What Are Students Like at This Learning Level?

Music students at the junior and senior levels range from the very serious musician intent on continuing his or her studies in college and beginning a professional music career, to the high school musician who may later decide to pursue a different career. The following is a quick look at the characteristics and abilities of students in their late high school years.

Students become more independent and self-directed at this age. Create assignments that require students to make choices about the subject of their work: the genre and style of their music and the instruments involved. Some students may form their own musical groups. Give them opportunities to perform at school when possible. Juniors and seniors who have studied music and mastered some skills during their freshmen and sophmore years often feel a sense of accomplishment and confidence when they reach higher levels. Their true musicianship now begins to emerge. They have a strong grasp of many musical concepts and begin to see the bigger picture of the art form.

Students are still evolving but some may feel very confident and want to volunteer their leadership in a musical group. Give them room to lead but continue to provide guidance as needed. Students should be given frequent opportunities to perform in-class recitals and be evaluated. Students gain confidence as their

in-class recitals show progress. Offer constructive criticism often, so that students become accomstomed to the process. Students who have elected to take their first music class may feel intimidated if the class involves performance. Be aware of this and offer continuous encouragement so that the student may build confidence.

Students are continuing to mature; they are at the precipice of adulthood. This is a good time to reinforce the concept of music as a physical pursuit, one that is very tied to physical health. Students may be encouraged to work out and build muscles if they wish to participate in marching bands. Tuba and bass drum instrumentalists in particular must be able to march and carry heavy instruments. The same is not true of piccolo players, but they are still required to march while providing wind for their instruments. Singers need to take care of their voices, also. Teachers should make them aware of the vocal cords’ need for rest and recovery.

What Students Can Do at This Level

The learning outcomes below are based on the Scope and Sequence, which builds instruction sequentially across these levels. Keep in mind that students of different ages may be at the same level.

High School Level III Students Can…

High School Level IV Students Can…

perform a varied repertoire of vocal literature of a moderate to difficult level and in a variety of languages in small ensembles

sight-read musical selections of a high level of difficulty with expression and technical accuracy

play chromatic melodies and scales, and major and minor 7th and 9th chords

perform modal melodies and scales, and major and minor 11th and 13th chords

read and write rhythmic patterns in simple and compound meters and in uneven time signatures such as 5/8 and 7/8

read and write music that incorporates complex rhythmic patterns in simple, compound, and uneven meters

compare and contrast the role and importance of music in a variety of cultures

compare and contrast elements of music through literature selected for performance and/or listening

identify and describe the effects of society, culture, and technology on music, electronic instruments, and the human voice, and of the transformation and perception of sound

explain how elements, artistic processes (such as imagination and craftsmanship), and organizational principles (such as unity and variety or repetition and contrast) are used in the various arts and cite examples