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Sample map: Australian Curriculum – The Arts: Music

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Foundation to Year 2

Level description

In Foundation to Year 2, students explore music. They listen to and explore sound and learn about how music can represent the world and that they can make music to represent their ideas about the world. They share their music with peers and experience music as audiences.

In Foundation to Year 2, learning in Music builds on the Early Years Learning Framework. Students are engaged through purposeful play in structured activities, fostering a strong sense of wellbeing and developing students' connection with and contribution to the world.

Students learn to listen to music and become aware of rhythm, pitch, dynamics and expression, form and structure, timbre and texture as they explore and make music. They learn to discriminate between sounds and silence, and loud and soft sounds. They learn to move and perform with beat and tempo. In the Foundation Year, students undertake music suitable to their level of development.

As they experience music, students draw on music from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the music and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. While music in the local community should be the initial focus for learning, young students are also aware of and interested in music from more distant locations and the curriculum provides opportunities to build on this curiosity. Students will learn that songs and music are used by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people for different purposes.

As they make and respond to music, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements and social and cultural contexts of music. They make simple evaluations of music expressing what they like and why.

Students learn about safety when using instruments and while interacting with others. They experience the role of artist and they respond to feedback in their music making. As an audience they learn to focus their attention on the performance and to respond at the end of the performance.

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills 

Sing and play instruments to improvise, practise a repertoire of chants, songs and rhymes, including songs used by cultural groups in the community (ACAMUM081)

  • learning a song used by groups in the local community, such as Aboriginal songs or Torres Strait Islander songs from their community, respecting cultural protocols

Respond to music and consider where and why people make music, starting with Australian music, including music of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAMUR083)

  • identifying where they might experience music in their lives and communities, for example, considering how music sustains and communicates cultural knowledge
  • considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – Where is this music from and why was it made?
  • sharing constructive observations about music from a range of cultures as a performer and audience member
  • listening to and talking about music and musical instruments from different contexts and cultures 

Years 3 and 4

Level description

In Years 3 and 4, learning in Music builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to music independently and collaboratively with their classmates and teachers.

Students extend their understanding of the elements of music as they develop their aural skills. They match pitch and show the direction of a tune with gesture or drawings. They recognise difference between notes moving by step and by leap. They recognise and discriminate between rhythm and beat.

As they experience music, students draw on music from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the music and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. Students learn about music in their community. They also learn about music from more distant locations that may be represented in their community. Students learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music uses rhythm, pitch, dynamics and form to share stories.

As they make and respond to music, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms, and elements including rhythm, pitch, dynamics and expression, form and structure, timbre and texture. They explore social and cultural contexts of music. They make personal evaluations of their own and others' music.

Students maintain safety in using instruments and technologies and in interaction with others. Their understanding of the role of the artist and of the audience builds upon their experience from the previous band. As an audience, students focus their attention on the performance and respond to the music. They consider why and how audiences respond. 

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Practise singing, playing instruments and improvising music, using elements of music including rhythm, pitch, dynamics and for in a range of pieces, including in music from the local community (ACAMUM085)

  • practising singing and playing a range of music from different cultures, including various cultures within their local community
  • considering viewpoints – meanings and interpretations: For example – Why was this music written?

Identify intended purposes and meanings as they listen to music using the elements of music to make comparisons, starting with Australian music, including music of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAMUR087)

  • identifying meaning and describing purposes in music from different social, cultural or historical contexts
  • comparing the expectations and requirements of performers and audiences in different cultural settings
  • examining music in their community and comparing it to other music of different people, times and cultures

Years 5 and 6

Level description

In Years 5 and 6, learning in Music builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to music independently, and collaboratively with their classmates, teachers and communities.

Students develop their aural skills by identifying rhythm, pitch, dynamics and expression, form and structure, timbre and texture in music. They sing and play independent parts against contrasting parts and recognise instrumental, vocal and digitally generated sounds. They explore and use rhythm, pitch, dynamics and expression, form and structure, timbre and texture in music they perform and compose. They identify a variety of audiences for which music is made.

As they experience music, students draw on music from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the music and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. Students learn how rhythm, pitch and form are used to communicate meaning. Students learn about music in and beyond their local community.

As they make and respond to music, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements of music. They explore the social, cultural and historical contexts of music. They evaluate the use of elements of music in music they listen to, perform and compose.

Students maintain safety in using instruments and technologies and in interaction with others. Their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds upon previous bands as students engage with more diverse music.

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Explore dynamics and expression, using aural skills to identify and perform rhythm and pitch patterns (ACAMUM088)

  • considering viewpoints – meanings and interpretations: For example – How does the composer indicate dynamics in this piece? How does the performer show emotion in this piece?

Develop technical and expressive skills in singing and playing instruments with understanding of rhythm, pitch and form in a range of pieces, including in music from the community (ACAMUM089)

  • rehearsing and refining performances in an expressive manner to communicate meaning, for example, songs from the community

Explain how the elements of music communicate meaning by comparing music from different social, cultural and historical contexts, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander music (ACAMUR091)

  • discussing personal preferences for music from a range of contexts and cultures, using music terminology
  • participating in and responding to music from a variety of contexts and cultures as both audience members and performers
  • identifying and comparing how the elements of music are used and combined in different music styles from different cultures
  • considering viewpoints – societies and cultures: For example – How do different cultures use music? Why is this piece of music important in this culture?

