FAQs are organized by topic
- My Grade 7 and 8 students do not want to sing. Any suggestions?
- My Grade 2 students enjoy singing a variety of songs. Do you have any other CDs?
- Using the program
- I don't understand some of the concepts myself how can I teach the class?
- As an experienced music teacher, how can this program help me?
- Do I have to follow the books and lessons in sequence?
- I have absolutely no music experience. Can I use this program effectively?
- Can the program help me with my long range plans?
- How can I cover all of the expectations each term?
- Starting a New Music Program
- What if the students do not completely understand concepts covered?
- Photocopying takes time and can be expensive. Any suggestions?
- Notes and Rests
- Does it matter which way the stem of the note faces?
- How do I know whether to write a note on a line or in a space?
- A student said that B# and C are the same note but in the lesson the answer is B# not C. If the student answered C on his/her worksheet can I mark this as correct?
- Does it matter which hand is used to perform the conducting pattern or the direction in which the conducting pattern is done?
- How do I assess or evaluate the class for conducting and singing?
- Alternate Time Signatures
- Assessment / Evaluation
- How can I assess the students?
- I teach in Ontario and want to know how to handle split grades with respect to the music curriculum?
- Assessment and evaluation, which should I use and when?
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My Grade 7 and 8 students do not want to sing. Any suggestions?
Don't force them, Music has to be fun. Students are going through a very troublesome time as they enter puberty. Social, emotional, and physical changes culminate and are exhibited in various ways. Student self-esteem is very fragile and should be delicately dealt with. It should also be noted that because voices are changing they no longer belong to a consistent register, often fluctuating between two or more vocal ranges. Allow the students to sing what they are comfortable singing.
My Grade 2 students enjoy singing a variety of songs. Do you have any other CDs?
Teachers' Choice Music has produced a new CD for the primary grades. It includes ten songs on a variety of subjects, in a variety of genres. The musical scores are included, along with Primary Song Links which link the songs directly to specific lessons found in grades one to three of the program.
Using the program
I don't understand some of the concepts myself how can I teach the class?
The teachers'; Choice Music Program has been designed for teachers to facilitate. This provides the teacher an opportunity to learn along with the students. Our website support system also is available for questions that may arise which are not covered in the curriculum. Simply submit the question and one of the authors with respond to you with the information.
As an experienced music teacher, how can this program help me?
This program has helped many experienced classroom teachers and itinerant teachers. For the teacher with musical background and experience, it serves as a guide so that the teacher can be assured that the students, no matter what their level of musical expertise, can receive a pedagogically sound, graduated program of study. Of course experienced music teachers will find many ways to enhance the delivery of the program by incorporating their own expertise.
Do I have to follow the books and lessons in sequence?
Teachers'' Choice Music is a sequential program and it is recommended that Book A be covered in term 1, Book B in term 2, and Book C in term 3. However, once familiar with the program we leave it up to your professional judgment.
I have absolutely no music experience. Can I use this program effectively?
Yes! The program was written for the generalist teacher. All materials are provided for the teacher in the form of text and audio support. The teacher can learn along with the students, by simply pre-reading the lessons. Answer sheets are provided for all student work and tests. The program is designed to allow the teacher to act as a facilitator. As well, a glossary of terms is provided at the back of each book for teacher reference.
Can the program help me with my long range plans?
Your long range plans have been done for you! Provided near the front of each book, there is a chart listing the expectations covered in each grade of the program. These expectations have been broken down according to the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and creative work covered in each term. Just copy this and hand it in.
How can I cover all of the expectations each term?
A lot of consideration has been put into the designing of the program. Each lesson can be taught in approximately thirty minutes, unless otherwise indicated. Many lessons cover more than one expectation. A teacher who has as little as 30 minutes per week blocked off for music can complete one book per term.
Starting a New Music Program
As with any new curriculum it is important to understand that changes take time; In order to facilitate this process we recommend that teachers begin by selecting lessons that are within their comfort zone; It is not necessary to implement all three terms during your first year. Introducing a new curriculum is a graduated process that usually takes between three to five years; It is recommended that those teaching grades 4 and 5 break up the program intermittently to incorporate lessons from Book C throughout the year.
