Scope and Sequence

I posted K5 goals because I know how far I can take a group of Kindergartners. I posted the 4th grade goals, because I had a general idea of where I wanted those children to end up.

So, I went back and tried to fill in the gaps. Here is a tentative plan for all the grades between K5 and 4th grade.

K5 1st Grade 2nd Grade 3rd Grade 4th Grade
Note Recognition Parts, whole, half, quarter, eighth, eighth note pairs, sixteenth Dotted half, dotted quarter, whole rest, half rest, quarter rest Dotted eighth, eighth rest, sixteenth rest
Relative Pitch Exercises 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 

Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol

6, 7, 8 

La, Ti, Do

-5, -6, -7 

-Sol, -La, -Ti

Minor Accidentals
Rhythm Exercises Steady beat, whole, half, quarter, paired eighths Rhythm of the melody, dotted rhythms, paired sixteenths, triplets Syncopation, quarter note triplets
Tempo Fast, slow Accelerando, ritardando Lento, moderato, allegro
Dynamics Loud, soft Forte, piano Fortissimo, pianissimo, mezzo forte, mezzo piano
Time signatures 2/4, 3/4, 4/4 2/2, 3/2, 4/2 3/8, 6/8, 9/8, 12/8
Instruments Families (string, brass, woodwind, percussion) All major band instruments & strings All orchestra instruments Uncommon instruments (bagpipes, ukulele, accordion, etc.) Identify any instrument by sound
Vocal Technique Stand tall and relaxed, enjoy singing, sing on pitch Breath in the right places, sing on pitch Tall mouth, blend Chest voice, head voice, sing harmony Breathe from diaphragm
Key signatures C, F, G All Key sigs
Note names F-clef, G-clef Treble clef note names Bass clef note names Perform all notes
Sight singing Notes that stay the same, notes that move stepwise 


Intervals using notes 1, 3, 5, 8 Intervals using 2, 4, 7 Intervals using 6, low 5, low 7 Intervals using low 6
Notation Notes, clefs, staff Sharps, flats, rests, f, p, Accel., Rit., Naturals, structure (repeats, D. S., D. C., coda, etc.) Expressive notation (dynamics, tempo, phrasing)
Instrument Technique Brass “buzzing,” string “bowing,” percussion, “striking,” woodwind, “blowing” Precorder – articulation (tonguing) Slurs, vibrato
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Successful People Are Not Normal!

This post is in honor of Ivan Bickett, who has taken the step of leaving his ordinary job to become extraordinarily self-employed.

Having spent the last several years reading and studying about the subject of business, and having recently been exposed to hours of interviews with highly successful people, I have uncovered these universal principles which describe the personal traits of high achievers:

26 Secrets of High Achievers

  1. They have a focused, well-defined plan: normal people don’t!
  2. They develop clear systems for discovering and implementing improvement: normal people don’t!
  3. They set lofty goals: normal people don’t!
  4. They hone in on a heartfelt reason that creates and sustains passion: normal people don’t!
  5. They implement tools for measuring success: normal people don’t!
  6. They display immense courage: normal people don’t!
  7. They develop the self-discipline to follow through on their ideas: normal people don’t!
  8. They are characterized by immediate and constant action, or “they ship a lot”: normal people don’t!
  9. They have a genuine interest in meeting the needs and desires of others: normal people don’t!
  10. They are able to instantaneously shift their personal paradigms: normal people aren’t!
  11. They truly love what they do: normal people don’t!
  12. They have the ability to walk away, or say “no” to people and situations that are not mutually beneficial: normal people don’t!
  13. They rely on the insights of wise, non-biased advisors or mentors: normal people don’t!
  14. They view failure as opportunity: normal people don’t!
  15. They outsource their weaknesses: normal people don’t!
  16. They understand people, which means they understand their business: normal people don’t!
  17. They learn to market extremely effectively and efficiently: normal people never do!
  18. They have a deep understanding of the intricacies of their chosen field: normal people don’t!
  19. They are not afraid of success: normal people are!
  20. They have a “spiritual” explanation for what they do – their calling: normal people don’t!
  21. They have the support of a loving spouse: few normal people do!
  22. They are able to ignore naysayers: normal people aren’t!
  23. They constantly learn: normal people don’t!
  24. They give freely, openly, and abundantly: normal people don’t!
  25. They are uncompromising in their personal ethical convictions: normal people aren’t!
  26. They discover how to meld their uniqueness with a market niche: normal people never do!

