding Question
To what extent do tone and duration affect the way music is perceived?
Learning Outcome
Students examine musical sounds as they relate to rhythm, melody, dynamics, harmony, and form.
Learning Outcome
Students relate tone and duration to rhythm, melody, dynamics, and harmony.
Learning Outcome
Students analyze tone and duration as a way to enhance expression.
A steady beat is compared to the regular beating of the heart.

A steady beat can be felt in the body through body percussion, playing instruments, or moving.

The First Nations and Inuit drum emphasizes a steady beat.

Music selections that emphasize a steady beat can include
  • A Tribe Called Red, Electric PowWow
  • Leroy Anderson, Sleigh Ride
A steady beat is the regular pulse that occurs in music.
Skills & Procedures
Respond to a steady beat in a variety of ways, including action songs, playing instruments, moving, and body percussion.

Identify a steady beat when listening to music.

Identify and explore the difference between steady beat and rhythm.
Duration is the length of time that sounds or silences are sustained in music.

The duration of sounds and silences is represented by music symbols.

Visual representation of music symbols in written form is known as standard notation, but it can also be represented using stick notation or other manipulatives.

Rhythmic symbols have values that indicate the specific duration of a note or a rest.

The duration of a silence in music, known as a rest, is equal in duration to its corresponding note.

The rhythmic duration of a whole note or whole rest is equal to the duration of two half notes or half rests, or four quarter notes or quarter rests.

Syllable names for rhythmic sounds can be invented and may vary and include
  • ta for a quarter note
  • ti-ti for two eighth notes
  • ta-a for a half note
  • ta-a-a-a for whole note
Call and response is a musical form that can support rhythmic exploration.
Duration is measured by how many beats a musical sound lasts.
Skills & Procedures
Demonstrate the difference between beat and rhythm.

Identify the rhythmic values of individual and combined rhythms.

Practise reading and writing rhythm patterns.

Notate short rhythm patterns from dictation.

Generate a rhythmic answer in response to a rhythmic question.
The duration of a musical note is related to its rhythmic value.

The duration of a sound or silence can be extended or shortened.

The duration of a rhythm or musical sound can be extended by
  • placing a dot next to a rhythm, such as a half note, to extend the duration of the note by one beat
  • a tie that connects two notes of the same pitch together, extending their individual rhythmic values to be the sum of the duration
  • a fermata to indicate an unspecified pause or sustaining of a note
Syllable names for rhythmic sounds can be invented, including ta-a-ato represent the dotted half note.

The duration of an eighth rest is equal in duration to one eighth note.

The duration of a measure is indicated by
  • a time signature
  • bar lines to visually indicate beat groupings
  • a double bar line to indicate the end of a piece
  • repeat signs to indicate measures to be repeated
The top number of a time signature indicates how many beats are in a measure.

A strong beat in 4/4 time occurs on the first and third beat of the measure; whereas in 3/4 time, it occurs on the first beat.

The placement of an accent in music can depend on the time signature.

Selections of music written in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time can include
  • 2/4: Scott Joplin, The Entertainer
  • 3/4: Arthur Scammell, Squid Jiggin’ Ground
  • 4/4: Alexander Muir, The Maple Leaf Forever
Dynamics direct how music should be played, and can be notated using a music symbol on the musical score, including
  • mf to indicate mezzo-forte, which means moderately loud
  • mp to indicate mezzo-piano, which means moderately soft
  • pp to indicate pianissimo, which means very soft
  • ff to indicate fortissimo, which means very loud
In Western music, Italian terms are used to label tempo, including
  • allegro, meaning fast
  • presto, meaning very fast
  • adagio, meaning slow
  • largo, meaning very slow
Music symbols (articulation markings) can indicate the duration of music notes, including
  • staccato and legato
  • phrase marks to indicate length of phrases
  • accents to indicate emphasis of a sound
Examples of dynamics (articulations) highlighted in music can include
  • legato: She’s Like the Swallow
  • staccato: Leroy Anderson, Plink, Plank, Plunk
  • accent: Antonin Dvořák, New World Symphony, 4th movement: Allegro con fuoco
Music symbols have varied durations and direct how music should be played.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between the time signatures 3/4 and 4/4 in various musical selections.

Illustrate strong-weak beat patterns in 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4 time signatures through the use of body percussion, non-pitched percussion, or movement.

Recognize symbols that extend the duration of a musical sound or rhythm.

Practise notating rhythms within a given time signature and from dictation.

Recognize and respond to written music symbols that direct how music should be played.

Experiment with how changes in dynamics can add an effect to music.

