K-12 Scope & Sequenced, and Spiraling Music Curriculum

General Music Curriculum that Builds Musicianship
and Extends to Choirs, Bands, & Orchestras

Skill Mastery, Competency, and Excellence Defined

Whenever "skill mastery" or "competency" or "excellence" are mentioned in these web pages, in this author's opinion, they mean 100% perfection across the class or no less than 99%. It is not OK if even one student is almost in tune, or almost on the beat. And yes, EVERY child can achieve this! Music is absolute--black and white--either totally correct or completely unacceptable. Unacceptable is never a failure, but only a short learning step or two from perfection. When students are taught this in the formal education setting of a music classroom from earliest Kindergarten onward, their music listening, discerning, and performing skills become artistically phenomenal. When each skill becomes well mastered, then it is permissible to advance to the next skill or level. Excellence is an every day mode of operation. One should teach according to skill mastery, not calendar weeks.

Scope and Sequenced Curriculum

A Scope and Sequenced Curriculum is one in which rhythm and tonal skills and music concepts are precisely ordered according to researched music learning sequences (Gordon and other researchers).

The Knauss Music Curriculum is a highly structured spiraling and cycling curriculum in which music skills, understanding, active participation, and artistry are expanded and broadened in each cycle, in which the teacher is a master adapter and facilitator. KMC empasizes that skill mastery determines when students progress to the next level, rather than weeks on a calendar.

Spiraling Curriculum

A Spiraling Curriculum is one in which rhythm and tonal skills and music concepts are repeated level after level with each repeating cycle, usually year after year, and grade area after grade area. A wise music teacher will know to progress to the next cycle only when the students show mastery of the skills determined for the current cycle.

KMC is comprised of units that feature repetition of skills in ever-increasing levels of difficulty. KMC features charts for each level for tracking individual student's skills as well as corporate ensemble skills of each class.

Rhythm and Tonal Skills

Preschool and Kindergarten: Focus on 2 goals: performing a steady beat and singing in tune. Plan many varied rhythm and tonal skill activities for these 2 goals. For rhythm skills, teach steady beat first before rhythm patterns (Rhythm Cards with Tometics or Gordon's Rhythm Syllables). For tonal skills, develop many echo / call and response activities for singing in tune (Kodály Syllable System). For music concepts, plan activities related to steady beats and singing in tune. Extend into other music concepts as kindergartners become competent in these 2 fundamental skills. Perform everything through movement (Dalcroze). (Bloom's Taxonomy: Discrimination Learning in the 3 lower levels of Knowledge, Comprehension, and Creation, with simple excursions into Inference Learning in the 3 upper levels of Analysis, Evaluation, and Creation).

Book 1 of KMC teaches all students how to perform a steady beat and how to sing in tune from beginning aural-oral-kinesthetic skills, through learning appropriate music vocabulary, through reading and writing notation skills. Book 1A provides over 200 flash cards needed for teaching all rhythm and tonal skills, from easy to complex. Each flash card group adds only 1 new element at a time for insuring students' skill mastery.

Rhythm & Tonal Skills and Music Concepts: Early Elementary

Primary Grades 1-2: Establish a sequence of rhythm and tonal skills and reading rhythm and tonal patterns (Rhythm cards / Tometics or Gordon, and Kodály), beginning with the easiest presented in kindergarten. Teach and perform the music concepts in isolation, beginning with large contrasts first, then narrowing to less obvious ones. (Example: teach presto and largo before allegro and andante.) Perform everything through movement (Dalcroze). Provide many performing and creating experiences (Pre-Orff-Schulwerk). (Bloom's Taxonomy: Discrimination Learning in the 3 lower levels of Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application, with simple excursions into Inference Learning in the 3 upper levels of Analysis, Evaluation, and Creation).

Book 2 of KMC features all music concepts in an isolated fashion in learning sequence order in which they evolve from the two basic music gateway skills: performing a steady beat (rhythm skills) and singing in tune (tonal skills). For examples: (1) after learning beats, grouping beats creates Meter, dividing beats creates Rhythm, performing different lengths of time between beats creates Tempo, and so on; and (2) after learning to sing in tune, high and low pitches create Register, pitches in a row creates Melodic Direction, pitches tonally grouped creates a Scale and Modality, and so on.

Rhythm & Tonal Skills and Music Concepts: Upper Elementary

Intermediate Grades 3-5 (6): Continue the sequence of rhythm and tonal skills and reading rhythm and tonal patterns. Teach and perform all music concepts in any combinations. Teach whole-class performance skills so the students develop performance listening using the classroom like an ensemble. Provide many creating experiences. Teach soprano and alto recorders, among all the classroom instruments (Orff-Schulwerk). Perform everything through movement (Dalcroze). (Bloom's Taxonomy: more complex Discrimination Learning in the 3 lower levels of Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application, with more complex excursions into Inference Learning in the 3 upper levels of Analysis, Evaluation, and Creation).

With a foundational mastery of rhythm and tonal skills and music concepts in Early Elementary, Book 3 of KMC combines music concepts in combinations of simple to complex, and easy to difficult. Students learn artistic performance skills, skillful listening while performing music with each other, and internal, independent musicianship.

Secondary: Middle School Level

Provide a continuous curriculum of creating, manipulating, and hands-on experiences (Orff-Schulwerk). Avoid instruction in which the students mostly sit in seats wherein music appreciation and / or music history is taught. Teach soprano, alto, tenor, and bass recorders, along with guitar and electronic keyboard labs. (Bloom's Taxonomy: mostly Inference Learning in the 3 upper levels of Analysis, Evaluation, and Creation).

With mastery of rhythm and tonal skills, music concepts, and performance skills, Book 4 of KMC is entirely inferential in the upper 3 levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. The students actively participate 100% in improvising, creating, composing, manipulating, arranging, reading, notating, describing, evaluating, and comparing to the other arts and to other artistic eras.

Secondary: High School Level

Provide music experiences at the highest possible competence levels according to the students' abilities. This level is appropriate for music appreciation and / or music history classes only if the students are well skilled in all rhythm and tonal skills and music concepts. (Bloom's Taxonomy: all lower and upper levels of Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, and Creation).

Book 4 of KMC contains endless extension ideas that provide the students with endless creative and artistic possibilities. Only the limits of their imaginations are their limitations. Book 4 provides countless ideas for seeing beyond limits.





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