Years 7 and 8

Level description

In Years 7 and 8, learning in Music builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to music independently, and with their classmates, teachers and communities. They explore music as an art form through listening, composing and performing.

Students build on their aural skills by identifying and manipulating rhythm, pitch, dynamics and expression, form and structure, timbre and texture in their listening, composing and performing. They aurally identify layers within a texture. They sing and play independent parts against contrasting parts. They recognise rhythmic, melodic and harmonic patterns and beat groupings. They understand their role within an ensemble and control tone and volume. They perform with expression and technical control. They identify a variety of audiences for which music is made.

As they experience music, students draw on music from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the music and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. Students learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have converted oral records to other technologies. As they explore form in music, students learn that over time there has been further development of techniques used in traditional and contemporary styles of music.

As they make and respond to music, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms, and elements including rhythm, pitch, dynamics and expression, form and structure, timbre and texture. They consider social, cultural and historical contexts of music. They evaluate the expressive techniques used in music they listen to and experience in performance.

Students maintain safety, correct posture and technique in using instruments and technologies. Their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds upon previous bands as students engage with more diverse music.

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Develop musical ideas, such as mood, by improvising, combining and manipulating the elements of music (ACAMUM093)

  • listening to and interpreting different types of score conventions from different styles and traditions to develop their own style

Practise and rehearse a variety of music, including Australian music to develop technical and expressive skills (ACAMUM094)

  • considering viewpoints – societies, cultures and histories: For example – What is the social context of this piece and for whom would it be performed? What is the cultural context of this piece and what does it signify? What instruments and other features of the music indicate it is from a particular time and place?

Structure compositions by combining and manipulating the elements of music using notation (ACAMUM095)

  • arranging a familiar piece into a different musical style by manipulating the elements of music

Perform and present a range of music, using techniques and expression appropriate to style (ACAMUM096)

  • using the features and performance practices to interpret a specific musical style

Analyse composers' use of the elements of music and stylistic features when listening to and interpreting music (ACAMUR097)

  • identifying and describing the features and performance practices that help determine a specific musical style or culture

Identify and connect specific features and purposes of music from different eras to explore viewpoints and enrich their music making, starting with Australian music including music of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (ACAMUR098)

  • considering viewpoints – evaluations: For example – How effectively did the musicians use expressive techniques in their performance? What are the strengths of this performance or composition?

Years 9 and 10

Level description

In Years 9 and 10, learning in Music builds on the experience of the previous band. It involves students making and responding to music independently and in small groups, and with their teachers and communities. They explore music as an art form through listening, composing and performing.

Students continue to develop their aural skills as they build on their understanding and use of the elements of music. They extend their understanding and use of more complex rhythms and diversity of pitch and incorporate dynamics and expression in different forms. They extend their use of and identification of timbre to discriminate between different instruments and different voice types.

They build on their understanding of their role within an ensemble as they control tone and volume in a range of styles using instrumental and vocal techniques. In performance they extend technical and expressive skills from the previous band.

As they experience music, students draw on music from a range of cultures, times and locations. They explore the music and influences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and those of the Asia region. Students learn that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have converted oral records to other technologies. As they explore music forms, students learn that over time there has been further development of different traditional and contemporary styles. Students reflect on the development of traditional and contemporary styles of music and how musicians can be identified through the style of their music.

As they make and respond to music, students explore meaning and interpretation, forms and elements and social, cultural and historical contexts of music. They evaluate performers' success in expressing the composers' intentions and expressive skills in music they listen to and perform.

Students maintain safety, correct posture and technique in using instruments and technologies. Their understanding of the roles of artists and audiences builds upon previous bands as students engage with more diverse music.

Content descriptions and Elaborations
Knowledge and Skills

Improvise and arrange music, using aural recognition of texture, dynamics and expression to manipulate the elements of music to explore personal style in composition and performance (ACAMUM099)

  • exploring use of elements of music in different music styles, including those from other cultures and times, as a stimulus for improvisation

Plan and organise compositions with an understanding of style and convention, including drawing upon Australian music by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists (ACAMUM102)

  • planning, recording and communicating ideas in different musical styles, including Australian music by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, using specialised notation and terminology

Perform music applying techniques and expression to interpret the composer's use of elements of music (ACAMUM103)

  • recognising the influence of social, cultural and historical developments and incorporating these into their performance

Evaluate a range of music and compositions to inform and refine their own compositions and performances (ACAMUR104)

  • analysing how the use and combination of the elements of music defines their developing personal style and how their style is influenced by cultural and historical styles
  • comparing music from different styles to identify and describe stylistic, cultural and historical practices and inform their own composition and performance practice
  • investigating why and how different traditions, styles and contexts affect the experience and interpretation of a piece of music and taking this into account when interpreting and composing music
  • considering viewpoints – societies: For example – How is this piece typical of the social context in which it was created? cultures: How are the elements of music used in this piece to convey a cultural identity? histories: What historical forces and influences are evident in this work?

Analyse a range of music from contemporary and past times to explore differing viewpoints and enrich their music making, starting with Australian music, including music of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and consider music in international contexts (ACAMUR105)

  • discussing the influence of music on the development of personal and cultural identity

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