Use music vocabulary related to tempo and dynamics when responding to music.
The rhythm of a word refers to the syllables heard in the word.

Simple word rhythms can be found in nursery rhymes, poems, and children’s songs.

Word rhythms can be spoken or played using body percussion or non-pitched percussion instruments.

Rhythm includes long and short sounds represented by a musical symbol called a note.

Silences in music are the absence of sound and are represented by a rhythmic symbol called a rest.

A silence or rest in music can be indicated by using a gesture.

A rhythmic symbol has a specific value that describes how many beats it lasts.

The rhythmic value of one quarter note or quarter rest is worth one beat and is equal in value to two eighth notes.

Syllable names for rhythmic sounds can be invented and can include
  • ta for quarter note
  • ti-ti for two eighth notes
In Western music, printed music symbols are read and written from left to right.

Stick notation is a simplified way of representing rhythmic symbols.

Body percussion is the art of making sound with the body, including
  • clapping
  • snapping
  • patching
  • stomping
  • rubbing
A musical sound can be described by how many beats it lasts.

Rhythm is a series of long and short sounds and silences.

Rhythmic sounds can have matching syllable names.
Skills & Procedures
Identify how many syllable sounds make up the rhythm of individual words.

Demonstrate the rhythm of words using body percussion or non-pitched instruments.

Use syllable names to refer to rhythms when reading music.

Echo rhythm patterns using instruments or body percussion.

Practise reading and writing rhythms using simple notation, such as stick notation.

Identify the number of beats that make up a simple rhythm.

Demonstrate an understanding of how to read music symbols from left to right.
Measures are combined to create phrases.

Measure can be repeated when indicated with a repeat sign.

A double bar line is used to indicate the end of a musical piece.

The time signature is a music symbol that indicates beat groupings.

Beat groupings are known as measures and are divided up using bar lines when notated.

Rhythm patterns are made up of the beat and divisions of the beat.

Rhythm patterns can accompany a melody.

Beat groupings indicate weak and strong pulses.

Beats may be grouped by accents, which usually emphasize the first beat after a bar line.

Music that emphasizes beat groupings of three can include Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Waltz, from Swan Lake.

Duration can be indicated by various beat groupings.

Beat groupings can include two, three, or four beats per measure.
Skills & Procedures
Recognize 2/4 and 3/4 time signatures.

Identify the function of bar lines, repeat signs, and double bar lines.

Experience strong and weak pulses in music in a variety of ways.

Recognize accents within beat groupings of two, three, and four.
Examples of music that do not follow a steady beat can include
  • Gregorian chants
  • Jean Coulthard, Shizen (3 Nature Sketches from Japan): No. 1, Wind in the Pines
  • Jocelyn Morlock, Ornithomancy for flute and orchestra
Free jazz was an improvised style of jazz music that did not have a steady beat, as heard in John Coltrane’s Like Sonny.
Duration of a musical sound may not follow a steady beat.
Skills & Procedures
Sustain a steady beat when singing or playing music.

Discuss features of musical selections that do not follow a steady beat.

Differentiate between music that does and does not have a steady beat.
Differences in high and low sounds (pitch) can be identified using solfege and hand signs representing the pitches sol, mi, and lah.

Solfege is a system of assigning a syllable name to a musical sound.

A sequence of sounds can move from high to low, low to high, or stay the same.

A melody is a sequence of high, low, and medium sounds.

Gestures, hand signs, and movement can be used to indicate sounds that are high, low, or in the middle.

High and low sounds can be visually represented on a basic music staff of two or three lines using music notes or non-music symbols.

High and low sounds can be sung or played on pitched instruments.

Pitched instruments can include barred instruments such as the glockenspiel, xylophone, and metallophone.

Sounds can be high, low, or in the middle (pitch).
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between sounds that vary in pitch.

Practise reading sol-mi-lah patterns using hand signs and a two- or three-line music staff.

Build sol-mi-lah patterns on a two- or three-line music staff.

Represent pitch through gestures, movement, and hand signs.

Respond to pitch matching and echo singing.

Experience singing alone and in a group.

Demonstrate in-tune singing in unison.
Tones are high, low, and medium sounds that are assigned various pitches.

Tones can move from low to high, high to low, or stay the same.

Tones in Western music can be labelled with the absolute pitch names ABCDEFG or solfege.

Printed music symbols show the direction of a melody.

Melodies can move up or down by scale steps and leaps.

Melodies can be based upon major, minor, and five-tone (pentatonic) scales.

Major scales can be described as bright and cheerful sounds, as heard in Felix Mendelssohn’s Wedding March, from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Minor scales can be described as sad or dark sounds, as heard in Johann Sebastian Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.

