Music Lesson Plans Grade 1
The grade 1 music curriculum is all about setting up a strong foundation in basic concepts. Repetition is extremely important, especially with core concepts in beat, rhythm, and pitch.
I strongly recommend teaching the concepts in the following order, as it is easy to build each skill on the back of the one before it.
Duration (Rhythm) Guide for Grade 1
- Beat vs Rhythm
- Fast & slow tempo
- 2/4 and 4/4 metres
- quarter note, eighth note, quarter rest
- rhythmic ostinato
Melody / Pitch Guide for Grade 1
Grade 1 students may not have any prior music experience, depending on their kindergarten experience as well as their home life. Most kindergarten classrooms include songs in their lesson plans of course, but singing on its own only helps to develop a child’s pitch-matching.
The most important basic concept for grade 1 pitch is making the connection between how high or low a pitch SOUNDS and how this is represented as high/low VISUALLY.
- High & Low
- melodic contour
- mi, so, la
Music Expression Guide for Grade 1
Continuing with our theme of opposites, Grade 1 students also need to learn the difference between loud and soft. This may seem very basic, but you would be surprised by how many students actually confuse loudness with pitch. Students will very often describe a quiet sound as “low” and a loud sound as “high” even if they are the same pitch.
Therefore it is very important to explicitly teach this terminology in your music lesson plans, and make sure that you are including a wide range of sound samples of high-low and soft-loud.
- Loud vs Soft
- smooth & detached articulation
Timbre Guide for Grade 1
- Vocal Quality
- Body percussion
- Pitched & unpitched instruments
- Environmental and found sounds
Form & Texture for Grade 1
Form and texture basically refers to how a piece of music is organized.
- single melodic line (monophony)
- Call and response