What can you expect your child to learn in music this year?

The curriculum is aligned with all of the Arts areas (music, dance, visual art, and drama) across the K-12 continuum....the K-12 Arts Learning Collaborative. For more information on that please go to the Visual and Performing Arts Department on the District website. All Arts curricula are centered around the following Enduring Undersatndings and 21st Century Skills:

Enduring Understandings:

These are statements which summarize important ideas and core processes that are central to a discipline and have lasting value beyond the classroom.

  1. The Arts reveal who we are.
  2. The Arrts are a means of communication.
  3. Arts learning fosters critical thinking and creativity central to life and career.

21st Century Skills to be cultivated through Arts learning in Seattle Public Schools:

  1. Growth Mindset and Perseverance
  2. Creative and Critical Thinking
  3. Communication Skills
  4. Collaboration Skills

Within the area of Music, there are eight key elements that children will be taught. The table below summarizes what that looks like at each grade level.


K: Heartbeat/Steady, Beat, Beat/No Beat, Beat vs. Rhythm

1st: Strong Beat/Weak Beat, Silent Beat

2nd: Duple/Triple, On the Beat/Off the Beat

3rd: Up Beat/Down Beat, Time, Signature, Meter, Barline

4th: 6/8 Time



K: Long/Short, Quarter Note, Paired Eighths, Echo Patterns

1st: Quarter Rest, Inner Hearing (maintaining beat)

2nd: Half Note, Grouped Sixteenths

3rd: Whole Note, Whole Rest, Half rest, Tie

4th: Triplet

5th: Syncopation, Dotted, Notes, Single Eighth


K: High/Low

1st: Inner Hearing (maintaining pitch center)

2nd: Match Pitch, Steps/Skips/Leaps, Octaves and Repeats

3rd: Treble, Clef, Absolute, and Pitch

4th: General

5th: ‚ÄčInterval relationships

Timbre/Tone Color

K: Voice (call, speak, whisper, sing),Body, Percussion, and Sound Sources

1st: Non-pitched, Rhythm, and Instruments

2nd: Pitched/Non-pitched, Instruments, and Vocal Register

3rd: Recorder

4th: Instrument Families:String, Brass,Woodwind, Percussion)



K: Upward/Downward Movement, Simple Songs (me-re-do)

1st: Pentatonic, Songs, Melody, aContour



4th: Diatonic, and Scale

5th: Major/Minor


K: Same/Different, Echo

1st: Call & Response, AB, ABA, Cumulative, Songs, Repeat

2nd: Verse/Refrain, Rondo

3rd: Question & Answer, Intro, Coda, Interlude, 1st & 2nd, Endings

4th: Theme & Variation, Round/Canon, DC al Fine, DS al Fine

5th: Music class



1st: One Sound/More than One Sound (think & thin), Accompaniment/No Accompaniment

2nd: Borduns, Ostinato (melodic & rhythmic), Partner Songs

3rd: Unison/Harmony, Solo/Tutti, Rounds

4th: Chord Progressions

5th: 2-part Singing, Ployphonic Rhythms


K: Loud/Soft, Fast/Slow

1st: Dynamics (p, f, pp, ff), Louder/Softer (<, >)

2nd: mp, mf, Accent, Fermata, Tempo Changes, Staccato/Legato

3rd: Articulation (slurs, phrasing, staccato, legato, tenuto, accent), Tempo Markings, Ritardando, Accelerando



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