Melodic patterns, phrases, or sections can be described as alike or different.

Musical forms can organize musical patterns in various ways, and can include
  • ab, abab (phrase form)
  • verse and chorus
  • introductions
  • interludes
  • an ending (coda)
A whole piece of music can include a number of sections that may be alike or different and can include AB, ABA, ABAB (sectional form), as heard in
  • Camille Saint-Saëns, Carnival of the Animals – Fossils, in which the xylophone part is A and the clarinet solo is B
  • traditional French Canadian folk song Vive la Canadienne
Melody is a sequence of high, medium, and low tones.

Tones can be grouped into melodic patterns.
Skills & Procedures
Detect the rise and fall of a melody.

Practise reading and writing pitches off a simple three-line music staff.

Respond with accuracy to tone matching with other voices or instruments.

Extend the understanding of solfege to include the pitches re and doh.

Demonstrate how to follow music notation from left to right.

Recognize gestures, symbols, or hand signs that represent pitch.

Identify and label phrases or sections of music that are alike, similar, or different.

Differentiate between major and minor sounds in music.

Experience singing, listening to, and playing music in major, minor, and pentatonic scales.

In Western music, the letters ABCDEFG (absolute pitches) are organized on the five lines and four spaces of the music staff.

Treble clef signs organize high and low pitches.

The treble clef indicates pitches on the staff that begin at middle C and move higher.

Pitches belonging on the lines of the treble clef are labelled EGBDF.

Pitches belonging in the spaces of the treble clef are labelled FACE.

A melody has contour or shape that indicates the direction and movement of tones.

Movement of tones by scale steps, skips, repeats, and leaps can be visually represented using music notes on a staff.

Tones can move from high to low, low to high, or stay in the middle.

Repetition and contrast can organize music into predictable segments within a musical form.
Tones are visually represented as pitch when placed on a music staff.
Skills & Procedures
Detect and illustrate the contour of a melody.

Identify pitches that belong to the lines and spaces of the music staff belonging to the treble clef.

Explore how melodies can be created using tones that move by steps, skips, repeats, and leaps.

Create simple melodies that demonstrate repetition and contrast.

Practise writing pitches or simple melodies on a music staff.

Experiment with various ways to visually notate musical ideas.
Sounds that repeat themselves more than twice are known as a pattern.

Phrases can be labelled using letters of the alphabet, shapes, or pictures (phrase form).

The length of a phrase can be represented with gestures, with movement, or by taking a breath when singing.

Nursery rhymes, songs, and poetry can have patterns (phrase form), including ab, aba, and other combinations.

A section of music can be repeated (verse and chorus)

Music selections can have short, repeated patterns of sound (ostinato) as heard in
  • Gustav Holst, The Planets, Movement 1: Mars
  • Maurice Ravel, Bolero
Sounds can be organized into patterns or phrases that are alike or different.
Skills & Procedures
Identify phrases that are alike or different.

Illustrate phrase form through the use of movement, body percussion, or instruments.

Identify rhythmic or melodic patterns in a variety of music selections.

Practise sustaining a rhythmic or melodic ostinato within a piece of music.
Children typically have higher singing voices due to their smaller bodies and vocal chords.

The adult male voice typically sounds lower than the adult female voice.

Specific instruments may be chosen for their ability to represent a particular feeling, character, or mood in a musical work, as heard in Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf.

An instrument can be described as having sound that is
  • airy
  • brassy
  • mellow
  • bright
  • dark
Smaller instruments, such as the flute, produce higher sounds than larger instruments, such as the tuba.

Tone has colour, known as timbre.

Tone colour or timbre is affected by an instrument’s size and shape.

An instrument’s timbre, including the voice, can represent a feeling, mood, or character.
Skills & Procedures
Discriminate between the tone colour of different singing voices, which can vary with age and physical traits (e.g., adult/child, male/female).

Differentiate between the size of an instrument and the quality or volume of sound produced.

Relate the timbre of an instrument to its ability to represent feelings or characters.
A scale is a series of eight tones (octave) organized into ascending or descending pitches.

A five-tone scale is called a pentatonic scale.

Tones within a scale move up or down by steps or half steps.

Home tone (tonic) is the primary pitch or first note of the scale that is assigned to the key of the music.

A melody can begin and end on the home tone to give the music structure.

When music ends on the home tone, it gives the melody a sense of completion.

Solfege can extend below the note doh to include low lahand low soh, and can also extend to include high doh.

Music written in a major or minor scale can establish a mood or feeling for the piece.

