Our Music Curriculum
In Fifth Grade general music, the students will be focusing on three main units:
- Why Create Music
- How Does Music Unite Us
- What is the Music in Me.
Each unit lasts around three months. Below are the enduring understandings that the students have been working on for our first unit.
Why Create Music:
- Composers create music to tell a story or create a mood
- Composers create music to honor someone or something
- Composers create music to express an experience
- A musical composition is made up of many elements
Musical Activities in the Classroom:
The focus for our first unit has been that music has a purpose. Composers use the power of music to express their “why”. The 5th graders are working on identifying the musical choices that composers make to help their audiences hear their message. These choices come from the elements that make up music (Melody, Harmony, Mood, Dynamics, Form, Tempo, and Tone Color).
The 5th graders have studied Aaron Copland’s composition "Fanfare for the Common Man". A fanfare is a piece of music written to honor someone. Copland's purpose was to honor all men and women. The students wrote paragraphs about a fanfare they would create. The 5th graders decided who they would honor and why. The students used the elements of music to describe their musical choices and how it would reflect the person they honored. You can find your child’s paragraph in their Google Classroom account and clicking on the assignment titled "My Fanfare".
Next, the students studied "Danse Macabre" by Camille Saint-Saëns. The music was inspired by a poem about a character called Death that came out at midnight on Halloween and played a tune on his violin as skeletons danced around a graveyard. At the end of the music a rooster crows, signaling that morning is coming and all must go away.
The 5th graders worked in groups to create a poem inspired by the music. Then the students added instruments to accompany the poem, as well as be used for sound effects that will help convey the mood of the poem. You can read your child's poem by accessing their Google Classroom and clicking on the assignment labeled "Danse Macabre Tone Poems". To see the performances click on the video link below!
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