1. Set an expectation

  2. Outline how to get there


  1. the cumulative tradition of organized knowledge

  2. modes of thought

  3. guided experience

  4. a planned learning environment

  5. cognitive/affective content and process

  6. an instructional plan

  7. instructional ends or outcomes

  8. a technological system of production

  9. instruction

  10. what is taught to students

  11. all of the courses, collectively, offered in a school, college, etc., or in a particular subject

Some common expectations

  • to comply with the National Standards

  • to homogenize skill outcomes of feeder schools

  • to prepare students for secondary music ensembles (band, choir, orchestra)

  • to meet a cultural or community expectation

  • to give students a positive experience in music to guide future music choices

  • combinations of any or all of the above

In other words, what do you want your students to know and be able to do at the end of 5th grade?

What do the teachers in middle school, Jr. High or High School want your students to know and be able to do?

What do your students want to know and be able to do?

Your question then becomes "How do I help them master these skills?"


Here is an example of one teacher's plan:

I worked backwards in planning. I thought of where I wanted my students to be in June. For example:  I want my 3rd graders to be able to work with quarters, eighths, half, dotted half and whole notes and all the rests. Then I blocked out the 10 months and created a goal for each month. Finally, I looked at my resources to see what I had to get us to the goal. I divided the categories into rhythm, composition, pitch, instruments, seasonal and about 4 other sections. I bought big sheets of tagboard and did it in pencil.  It took me all summer, but what a great planning tool. I also wrote in the standard covered.