An example of music written in a major or minor scale is
  • major: Georges Bizet, Carmen: No. 1 Prelude
  • minor: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Birch Tree Melody used in the fourth movement from Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 36
Pitched instruments, including recorders and barred instruments, can be used to explore pitch, melodies, and scales.
Tones in a melody can be combined to create a major, minor, or pentatonic scale.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between music written in major and minor keys.

Experience music that is based on the major, minor, and pentatonic scales.

Extend the use of solfege training with hand signs to include low lah, low soh, and high doh.

Extend vocal development to include in-tune singing alone and in unison.

Differentiate between music that does and does not end on a home tone.

Differentiate between the structure of an octave and a pentatonic scale.

Use pitched instruments to play tone-matching games and pentatonic accompaniments.
Music symbols are used to indicate the volume of sound, including f for loud and p for soft.

In Western music, dynamics are described by using Italian terms, including forte for loud and piano for soft and can be heard in
  • Camille Saint-Saëns, Danse Macabre in G Minor, Op. 40
  • Edvard Grieg, Morning and In the Hall of the Mountain King, from Peer Gynt (orchestral)
Sound has speed (tempo) that indicates how fast or slow music is performed, as heard in
  • Edvard Grieg, Morning and In the Hall of the Mountain King, from Peer Gynt (orchestral)
  • Brahms, Hungarian Dance No. 5
Sounds can be played smoothly (legato) or detached (staccato).

A strong sound can be added to music to create an effect (accent), as heard in Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony No. 94, Surprise.

Musical sounds can be produced in a way that expresses feelings or moods, as heard in
  • the Canadian national anthem, O Canada
  • Antonio Vivaldi, Four Seasons, Violin Concerto in G Minor, Op. 8, No. 2, RV 315 L’estate: 3. Presto
Sound has volume that can be loud or soft (dynamics).

Sound can be fast or slow (tempo).
Skills & Procedures
Use music vocabulary to describe sound in music.

Differentiate between loud-soft and fast-slow musical sounds.

Recognize and respond to soft (p) and loud (f) symbols in music.

Explore tempo and dynamics in a variety of ways.
Tempo in music can gradually get faster or slower.

The Italian term accelerando describes music that gradually gets faster, and the term ritardando describes music that gradually gets slower.

Tones that gradually increase or decrease in volume are referred to as crescendo and decrescendo, as heard in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Overture, from the Nutcracker.

Music dynamics that suddenly change are called accents and are indicated using the > symbol.

Tones that sound detached when played are called staccato and those that sound smooth are referred to as legato, as heard in
  • staccato:
    Robert Schumann, The Wild Horseman
    Leroy Anderson, Jazz Pizzicato
  • legato:
    Camille Saint-Saëns, The Swan in Carnival of the Animals
Tone has dynamics and tempo.

Tone can have an emotional quality that communicates mood in music.
Skills & Procedures
Identify and respond to music symbols that indicate crescendo, decrescendo, and accent.

Differentiate between tempos that gradually increase or decrease in speed.

Use music vocabulary to describe the dynamics and tempo.

Discuss how dynamics and tempo contribute to the mood of a musical piece.
Two or more melodies can be combined or layered to create harmony in the form of a descant, partner song, or canon, as heard in
  • descant:
    Johann Sebastian Bach, Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
  • round:
    French folk songs Frère Jacques and Alouette, gentille alouette
A descant is a treble melody that is played or sung above a main melody.

A chord is three or more tones that are played at the same time and can be used to accompany a melody.

Some pitched instruments can play chords, including keyboards, barred instruments, tone chimes, ukuleles, and hand bells.

Instruments that can only play one tone can be layered with other tones to create harmony, including resonator bells and voices.

Harmony is created when two or more tones sound at the same time.
Skills & Procedures
Perform music written in two parts, canon, or partner songs.

Explore how chords can be used to accompany a melody.

Perform music that incorporates layers of sound.
The human voice can produce different qualities of sound through
  • speaking
  • singing
  • whispering
  • shouting
Non-pitched percussion instruments can make sounds that reflect the material that the instrument is made of and its name, including
  • woods, such as wood blocks
  • skins, such as drums
  • metals, such as the triangle and finger cymbals
  • shakers, such as the maraca
  • scrapers, such as the guiro
Two or more sounds can occur at the same time (harmony).

Sound can be interpreted as musical or non-musical.

Sounds can create noise when there is no pattern of sound.

