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5th Grade

5TH GRADE: Towards Independent Musicianship
IN Standards for 5th Grade Music

5th graders bring a broad range of abilities in the final year of elementary instruction. With the effort and aptitude given by the students, they will be reasonably proficient in performing rhythms on and off the steady beat. They will also be able to read and write music in three major keys. In addition their technical skills with Orff instruments will have improved immensely over the years as will their ability to move and sing. These skills are the foundation for the five goals that shape the content of this year’s work.

  1. To encounter new and more complex rhythms with sixteenth note syncopation, in addition to performing and listening to pieces with irregular phrase lengths.
  2. To review the la tonal center and sing, play, improvise music in the full minor scale.
  3. To extend the textural repertoire including the abilities to sing and play pieces in parallel thirds/sixths; to provide three-chord accompaniment I, IV, and V.
  4. To foster improvisation leading to freer, more open-ended responses to improvisation problems.
  5. To develop listening skills with music in theme and variations form.


  • Syncopation - Accented notes between the steady beat
  • Ritardando - Gradually getting slower
  • Accelerando - Gradually getting faster
  • Fermata - Hold
  • Accent - Emphasized note
  • Unison - All performing together on one part
  • Timbre - The unique quality of a musical sound
  • Swing Beats - Beats 2 and 4 are emphasized
  • Accompany - A supporting instrumental or vocal part
  • Arrange - Change the music for a different purpose
  • Complementary Rhythms - Supporting patterns of sound that work cooperatively
  • Flat - 1/2 step lower
  • Sharp -1/2 step higher
  • I-IV-V Harmony - chord progression with do-fa-so roots
  • Solo - 1 performer
  • Duet - 2 performers
  • Trio - 3 performers
  • Quartet - 4 performers
  • Theme & Variations - The repetition of a musical idea, with changes of rhythm, tempo, dynamics, etc.