Rhythm and Notation - Tewksbury Township Schools

Unit Overview
Content Area: Music
Unit Title: Rhythm and Notation
Target Course/Grade Level: First
Timeline: Ongoing
Unit Summary
In first grade the goals for rhythm understanding, notation, and creation are an establishment of
a good sense of steady beat, understanding and identifying differences in tempi, and the creation
of simple rhythmic accompaniments or ostinati. We will also begin to explore how to represent
short and long sounds with notation. Throughout the year we will be using various techniques
such as experimentation with body percussion, simultaneous imitation, creating rhythms with
note cards displaying quarter notes, eighth note pairs, and quarter rests, and performing a
steady beat or rhythmic ostinato with spoken text to discover and enhance these musical skills.
Primary interdisciplinary connections:
Physical Education and Math
21st century themes and skills:
Creativity, Innovation, Communication, and Collaboration
Unit Rationale:
Learning Targets
1.1 The Creative Process: All students will demonstrate an understanding of the elements and
principles that govern the creation of works of art in dance, music, theatre, and visual art.
1.3 Performance: All students will synthesize those skills, media, methods, and technologies
appropriate to creating, performing, and/or presenting works of art in dance, music theatre, and
visual art.
1.4 Aesthetic responses & Critique Methodologies: All students will demonstrate and apply
an understanding of arts philosophies, judgment, and analysis to works of art in dance, music,
theatre, and visual art.
9.1 21st-Century Life & Career Skills: All students will demonstrate the creative, critical
thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving skills needed to function successfully as both global
citizens and workers in diverse ethnic and organizational cultures.
Content Statements:
Related content statements for Standard 1.1
 Ear training and listening skill are prerequisites for musical literacy.
 The elements of music are foundational to basic music literacy.
 Music is often defined as organized sound that is dependent on predictable properties of
tone and pitch. Musical notation captures tonality, dynamic range, and rhythm.
Related content statements for Standard 1.3
 Creating and performing music provides a means of self-expression for very young
 The ability to read music notation correlates with musical fluency and literacy. Notation
systems are complex symbolic languages that indicate pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and
 Improvisation is a foundational skill for music composition.
Related content statements for Standard 1.4A
 Each arts discipline offers distinct opportunities to observe, experience, interpret,
appreciate, and respond to works of art and beauty in the everyday world.
 Each arts discipline (dance, music, theatre, and visual art) has distinct characteristics, as
do the artists who create them.
Related content statements for Standard 9.1A
 The ability to recognize a problem and apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to
solve the problem is a lifelong skill that develops over time.
Related content statements for Standard 9.1B
 Brainstorming activities enhance creative and innovative thinking in individual and group
goal setting and problem solving.
Cumulative Progress Indicator (CPI)
Explore the elements of music through verbal and written responses to diverse
aural prompts and printed scores.
Identify musical elements in response to diverse aural prompts, such as rhythm,
timbre, dynamics, form, and melody.
Identify and categorize sound sources by common traits (e.g. scales, rhythmic
patterns, and/or other musical elements and identify rhythmic notation up to eighth
notes and rests.
Use a variety of musical instruments to create music, alone and/or with others,
using different beats, tempos, dynamics, and interpretations.
Clap or sing songs with repetitive phrases and rhythmic patterns.
Listen to, imitate, and improvise sounds, patterns, or songs.
Recognize and name a variety of music elements using appropriate music
Clap, sing, or play on pitch from basic notation in the treble clef, with consideration
of pitch, rhythm, dynamics, and tempo.
Improvise short tonal and rhythmic patterns over ostinatos, and modify melodic or
rhythmic patterns using selected notes and/or scales to create expressive ideas.
Describe feelings and reaction in response to diverse musical genres and styles.
Use imagination to create a story based on an arts experience that communicated
an emotion or feeling, and tell the story through each of the four arts disciplines
(dance, music, theatre, and visual art).
Distinguish patterns in nature found in works of dance, music, theatre, and visual
Recognize a problem and brainstorm ways to solve the problem individually or
Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills in classroom and family settings.
Participate in brainstorming sessions to seek information, ideas, and strategies
that foster creative thinking.
Unit Essential Questions
Unit Enduring Understandings
 What is a rhythmic pattern?
 You can combine long and short sounds to
create rhythmic patterns.
 How can we move our bodies to help us feel
the beat while listening to music?
 Rhythm can be created through improvisation.
 How do changing tempos and dynamics
 Music can be written in duple or triple meter.
affect movement?
 You can use symbols to show pitch and
 How do you know what sound to create in a
Unit Learning Targets
Students will ...
 Perform steady beat (speak, pat, clap, play, and step).
 Explore speech material for inflection, improvisation, and rhythm.
 Transfer text rhythm to sound color (body percussion and unpitched percussion) to
distinguish rhythm from beat.
 Create rhythmic compositions from text.
 Perform the beat simultaneously with a spoken text.
 Sing melody and play the beat simultaneously.
 Accompany appropriate song material with simple bordun played on bar instruments as a
chord on strong beats.
 Distinguish faster form slower tempi.
 Use bar and unpitched instruments as sound carpets for stories.
 Perform simultaneous imitation using movement, instruments, and vocal sounds.
 Create one, then two voice rhythm pieces using quarter notes, eighth note pairs and
quarter rests.
 Play aural recognition games using sol, mi, and la.
 Add tone syllable names to rhythm syllables as a step toward music reading.
Evidence of Learning
Summative Assessment
Pre-assessment, participation, performance and observation, self and group assessment,
question and answer, classroom discussion, and games.
Equipment needed:
Folksong CD’s, piano or keyboard, rhythm sticks, various hand percussion instruments, poly
spots, mallet percussion instruments, various supplemental materials, books, and music.
Teacher Instructional Resources:
Music Express Subscription
Music K-8 Subscription
Tempo Magazine
Kodaly in the Classroom by Linda Rann
Discovering Orff by Jane Franzee
Orff-Schulwerk Applications for the Classroom by Brigitte Warner
Formative Assessments
Self and group assessment and concerts.
Integration of Technology:
Smart Board
Technology Resources:
Click the links below to access additional resources used to design this unit:
Opportunities for Differentiation:
Differentiate by student need, interest and readiness level.
Teacher Notes: