Middle School Exploring Music 1b: Using Your Instruments

Course Overview

Units at a glance

Picture yourself listening to your favorite song. What instruments can you detect? Even modern music, which is heavily dependent on electronic “instruments,” is based on instruments you may know well: guitar, trumpets, drums, piano (synthesizers). Maybe you’re familiar with video games where you competitively play virtual instruments—Guitar Hero, anyone?

Human beings have been creating and enjoying music for thousands of years. Because we’re such a creative species, we use music to communicate, solidify social bonds, and entertain ourselves, so this music has evolved into different categories. As you can see from our study of world instruments, the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating new music and new instruments. Now, let’s become familiar with the ways music has evolved over time and in different places!

Let’s rock! It’s time to finally put all of our musical skills to work as we learn to play the guitar together. But first, we’ll talk about good performances. Have you ever felt chills down your spine as you listened to a piece of music? How does that happen, and how can we make sure we are performing well for the audience? Let’s find out!

By sticking with a few guidelines, we all have the power to follow in the footsteps of Beethoven or Bernstein! When we compose new music, we will draw upon our musical elements and put them together to create a new piece of music.

Course Highlights

Satisfy your curiosity about the families of instruments and their purpose.
Explore a variety of instruments and musical cultures from all over the world!
Learn your own musical style to start composing and arranging your own music!
Analyze historical periods of music and how they influence musicians today.

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