E-1 curriculum

E-1 students sing songs from many cultures.  They learn to read simple rhythms and melodies.  They also learn to play these rhythms and melodies and classroom instruments such as hand drum, maraccas, triangle, xylophone and so on.

Many of the songs have games or dances that accompany them.  Seward students really enjoy playing these singing games.  They also enjoy creative movement to music and folk dance from many cultures. 

In 2010-11 school year, specialist classes changed for E-1 students.  Students now come to specialist in age/grade-level groupings rather than classroom groups.  This change gives students more opportunities to master grade-level music standards.

All students learn how to listen carefully to music and study the elements of music in developmentally appropriate ways.  The elements of music we study are:

Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, Form, Texture & Timbre, Expression including dynamics and articulation.

In 1st grade students learn to read simple melodies using 2 and 3 pitches on the staff.  They use quarter notes, paired eighth notes and rests for rhythms.

2nd grade students expand their music reading to songs using the 5 pitches of the pentatonic scale. Their rhythmic vocabulary increases to include half notes, half rests.

3rd grade students really take off in reading and writing music.  Melodies expand to the extended pentatonic scale.  Rhythms expand to whole notes, whole rests, dotted half notes and barred sixteenth notes.  Meter is also studied extensively.  Songs are longer and more complex.


All students apply their music reading and writing skills to performing on our Orff instruments and other classroom percussion instruments.  They also play singing games and use movement to demonstrate understanding of musical concepts.