Orchestra 6, 7, or 8

Course Title: Orchestra 6, 7, or 8
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Course Description

Course Description

Orchestra is a performing ensemble and part of a continuum that begins in elementary school, continues to build skills through middle school, and continues in high school. Orchestra students in seventh and eighth grade make further connections to the world and themselves by collaboratively creating music and gaining a deeper understanding of their instrument. The orchestras rehearse every other day and generally perform three concerts per school year. Students expand their knowledge of key and time signatures; work on improving position, posture, intonation, and tone production; learn new bowing and left hand techniques; and become more expressive players through performing grade level repertoire and short ear training/composition/improvisation games.

Power Standards

  1. Student is able to apply developing knowledge of instrumental techniques and musical literacy, integrating skills into ensemble performance.
  2. Student is able to reflect on, respond to, and evaluate music.
  3. Student understands how music connects to themselves and the world by creating music that express personal ideas and feelings.

Course Outline

Apply developing knowledge of instrumental techniques and musical literacy, integrating skills into ensemble performance

 Guiding Questions Learning Objectives
  • What is the importance of practice outside of the classroom?
  • How do you organize personal practice time to get the most efficient, positive results?
  • How do musicians follow section leaders and the conductor?
  • How do musicians listen to each other to communicate musical ideas?
  • How do musicians improve their ability to read music?
  • How do musicians interpret and mark their music to help them in performance?
  • How long does it take to learn a new bowing or left hand skill, or break a learned bad habit?
  • Collaborate as an ensemble on each semester performance and string festival.
  • Demonstrate a variety of bowing and left hand techniques.
  • Demonstrate ability to accurately read level appropriate notes and rhythms.
  • Distinguish levels and centers of pitch.
  • Illustrate proper position and posture.
  • Produce a good tone that reflects understanding of the physical manipulation of the instrument.
  • Show ability to recognize, find, and correct playing errors with minimal teacher help.
 Assessments: Concert performances, visual observation, playing tests, performance rubrics


Reflect on, respond to, and evaluate music

 Guiding Questions Learning Objectives
  • How can musicians use reflection to improve their playing?
  • How do musicians provide constructive feedback to other musicians to help expand their understanding?
  • How do musicians interpret a composition?
  • How can musicians use music language and vocabulary to demonstrate learning/understanding?
  • Write reflections to verbalize the creative process.
  • Provide constructive feedback to their peers about their playing.
  • Interpret contemporary and historical compositions.
  • Use music vocabulary when describing and responding to works of music.
 Assessments: Peer critique, individual and group rubric assessments, personal reflection, listening explorations


Use music to connect to yourself and the world around you

 Guiding Questions Learning Objectives
  • How do composers use themes and sound to create unique musical imagery?
  • How does music reflect different cultures and time periods?
  • How do musicians make emotional connections to works of others as well as works they create themselves?
  • Interpret musical works and use them to inspire their own performances and musical ideas.
  • Connect music played in class to artistic cultures around the world.
  • Create music that makes a personal connection.
  • Create music through improvisation.
 Assessments: Concert performances, listening logs, journals


 Career and Life Skills
 Social and Cross Cultural The student respects and contributes to the diverse learning community by:

  • Honoring  the ideas and opinions of others and
  • Interacting effectively and appropriately with others.
 Productivity and  Accountability The student takes ownership of work and actions  by:

  • Completing assignments on time
  • Arriving prepared and on time
  • Managing time
 Initiative and Self Direction The student demonstrates independence by:

  • Self-advocating for assistance or resources
  • Persevering through rigorous/challenging tasks
  • Utilizing feedback