Barred instruments have different qualities of sound, including
  • glockenspiels, which have bright metal sounds
  • xylophones, which have wooden sounds
  • metallophones, which have dull metal sounds
Musical instruments and the human voice have different qualities of sound (timbre).
Skills & Procedures
Explore the qualities of the human voice within various poems, nursery rhymes, and songs.

Identify and compare musical and non-musical sounds.

Explore and describe the sound of various musical instruments.

Classify non-pitched percussion instruments according to the material they are made of.

Demonstrate the difference between a singing voice and a speaking voice.

Some combinations of tones sound pleasing when combined and are called chords.

Major and minor chords have different sounds.

Melodies can be accompanied by harmony.

Chords can be played on keyboard and barred instruments.

The pitches doh and soh can be played on barred instruments as a way to accompany a melody.
Tones can be combined and played at the same time to create harmony.
Skills & Procedures
Differentiate between tones played individually and tones played as chords.

Explore the difference between the sound of major and minor chords.

Play simple chords to accompany melodies.
Sections within a piece of music can vary in duration and include
  • phrases that can be short or long
  • measures that can be two, three, or four beats long
  • introductions that indicate the beginning of a piece
  • a coda, which is a short section or theme placed at the end of a piece of music
  • interludes, which are instrumental sections placed between verses of a song
Musical forms can vary in duration, including
  • phrase form ab, aba, abba, and other variations
  • binary AB
  • ternary ABA
  • verse and chorus
A printed piece of music (musical score) is used to illustrate the duration of a piece of music.

Duration of a rhythmic or melodic pattern can be extended by repeating the pattern many times (ostinato).

Changes in tempo can affect the duration of a musical piece.
Duration is the continuum of time between when music starts and ends.

The way in which music is structured can affect the duration of a piece.
Skills & Procedures
Practise how to read music off a simple music score.

Create movement to illustrate a variety of musical forms.

Practise sustaining a rhythmic or melodic ostinato.

Explore how the duration of a section of music can be extended.

Identify the length of a musical phrase in a variety of listening exercises.

Recognize the role of an introduction, an interlude, and a coda in music.
Tone clusters can be used to embellish or give tone colour to an accompaniment.

A tone cluster is a type of chord that is structured on a series of three or more adjacent notes in a scale played at the same time.

Instrument families in Western music include the strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.

The quality of an instrument’s sound can change depending on how the instrument is played, including those that are
  • bowed
  • plucked
  • struck
  • strummed
  • blown
  • scraped
Instruments from around the world and from various cultures can have similar features in the way they are constructed and played.

Examples of music that highlight each of the instrument families can include
  • brass:
    Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man
  • strings:
    Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings
    – Antonio Vivaldi, Four Seasons, Spring I: Allegro

  • woodwinds:
    George Gershwin, Rhapsody in Blue (clarinet)
    – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A major, 2nd Movement

  • percussion:
    Harry Freedman, Samba No. 1, from the ballet Oiseaux Exotiques
    Johann Sebastian Bach, The Well-Tempered Clavier (keyboard)
Tone colour, or timbre, classifies instruments into families.
Skills & Procedures
Experiment with tone clusters as a way to embellish a musical accompaniment.

Discriminate between the timbre of various sounds, including instruments, voices, and environmental sounds, through live or recorded music.

Recognize the instruments of the four families of the orchestra.
Organizing Idea
Creating and Presenting: Ideas can be represented musically through artworks that draw upon foundational knowledge.
Guiding Question
How can an idea be expressed musically?
Guiding Question
How can a message be represented musically?
Guiding Question
How can a message in music reflect what we value and understand?
Learning Outcome
Students construct an idea musically using the elements of music, instruments, and voices.
Learning Outcome
Students experiment with how a message can be created and presented through the use of instruments, voices, and movement.
Learning Outcome
Students represent messages through artistic choices related to the elements of music.
Musical ideas can be expressed through
  • singing
  • moving
  • playing instruments
  • writing rhythms and melodies
Inspiration for an idea in music can come from a variety of sources, including
  • other musicians or music
  • stories
  • imagination
  • the environment
  • artworks and images
Soundscapes and sound effects can enhance a musical idea when added to text, including poems, stories, and picture books.

The words of a song, known as lyrics, are important to understanding the meaning of the text.

Phrase form, including ab, aba, and other combinations, can be used to structure a musical idea.
A musical idea can be expressed using sounds that vary in pitch, dynamics, tempo, and rhythm.

A musician is an individual who can create, appreciate, and perform ideas in music.
Skills & Procedures
Explore musical ideas in response to an inspiration.

Create musical patterns or phrases that include sounds that are high-low, long-short, loud-soft, and fast-slow.

Use planned body movements to accompany musical ideas.

Perform music to accompany a story.

Compose a musical idea within a given phrase form.
Lyrics are used in music to convey a message through singing.

Music with lyrics can be sung in any language.

Messages in music can be expressed through songs that celebrate
  • holidays
  • seasons
  • ceremony
  • nationality
  • cultural heritage
Music from Francophone communities can include
  • Sur le pont d’Avignon
  • Fais dodo
  • Alouette, gentille alouette
  • Frère Jacques
  • En roulant ma boule
Verbal communication of a message can be shared in a variety of ways through music.

Verbal communication of a message can express a variety of feelings and experiences.
Skills & Procedures
Sing a variety of songs individually and in unison.

Create new lyrics to familiar melodies.

Explore music sung in other languages, including French-Canadian folk songs.

Artistic choices can be made intentionally to share a message through
  • the use and combination of the elements of music
  • instruments, singing, or a combination of both
  • documenting music through notation
  • writing lyrics
  • phrasing and articulations
Music forms can help organize musical messages and sounds into a structure, including
  • binary form AB
  • ternary form ABA
  • phrase form abab and other combinations
  • verse and chorus
Messages in music can be enhanced by adding harmony while singing or playing instruments.
Musicians intentionally choose ways to effectively share a message.

The elements of music can be combined in an infinite number of patterns to create a musical message.
Skills & Procedures
Create patterns in music by combining melody, rhythm, dynamics, and form.

Make artistic choices related to dynamics, phrasing, and other articulations when creating music.

Create music within a given musical form.

Create movement to demonstrate form in music.

Perform rhythmic and melodic ostinatos to accompany poems or songs.

Perform various arrangements of music that incorporate instruments, singing, or movement.
Musical ideas can express feelings, interests, and preferences.

Nursery rhymes and poems can be sung to familiar melodies.

Collaboration can foster a safe learning environment in music through listening to others’ ideas, solving problems, and making decisions.

Instruments, voices, and objects or found sounds can be used in traditional or non-traditional ways when creating music.

Participating as an audience member or as a performer includes expectations or rules (artistic protocols and etiquette).
A musical idea can come from brainstorming and collaboration.
Skills & Procedures
Create a musical idea through the exploration of various instruments and found sounds.

Collaborate to make up new lyrics to familiar melodies or to accompany rhythms.

Collaborate with one another when creating, refining, and revising a musical idea.

Participate as an audience member and performer in a variety of musical experiences.
Non-verbal communication of a message can be communicated through
  • movement
  • gestures
  • instruments
  • body percussion
The elements of music can be used in various ways to non-verbally communicate mood or meaning in music, including
  • melody, including major and minor scales
  • rhythm
  • harmony
  • dynamics and tempo
  • form
Instruments have a specific timbre that can be used to represent a message.

Rhythmic and melodic patterns can be arranged in phrases that are alike, similar, or different in order to communicate a message.

Melodic or rhythmic patterns can represent a character or theme in a story.

Movement and gestures can accompany musical expressions to enhance meaning of a message.

Non-verbal communication of a message in music can be shared in a variety of ways.
Skills & Procedures
Explore how the elements of music can be applied to communicate feelings, characters, or mood.

Perform arrangements of music for instruments and voices.

Play rhythmic or melodic ostinatos to accompany songs or poems.

Respond in a variety of ways when actively listening for changes in dynamics and tempo.

Create improvised or planned movements to accompany poems, songs, and stories.

Create rhythmic or melodic patterns that can represent a character or theme.

Illustrate form in music through movement or by playing an instrument.
Messages in music can represent a variety of things, including ideas, experiences, and feelings.

The circle is a symbol that can communicate a message in music, including connection.

A message in music can be enhanced for an audience by incorporating movement or dance, dramatic expression, and narration.

Music performed to a steady beat can help clarify the message being communicated.

Message can be enhanced when singing includes
  • expression in the form of phrasing
  • facial expressions
  • application of dynamics
  • movement or gestures
  • accuracy in pitch
Creative processes can help develop and clarify a message in music, including
  • generating ideas
  • problem solving
  • reflection
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • refinement
  • rehearsal
Messages communicated through music can be interpreted in different ways by an audience.

Feedback from others can clarify how messages are presented in future performances.
A message is at the centre of communication in music.

An audience receives and interprets the messages communicated through music.

Messages can represent what a musician or composer means to communicate.
Skills & Procedures
Create a musical message that represents an idea, an experience, or a feeling.

Extend vocal development to include expression and accuracy in pitch.

Apply creative processes to the creation of a message in music.

Participate as an audience member and as a performer in a variety of musical experiences.

