Music at Genesee Hill

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 Understandings 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
  • 5th:


  • 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: Interval 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)
  • 5th:


  • K: Upward/Downward Movement, Simple Songs (me-re-do)
  • 1st: Pentatonic, Songs, Melody, a Contour
  • 2nd:
  • 3rd:
  • 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


  • K:
  • 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
  • 4th:
  • 5th: