1st – 2nd Grade Skills, Experiences and Objectives Associated with Pitch (Part 3)

Well, “next week” turned into two months! The teaching season has heated up, but I’m finally continuing my curricular lists for 1st-2nd grade. This time the focus is on pitch. Rhythm skills for kids this age are a lot more predictable for me than pitch skills. Some kids have an easy, natural relationship with their singing voice, while others seem to struggle with the kind of self-consciousness that plagues older kids and adults in relation to singing. However, many of the pitch skills are about perception, which does not necessarily require the singing voice. Here, kids seem to be on more equal footing. Also, as I look at this list, I notice that these are mostly skills rather than experiences. I think I know the reason for that, but perhaps that’s for a future post. Suffice it to say for now that all of these skills are taught through – you guessed it – experience. Here’s the list:


  • slide up and down through the range of your voice
  • improvise phrases in a singing voice
  • match a pitch


  • recognize and respond to melodies that change directions frequently vs melodies that move in one direction
  • Melodic Contour
    • distinguish melodic lines that ascend/descend/stay in place
    • discern the high note in one-measure patterns


  • Major Scale
    • Sing scale degrees 1-5 with letter names or numbers in the key of C
    • Differentiate the tonic (scale degree 1) from other pitches in the scale
  • Chromatic scale
    • learn the pattern of white and black notes on the piano
    • be able to name the notes ascending using sharps from C
  • Minor scale
    • experience the expressive posibilities of music in the minor mode
    • distinguish between musci played in minor and major
    • sing simple melodies in the minor mode


  • hear, identify and sing 1-3-5 of the major scale in different combinations
  • explore the concepts of consonance and dissonance






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