Incorporate movement, dramatic expression, or narration in the presentation of music.

Evaluate the effectiveness of artistic choices in communicating a message through music.
Understanding the elements of music contributes to creating an idea.

Practice can require repetition of a skill or presentation in order to learn it well.

An idea in music can be presented informally, as in a music class, or formally, including in a concert.
Developing an idea through music may take practice.
Skills & Procedures
Practise sharing and accepting ideas from others.

Rehearse music selections before performing for an audience.
A message in music can be generated, sent, received, and interpreted.

Practising music before performing for an audience can help clarify roles and refine skills and techniques.

Structure in a musical presentation can help an audience know when the experience begins and ends.

Empathy and perspectives can be gained through creating, viewing, and talking about music.

Expectations for participating in music, known as artistic protocols and etiquette, can change depending on the context in which the music is experienced.
The sharing of a message involves the musician and the audience.

Audience members can have various feelings about musical works.
Skills & Procedures
Participate as an audience member and as a performer in a variety of musical experiences.

Rehearse music before performing for an audience.

Share interpretations or feelings about musical works or performances.

Demonstrate an understanding of artistic protocols and etiquette within various music experiences.
Creative processes can include
  • practice
  • generating an idea
  • giving and receiving feedback
  • reflection
Generating an idea may involve creative thinking and problem solving.
Development of a message in music can involve creative processes.

Messages can be clearly communicated when the elements of music, voices, or instruments are combined with a purpose.
Skills & Procedures
Apply creative processes when creating music.

Discuss how the purposeful use of instruments can strengthen communication of a message.
Organizing Idea
Appreciation: Recognizing beauty, goodness, and truth in music can be developed by understanding the complexity and richness of great works of music, the artists who create and perform them, and the historical and cultural contexts from which they originate.
Guiding Question
What function did music serve in ancient China, ancient Egypt, and prehistoric times?
Guiding Question
How might cultures from the past and present contribute to an appreciation of music?
Guiding Question
How can an understanding of culture contribute to learning about the music of ancient Rome and New France?
Learning Outcome
Students investigate the function of music in ancient times and present day.
Learning Outcome
Students investigate culture in relation to music from ancient Greece and present day.

Students examine culture through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music.
Learning Outcome
Students relate musical cultures of the past with modern-day music.
Music serves a variety of functions in the lives of individuals, including
  • celebrations
  • learning or teaching
  • entertainment
  • to be creative
The function of music can be to accompany dance, drama, and visual arts.

Music can be combined with other art forms, as heard in
  • musical theatre:
    The Sound of Music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II
  • ballet:
    The Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
  • opera:
    Hansel and Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck
Music can have a specific function in a community.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss where music can be experienced.

Share personal experiences with music.

Observe opera, ballet, and musical theatre as musical expressions that combine music, singing, and acting.
Experiences in music can include learning about music from the past and the people who created it.

Individual components of music can communicate culture, including the use of rhythms, melodies, and instruments.

The ancient Greeks used numbers to identify different pitches in music.

Musical styles in ancient Greece were known for being slow and ceremonial, or quick and lively.

Music in ancient Greece often accompanied dance and poetry.

Music from ancient Greece was never recorded but is known to have been a feature of celebrations, social events, and religious gatherings.

In ancient Greece, musical instruments included
  • drums
  • flutes
  • cymbals
  • bells
  • tambourines
  • castanets
The lyre, a stringed, harp-like instrument, was the most important instrument in ancient Greece and was used to accompany discussions about philosophy and storytelling.

The harp is considered to be the oldest instrument from ancient Greece.

The strings for stringed instruments were made from the muscles of various animals.
Culture is what people do and a way of thinking.

The musical culture of ancient Greece informed many aspects of present-day music.
Skills & Procedures
Identify how culture may be communicated through music.

Create music in quick or slow styles, as related to ancient Greek music.

Explore how melodies can be notated using numbers.
From historical times to today, cultures have valued music for a variety of reasons, including religious or creative expression, entertainment, or education.

In some cultures, musical instruments have spiritual significance.

Using vocabulary related to the elements of music can contribute to discussions about music.

Artistic protocols and etiquette may change based on the community, culture, presentation, and location of a musical performance.
Music is valued differently across cultures throughout history.

Artistic communities can be a venue for artistic expression within various cultures.
Skills & Procedures
Describe the value of music in one’s life and culture.

Demonstrate artistic protocols and etiquette in various music experiences.

Use music vocabulary when responding to musical works.
Music in ancient Egypt and ancient China may have been used for entertainment, festivals, and enjoyment.