What if the students do not completely understand concepts covered?
A Skills Breakdown section is provided for you on this site. You can use this cross reference to identify where each skill is taught and reinforced. All of the books are broken down by lesson number and skills taught. For instance, if you are teaching Grade 6, and the students are having trouble understanding Note and Rest Values, the Skills Breakdown section will show you that the concept was also reviewed in Grade 5, Book A, lesson 1. It also indicates that the concepts were first introduced in Grade 4, Book A, Lessons 2-6. The skill level of your students will help you determine if you need to go back to introductory lessons, or use previous review lessons to help bring the students to the level of competency necessary.
Photocopying takes time and can be expensive. Any suggestions?
The Step-by-Step / Teachers' Choice Music Program also offers affordable student workbooks which are available for every grade. Please see the products, and Take a Trip! for more information.
Notes and Rests
Does it matter which way the stem of the note faces?
The direction of the stem does not make any difference concerning the value of the note. Stem value is a matter of convention. When the note falls on the 3rd line of the musical staff (either treble or bass) the stem may go up or down. When a note is placed above the 3rd line, the stem will be placed on the left side of the note and extend down. When a note is placed below the 3rd line, the stem will be placed on the right side of the note and extend up. (See Grade 4B)
How do I know whether to write a note on a line or in a space?
Whether the note appears on a line or in a space deals with the specific pitch of the note. For the purpose of learning to identify the names of notes as they appear on a musical staff, whether a note appears in a line or on a space does not in any way reflect in the naming of the note.
A student said that B# and C are the same note but in the lesson the answer is B# not C. If the student answered C on his/her worksheet can I mark this as correct?
No. The lessons have specific expectations such as being able to identify notes according to their sharp, flat, or natural names. Although, in practicality, B# and C are the same notes, they are, in accordance with musical theory, named and written differently.
Does it matter which hand is used to perform the conducting pattern or the direction in which the conducting pattern is done?
No. This will often vary depending on whether the conductor is right or left handed.
How do I assess or evaluate the class for conducting and singing?
The rubrics, annotated marking sheets and checklists come in very handy when assessing conducting. It is more manageable for the teacher to assess the class as a whole focusing in on students that are at extreme ends of the spectrum. By using the checklist, comments can be recorded quickly.
Alternate Time Signatures
The program does not address time signatures in 6/8, 9/8, or odd time signatures in 4 e.g., 5/4, 7/8
It is important however to note that many marches are written in 6/8 time. As this time signature is counted in triplets the conducting pattern is the same as 2/4.
Assessment / Evaluation
How can I assess the students?
Rubrics have been provided for the teacher, and built into the program as a whole. Newer editions of the program have a series of rubrics included as an appendix at the back of the books. These are also available to all customers as a download through our website. As well, a checklist evaluation has been provided at the end of each book where the teacher can enter marks or checks, indicating the student’s participation and/ or understanding. Individual student evaluation sheets are provided for many lessons. These can serve as a guide for both the student and teacher in self, peer, and teacher evaluation.
I teach in Ontario and want to know how to handle split grades with respect to the music curriculum?
At the beginning of each book there is a chart that lists the expectations covered in that particular grade. We suggest you begin by cross-referencing the expectations for the grades in question and look for commonalities. While many concepts are carried over from year to year, some concepts are new and particular to specific grades. You may also review the Long Range Plans section, which gives you details outlining when particular skills are taught. This will guide you to the proper book, and lesson, and will help you to plan accordingly. When possible, we recommend using the lowest, of the two grades, to avoid duplication in the following year.
Assessment and evaluation, which should I use and when?
This is left to the discretion of the classroom teacher. Rubrics and assessment/evaluation guides have been provided; however, there are various comfort zones experienced by teachers with respect to what they feel should be evaluated and what should be assessed. Our recommendation would be not to allow assessment and evaluation to detract from the enjoyment of the program. Music is a process and should be fun. End results are not always the focus of learning.