I don’t want to be normal.

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What’s the Plan, Man? – 4th Grade

4th Grade Music Curriculum Goals

  • Identify all major key signatures by name and number of accidentalsPrecorder
  • Identify and perform common tempo markings
  • Identify and perform all dynamic markings
  • Demonstrate proper wind instrument technique on the Precorder
  • Perform notes on Precorder – middle C to high D, Bb and F#
  • Read and perform fairly complex rhythms accurately on the Precorder
  • Sight sing music in major key using number system and/or solfege
  • Ability to write simple melodies in 2/4, 3/4, 4/4, or 6/8
  • Able to read and perform dotted rhythms, syncopated rhythms, triplets
  • Identify all instruments in orchestra by sight, sound and family
  • Identify bass clef note names
  • Able to sing in harmony, play harmony on Precorder
  • Basic understanding of musical form
  • Able to demonstrate the 4 foundations of good singing – posture, breathing, phonation, resonance

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What’s the Plan, Man? – K5

My wife and I had a nice long chat with some homeschooling friends of ours last night. I was attempting to get a feel for what types of music education materials I should provide for homeschooling parents to give their children a great foundation in music.

They seemed very impressed and excited about the music manipulatives in particular, and thought they would be well-received by children. After hashing out the details of a program that would be attractive to them, we came to the conclusion that a DVD/Internet-based video program would be the best option, consisting of 36 lessons per year, 30 minutes each. An attractive workbook to go along with the videos, a parent/teacher’s guide, as well as the appropriate manipulatives, games and flash cards would round out the program. The program would concentrate mainly on music theory, with bonus units on other topics such as: vocal technique, music instruments, music history, music appreciation, etc. It would be specifically targeted to parents who are non-musical.

OK, so a general outline of goals, starting with Kindergarten would be:

K5 Music Curriculum Goals

  • Identify parts of the notes (head, stem, flag, dot)
  • Identify whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes
  • Identify G-clef (treble clef), F-clef (bass clef)
  • Read and perform rhythms using whole, half, quarter, and eighth notes
  • Sing on pitch mimicking basic notes, scale movement, and intervals
  • Read basic melodies using notes 1-5 of a major scale, using notes that repeat or move stepwise only
  • Accurately draw the basic note shapes
  • Learn to sing at least 15 songs from memory
  • Identify at least 12 instruments by sight and sound
  • Able to express major emotions (happy, sad, angry) musically and physically
  • Utilize several expressive techniques in music – fast & slow, loud & soft, high & low
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Kids Are Great!

I was going through some old files on my computer the other day, and I ran across this “motivational poster” I made several years ago. I got a good laugh out of it, and I thought you might enjoy seeing it.

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Homeschool Music Survey Now Online!

Thanks to Google docs, I now have the FundaMusic survey online!

If you are a homeschooling parent, I would love to have some feedback from you concerning what types of homeschool music education products you would like to have available.

As my way of saying, “Thank You!,” after completing the survey, you will be given a link to a FREE DOWNLOAD of three sets of printable music flash cards from Asaph Music Co.: treble clef notes, bass clef notes, and piano keys.

Go ahead, let me know what you’re thinking. Give me a piece of your mind!

Homeschool Music Survey

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Fun Tip for Beginning Piano Students

My children, aged 7, 8 and 9 just began taking formal piano lessons this summer.

We had worked with all three of them about 4 years ago on the piano before we had a major move and life change interrupt. We used the We Hear and Play materials, in which the children learn to play colored notes. I colored their fingernails with the color of the notes using washable markers, put colored stickers on the piano keys, drew a treble clef symbol on the back of their right hand, and a bass clef symbol on the back of their left hand. I even made them a special adjustable chair to put them at the right height to reach the piano. The children all loved the process, and all of them worked their way through the first book. It was expensive, but we felt it was worth it to expose them to the concepts of reading notes and transferring the notes to the piano keyboard.

