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Music classes are part of each student’s course load for each year of middle school. It is a mandatory, non-tracked class. The music program at French International School of Oregon is designed to provide a broad exposure to a variety of musical genres both historical and cultural. Students are instructed in the basics of music, music literacy, ensemble skills, composition, improvisation, listening, and understanding form and structure. Students work collaboratively and alone to learn and appreciate music from other cultures around the world and make connections between music and other subject areas. 

The music classes are a chance for students to explore their identities and their relation to the world around them. Through music creation and performance, students think about and express their likes, dislikes, preferences, beliefs, and even purposes in life. Students create art for themselves and their community, learning to collaborate and work independently. We believe that students, even at a young age, have had enough life experiences to have something important to communicate through their art. 

Music students at French International School of Oregon have a chance to develop open-mindedness through exposure to and analysis of different genres of music. Performance opportunities develop risk-taking traits as well as communication. Ensemble peer work provides opportunities for caring support as students work together to create music. Critical thinking is required for students to make informed and knowledgeable choices about how to best create and interpret works of musical art. 

Aims and objectives 

  • Explore the world around them in a way that allows them to experience through creation and performance. 
  • See music as an international language with a vocabulary of its own and become conversant in the language of music. 
  • Develop skills that will allow for the expression of musical ideas both original and those already composed. 
  • Communicate thoughts and ideas through artistic expression. 
  • Examine the world through the process of creation and presentation of music. 
  • Reflect and provide aesthetic feedback on their work, peer-created work, and the work of professional musicians. 
  • Gain a cultural and historical context in which to understand different genres of music. 

Students will: 

  • Focus on applying the basic skills in an ensemble and learning how each member has a responsibility to the whole. 
  • Explore ensemble performance during which students will learn, memorize and present a 35-minute long musical. 
  • Demonstrate understanding and ability to utilize the foundational elements of music in the process of artistic creation.
  • Demonstrate the ability to plan, make artistic decisions, and complete creative solutions to musical problems.
  •  Understand the language of artistic critique and demonstrate the ability to reflect and evaluate their artwork. Use group discussion and the feedback of others to deepen artistic self-awareness and set goals for future growth.
  •  Contribute to a positive working environment by respecting the creative process.


French International School of Oregon teachers commit to a variety of summative assessment tasks tied to learning objectives, skills, and criteria. Before an assessment or along with it, teachers will hand out clearly described tasks and criteria for assessment. All units of work include formative assessments leading to the summative piece. 

We will use the following criteria which allow for individual rates of learning and encourages both reflection and comprehensive knowledge of content: 

  • Investigation of musical topics to gain knowledge and understanding
  • Application of skills and knowledge to the solution of musical tasks
  • Creating and/or performing musical work
  • Learning to evaluate the artwork of others and be critical of one’s work

The following tasks will be evaluated: 

  • Performances: music is a performance art and this will allow for assessment of the integration of musical elements and knowledge elements. 
  • Class participation: for positive contributions to classroom discussion as well as group projects. 
  • Composition assignments: to check understanding of knowledge and application of ideas presented. 
  • Quizzes: for accuracy of core concepts. 
  • Projects: application of concepts in a collaborative and creative expression. 
  • Developmental Workbook: to allow for student tracking of work and reflections. 

Assessment Policy 

Course grades are based on the four MYP criteria for the arts: Investigating, Developing, Creating/Performing, and Evaluating. Assessed work will have a rubric that is provided and explained to students. Both formative and summative work will be reviewed, reflected on, and assessed regularly. Reporting of assessment will be given directly to students and also in report cards. 

Scope and Sequence

6th Grade: Elements of Music, Storytelling with music, Percussion unit

7th Grade: Performing for Preschool, The Instrumental Path, Making the Band

8th Grade: Songwriting, Creating the Recording, Hip Hop dance (PE Collab)

More Middle School Teaching and Learning