MYP Music Course Overviews


Grades 6-8 Music

Aims / Objectives

In Grades 6 through 8, we have three MYP Music classes; one which has a focus on Japanese Music; and two other classes that use a range of instruments. MYP Music students will be exposed to a wide range of musical experiences that focus on the development of skills, understandings, appreciation and communication. Music history, theory and composition will be taught contextually through units of study.

We will be offering several ensembles and choirs in which students can refine their skills and knowledge in a group setting activities alongside the curriculum. Students will also have the choice to study an instrument outside of regular music classes through a pullout lesson scheme. Lessons will be scheduled during the regular school day. Students will be excused from classes on a rotating basis so as not to interfere with any single subject.

● All students will follow the IB Middle Years Programme

● Students will study and listen to a variety of unique musical cultures, genres and styles

● Students will study music notation, theory, performance, composition, and arranging

● Students have the opportunity to learn an instrument of their choice in group pull out lessons

● Instruments and vocals are incorporated into the curriculum with students using piano as their main instrument. They are also given the opportunity to use another instrument they play for assignments and assessment tasks when appropriate. 


1. Students ‘Approaches to Learning’ will be assessed for their personal and research skills using the  ATL Rubric 

2. Student’s work will be assessed using the following criteria:

A: Knowing and Understanding

B: Developing Skills

C: Thinking Creatively

D: Responding

Knowing and Understanding

Through the study of music and musicians, students discover the structure and theory of music and are able to analyze and communicate using music terminology. Students use their knowledge and understanding of music in a global context to inform their own compositions and artistic perspectives.

Developing Skills

Developing skills provides the opportunity for students to become musicians. Playing an instrument and composing music allows students to see themselves as artists presenting in the art form. Skills are evident in both process and product.

Thinking Creatively

Thinking creatively encourages students to explore the unfamiliar and experiment in innovative ways to develop their artistic intentions, their processes and their work. Thinking creatively enables students to discover their personal signature and realize their artistic identity.


Students have the opportunity to respond to their world, to their own art and to the art of others. A response can come in many forms as students make connections and transfer their learning to new settings. Students develop awareness of their own artistic development and the role of music in their lives and in the world.

Grade Unit Overviews

Grade 6

Unit 1: “Performance” Developing skills to be proficient with a musical instrument. Students will have the opportunity to explore, listen to and identify a variety of instruments. They will learn the responsibility needed to become proficient on an instrument through structured practice and performance.  Students will develop performance skills on the  piano and how to read and write music notation including Major and Minor Key Signatures.

Unit 2: “Rhythm” This unit develops pupils’ awareness of the importance of pulse as a fundamental upon which music is built and performed. Students explore how rhythmic development can be used in composition while learning how to notate and perform a variety of rhythms and use them to create an original piece of music for percussion. Ensemble work will allow students to put their knowledge of various rhythms to use. In addition it serve to reinforce the most common extended techniques for the instrument.

Unit 3: “Pitch” Students will investigate pitch, intervals and how music moves linearly. Using a variety of scales students examine a variety of traditional folk music from multiple cultures and how melodies are developed. Students will get a chance to create some of their own melodies using a variety of techniques.

Grade 7

Unit 1: “Melody” Students examine melody and investigate its elements. Then will determine how composition techniques and aspects such as melodic contour and basic dynamics help convey the artist’s message. Student’s will also perform a solo on the piano and investigate how they can improve and develop their performance technique in order to bring a piece of music to life.

Unit 2: “the Blues” Students investigate different styles of the blues by first listening to different examples of several styles to identify key features before creating a media presentation introducing a blues artist and their music. They then create their own original 12 bar blues song with lyrics. Students also perform blues scales, chords, and bass lines before performing improvised riffs and melodies over the 12 bar blues form.

Unit 3: “Asian Music” This unit develops pupil’s awareness of Asian music in relation to its social, cultural and historical context. Pupils are introduced to the sounds of Asian music through the integrated activities of listening, performing and composing and learn about its origins and musical instruments. The Pentatonic Scale forms the basis of study for this unit and pupils perform and compose pieces using this. Other key words and concepts included in this unit include  Melody, Rhythm, Structure, Contrast, Dynamics and Drone.

Grade 8

Unit 1: “Harmony of the Modern” – Students will dig deeper into the concepts of harmony, form and composition by writing their very own songs based on harmonic structures found in classical, rock, and pop music.  Students explore how to create several types of chord structures and progressions that are widely used by composers. All students are given the task of creating their own individual chord progressions using these chords and then to create their own original melodies and bass lines to accompany their progression. They will then use their knowledge and skills to compose and perform songs in groups on a variety of instruments.

Unit 2: “Soundtrack” – Music for a purpose. Students start by investigating music from the Baroque Era and identify musical forms and how they were developed over time. Next they will create a media presentation on the music of the Baroque Era which highlights some of the key characteristics of the music introduced during this period as well as a famous composer and their contributions to the development of music. Students will be studying how the musical elements of expression affect the mood of the composition through creating a soundtrack for a short film. Students will perform a variety of film music compositions as well as develop a cue sheet that identifies key musical elements to be used to compose their own movie soundtrack.

Unit 3: “Mashups” – Students explore how to create a polyphonic multi voiced composition in the Baroque style using ground bass. Students develop their ability to recognize, explore and make creative use of the elements of music found in variation form.  They will then create an original piece in the form of a “mashup”.

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