They are currently more than halfway through their first books with the new teacher, and I realized that they do not know the names of the notes they are playing very well. So, being the veteran music teacher that I am, I decided to pull out my flash cards.

Here’s the idea. Why not give beginning piano students a flash card of each new note they are given to learn on the piano. By simply taping a plastic zip-lock bag inside the front cover of the piano book, the teacher will be able to send each note home with the child as they learn them. The parent then will be able to help the child learn to identify each note quickly. Also, flash cards with pictures of the notes on the piano could be included. The child could then play a matching game with the note on the staff, and the note on the piano. I have started doing this with my children, and it has helped them a lot.

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Who Are You Calling Chicken?

I have started thinking about a logo for the FundaMusic website. I really like the idea of using music symbols as letters, but I always feel like the symbol used ought to represent the letter that it actually is. For example, I cringe when I see the treble clef sign used as a capital S, since the treble clef is actually a “G” clef.


Original Favicon

So, I began playing around with the idea of using the bass clef sign as the beginning F in FundaMusic, since the bass clef symbol is really a fancy “F.” I think it would work well as a logo if it were done right. I whipped out the ole Inkscape program to create the general idea of what I was looking for, and, lo and behold, I came up with something that could work. I made the “F,” put it together with an interesting font, made a banner and a favicon.

The problem is, as I was looking at the favicon (the little icon that shows up next to the web page name in your browser tab), I realized that it strongly reminded me of another well known logo. Any idea what that might be?

Look for your hint here.

If you guessed Chick-fil-A, you win the grand prize! Check it out:

FundaMusic logo

Oh, well, back to the drawing board for me, I guess.

Anyone hungry for a chicken sandwich?

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Yes, That’s Me

All right, let’s get the “Fun” back into FundaMusic.

To make this website a bit more personal, I took some pictures of myself in my music classroom. I took one of those pictures and put it into the header of this website. Yes, that is really what I look like when I get in front of a group of kindergarteners!

Last night, I was talking to a father of one of my kindergarten students. He stopped me and was asking me about who Mr. Noteman was. His son was so excited about music class, and was telling him all about the antics of Mr. Noteman. The kids all love it when I bring out Mr. Noteman. He is the puppet you see in the picture, that looks like a red eighth note. I use Mr. Noteman to teach the students about the parts of the note. He has a head, a stem and a flag. What the kids really like is that, when I talk about his flag, he starts flying around the room at breakneck speed. You see, the flag makes him go fast!

We have had three classes so far this year in kindergarten, and besides learning two new songs, we have marched around the classroom with a steady beat; we have learned to identify the whole note, half note, quarter note and eighth note by sight (or by feel!); we can echo complex rhythms and match a series of pitches; we have learned how to make sound on a brass instrument; learned about the shofar (a hollowed out ram’s horn that is the precursor to our brass instruments), discussed it’s importance in the Bible, heard one played, and gotten to feel (and smell!) two different sizes of shofar; learned about the bugle, have seen and handled one, and heard reveille and taps; and, overall, just had a grand ole time.

Teaching music is fun!

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Sorry, Am I Boring You?

YawnI have been having some discussions with fellow entrepreneurial types on another web site about how to be creative with your business. I was given the advice that instead of focusing on what other people “need,” try to provide them with what they “want.”

My biggest hurdle to doing that is probably the fact that by nature, I am a very logical, very unemotional, thinking kind of person (except when I am dealing with kids). I tend to see the world very much in black and white. My natural viewpoint is: to find a need that I can fill with my personal abilities, interests and passions, and then simply provide the materials to meet that need. I am beginning to see that such an approach severely limits my ability to influence the world.

As I go back looking over the previous posts I have made on this web site, I see that my posts are very much fact oriented, full of lists, and probably contain 0% emotional content. It just sets me off thinking again…

What I am trying to say here is that I am open to suggestions. Anyone who may actually be reading this site who has an interest in a music program for your children, could you please help me out here by letting me know what it is that you might really want from a business dedicated to supporting you in your efforts to give your children a music education.

I suppose I have not been doing a very good job at drawing in potential customers, simply because there is not much of interest here. I am willing to make the effort to be a bit more transparent and engaging, but I am sure I will need a lot of support!

Anybody willing to help me out?

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