Music in ancient times may have been used to accompany poetry, drama, and dance.

The oldest musical instrument ever found by archeologists is the Divje Babe flute.

Ancient Chinese music used 12 different kinds of musical notes to create music (12-tone system).

Ancient Chinese music was used for ceremonies, entertainment, and to match with sounds of nature.

Ancient Chinese instruments were traditionally grouped into eight categories based on the materials from which they were made, including
  • clay
  • bamboo
  • metal
  • hide
  • silk
  • wood
  • gourds
  • stone
Strings for instruments in ancient China were made of silk.

Ancient Egyptian instruments were similar to instruments used today, including
  • instruments that produced sound with air, such as flutes (aerophones)
  • instruments that vibrate when struck, shaken or scraped, such as a bell, gong, or rattle (idiophones)
  • instruments like drums or kazoos that produce sound by striking, rubbing, or singing into a stretched membrane (membranophone)
In ancient Egypt, musical performances usually included singing, chanting, and hand clapping.

Musicians in ancient Egypt played music for the community or specific events.

Musicians who had the honour of playing music for gods or goddesses were usually women.
Ancient societies used music for a variety of functions.

Knowledge about people who lived a long time ago can be learned through music.
Skills & Procedures
Discuss how instruments from ancient times compare to modern-day instruments.

Explore the function of music in ancient times as an inspiration for talking about and creating music.
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music can reflect ways of life, including
  • tradition
  • beliefs
  • history
  • relationships
  • traditional teachings
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities may have specific protocols related to how or with whom music is shared or performed.

First Nations, Métis, and Inuit express music for ceremony in a variety of ways, including
  • drumming
  • playing end-blown flutes
  • singing
  • throat singing
  • playing rattles
  • playing fiddles
  • playing rasps
  • playing clappers
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit find sources of inspiration for music in the land, including
  • water
  • wind
  • plants
  • animals
Music in First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities can have individual and collective benefits, including
  • social well-being
  • physical health
  • spiritual connection
  • emotional and mental well-being
  • intellectual development
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music includes oral traditions that can be passed on between and among individuals and communities with specific protocol.
Culture can be revealed through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music.

A sense of community and well-being among participants can be established through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music.
Skills & Procedures
Experience First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music.

Discuss how culture can be communicated through First Nations, Métis, and Inuit music.

Discuss the benefits of music in one’s life or community.
In ancient Rome, music was valued for its ability to educate people.

Many aspects of Roman music were adopted from ancient Greece.

The Romans used music for a variety of reasons, including
  • special occasions
  • celebrations
  • military and sporting events
  • gladiator contests
  • hunting
The different styles of Roman music were used to accompany dances that told a story.

The classification of instruments in ancient Rome was similar to Western orchestral instruments, including brass, woodwind, percussion, and strings.

Types of instruments used in ancient Rome included
  • instruments that produce sound with air, such as a bagpipe, a panpipe, an oboe, or a tuba (aerophones)
  • instruments that vibrate when struck, shaken, or scraped, such as a gong, bell, or rattle (idiophones)
  • instruments, like a drum or kazoo, that produce sound by striking, rubbing, or singing into a stretched membrane (membranophones)
  • instruments, like a guitar or piano, that have strings that are plucked, bowed, or struck (chordophones)
Ancient Roman culture was reflected through musical traditions and beliefs about music.

The cultures of ancient Rome had an influence on modern-day music and musical instruments.
Skills & Procedures
Compare classifications of instruments from ancient Rome to modern-day instruments.

Design an instrument in the style of those found in ancient Rome.
Music was a significant part of First Nations culture in New France for hundreds of years before the arrival of the European settlers.

First Nations music in New France reflected traditions and beliefs that continue to be honoured and celebrated today.

Protocols related to how or with whom music is shared were part of First Nations cultures in New France and continue to hold significant importance today.

Folk music reflects the lives, traditions, or customs of a group of people from a specific country, region, or culture.

The Western form of music common to Canada today was influenced by European folk music and traditions brought to New France.

Musical instruments commonly used in New France included the
  • violin
  • guitar
  • flute
  • fife
  • trumpet
Features of music that were popularized as symbols of French-Canadian culture include
  • bonhomme giguer (wooden man)
  • fiddle
  • spoons
  • foot tapping
European settlers introduced folk music and European instruments to New France.

Music in New France served a variety of purposes for the diverse groups of people who lived there.
Skills & Procedures
Experience a variety of folk music.

Play music using traditional French-Canadian instruments.

Listen to First Nations, Métis, or Inuit music as an inspiration for talking about musical traditions.