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Symphonic Orchestra

Course Description

Symphonic Orchestra is for students who are interested in performing symphonic orchestra literature. Music from all historical periods will be studied and performed. Fundamentals in scales, rhythm, and intonation will be enhanced along with performance techniques and musical style. A demanding concentration of the subtleties of performance techniques and musical style is a focus for this group.

Participants in the Symphonic Orchestra will use interactive teaching/learning methods of movement, listening, and playing instruments to develop  intelligent, sensitive musicians with a life-long appreciation of music.  Students will improve as individual performers and share their talents with others through public performances and participation in festival events.   Public performances are a requirement of this class.  

Grade Level(s): 9th-12th grade

Related Priority Standards (State &/or National):  Missouri Grade Level Expectations for Music

Course-Level Scope & Sequence (Units &/or Skills)

Learning targets remain constant for grades 4-12, while content knowledge and techniques spiral to provide continuous refinement of orchestra music skills.  Components of musical performance can be demonstrated at levels ranging from beginner to advanced.  Teachers select music literature that is matched to levels of proficiency as the vehicle for student growth in reading skills and performance skills of tone quality, intonation, technique, rhythm, articulation, and musicality.  The level of difficulty is determined by the repertoire chosen at each grade level. 

Instruction in Symphonic Orchestra will cover the following topics:

  • Appreciation (music styles, music history, value of music)
  • Care of instruments
  • Dynamics
  • Musical forms
  • Playing an instrument
  • Peforming skills
  • Rhythm/meter
  • Symbols/terms
  • Technical skills
  • Tone production/intonation

Learner objectives include the following:

  • Students will demonstrate performance skills.
    • Perform rehearsed music at public concerts
    • Demonstrate knowledge of proper concert behavior
    • Perform exercises from the course method book
    • Perform solos and in small ensembles
  • Students will demonstrate correct knowledge of rhythm/meters at different tempos.
    • Perform bowing styles appropriate to different styles of music
    • Perform in mixed meters and time signatures
  • Students will demonstrate technical skills.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of and expand upon previously learned material
    • Perform appropriate string orchestra music at Grades 2-4 level
    • Demonstrate knowledge of correct positions
    • Perform major and minor scales
    • Demonstration knowledge of appropriate fingerings
    • Demonstrate knowledge of sight-reading skills using Grade AAA level material
    • Demonstrate knowledge of tenor/treble clef (cello/bass instruments)
  • Students will demonstrate correct tone production and intonation skills.
    • Demonstrate the ability to tune instruments on their own
    • Demonstrate knowledge of ensemble intonation skills
    • Demonstrate refined bow control and vibrato
  • Students will demonstrate knowledge of musical terms.
    • Define and use terms/symbols used in the course method book and performance material

Date Last Revised/Approved: 2002