Delineating the Elementary Music Scope & Sequence Into Six-Week Instruction Periods

November 17, 2009 / By: Michael Chandler

The purpose of this study was to delineate the contents of the music concepts and skills charts for grades kindergarten through six of the Richardson Independent School District in Texas into six 6-week instruction periods for the school year based upon a logical and effective sequence.  The Richardson ISD music concepts and skills charts organize musical learning into eight categories: Rhythm and Meter, Melody, Vocal Development, Instrument Skills, Movement and Singing Games, Listening and Timbre, Expressive Elements, and Form.  In order to delineate the contents of the yearly charts, the study posed eight research questions, each of which sought to determine a sequence for introducing concepts and skills in one of the eight categories.  To develop an appropriate sequence for introducing concepts and skills in each category, a review of literature examined existing research and related pedagogical literature authored by experts in the field of elementary music education.  The sequence found in the district’s adopted textbook series, Spotlight on Music published by Macmillan/McGraw Hill, served as a guide for delineation of the Richardson ISD concepts and skills.  The textbook series divided lesson objectives into six units for every grade level, each of which was correlated to one of the six 6-week grading periods that comprise a school year in Richardson ISD.  Each lesson objective from the textbook was assigned to one or more of the eight Richardson ISD concepts and skills categories and assigned to a particular 6-week grading period based upon both the findings in the review of literature and upon the comparison and correlation with the sequence in the textbook series.  In grades K-2, the sequence outlined in the textbook series more directly influenced the sequence of concepts and skills of the Richardson ISD curriculum.  Beginning with third grade, but particularly with sixth grade, the textbook sequence and the contents of the Richardson ISD music concepts and skills charts became more divergent.  The results of the study should assist elementary music teachers in Richardson ISD in better organizing and implementing the district’s curriculum. The study concludes with abbreviated and succinct curriculum charts divided into six 6-week periods for each grade level with the results outlined in the study.