7th Grade Concert Band Program

Level: 7th Grade, Grade 1 & 2

Essential Questions

  • Does music tell a story?
  • How does music make the listener feel a certain way?

Unit Questions

  • What moments in our pieces invoke emotion?
  • What words can we use to describe music?
  • What is balance? How loud/soft do I play in relation to those in my section and the band as a whole?
  • What is tuning? How do I tune my instrument?
  • How do I vary articulations on my instrument?


Fall Concert, 1st Semester

What we already know

  • Counting in 4/4 time
  • Bb and F major scales
  • Eighth note rhythms


Title:“Memories of Moments Past”

(Theme: music that invokes memory)

  • A Childhood Hymn ,David Holzinger
  • Then I Saw A Lucent Sky, Todd Stalter
  • Theme and Variations, Timothy Broege

David Holzinger’s “A Childhood Hymn” 

Grade: 2

Key: Major

Style: Lyrical, melody with accompaniment

Form: Variations on a familiar tune, with accompaniment

Learning Objectives

  • Understand how composers can present familiar melodies in new contexts.
  • Understand how composers use dissonance to create musical tension.

Core concepts

Rhythm Articulation Ensemble Musicality
Triplet rhythm in brass. Legato. Section blending and tuning. Balance between melody and accompaniment. Phrasing, voicing of melody.


Todd Stalter’s “Then I Saw the Lucent Sky”

Grade: 2

Key: Major

Style: lyrical, transparent orchestration, moments of musical tension and release

Form: large sections alternate between solo and tutti, builds to a central climax and decays

Learning Objectives

  • Play with solid, steady tone at a variety of dynamic levels.
  • Sustain notes confidently and count through slower material.
  • Confidently play in solo sections.

Core concepts

Rhythm Articulation Ensemble Musicality
Counting rests, accurately entering after tacet. Legato. Balance and tuning. Tone, melodic shaping.

Timothy Broege’s  “Theme and Variations”

Grade: 1

Key: Major

Style: Lyrical, chorale

Form: Theme and variations

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize a musical theme and how composers write variations.
  • Articulate the effect of rhythm and style changes between variations.

Core concepts

Rhythm Articulation Ensemble Musicality

Changing rhythms with each variation.

Legato versus staccato Melody voicing, balance Tuning, character/style changes

Sample Lesson Plan

7th Grade, Intermediate Band

Length: 60 min

Time/60 Task Learning Objective
10 min Announcements & Warm-ups:

●      Breathing

○      Breathe with good posture, relaxed shoulders, and diaphragm support for 8 counts, 4 counts, 2 counts, and 1 count.

●      Scales

○      F Major Scale

○      Bb Major Scale

●      Long tones

○      Perform long tones quitely.. Discuss the support needed to sustain quiet notes.

○      Rehearse beginning quiet notes from silence.

●      Rhythm

○      Discuss triplet rhythms. Practice performing quarter note rhythms with one beat divided into an eighth note triplet.

Prepare the class to play long sustained notes at a quiet dynamic. Prepare class to perform triplet rhythm (in brass). Prepare class to play in major tonality.
10 min Pose question to class: What is a theme?

●      Lead students to think of definitions of the word theme (party themes, movie themes).

●      Present students with an alternative definition of theme as a recurring idea.

○      Ask students to make connections between the pieces they are playing and “theme.” Are there any melodies that recur? Are there any styles that happen frequently?

●      Ask students how music can make people feel a certain way?

○      Lead students to the idea that dynamics, rhythms, styles, etc. can make the listener feel/remember feelings.

Make connections between musical concepts and the student’s everyday lives. Understand how composers choose and develop ideas in their music. Discuss how aspects of music have an effect on the listener.
15 min “A Childhood Hymn”

●      Play the hymn “Jesus Loves Me” by itself. Ask students to listen for the tune in the piece.

●      Rehearse balancing the melody and the accompaniment parts so that the melody is always heard.

Learn balance between melody and accompaniment parts in an ensemble.
10 min “Then I Saw the Lucent Sky”

●      Listen to a recording of the piece. Ask students to close their eyes and visualize a landscape.

●      Rehearse the execution of dynamics and entrances to achieve the “feeling” or character of the scene the students imagined.

Perform with musicality that evokes emotion. Use visualization as a tool for the imagination and musicality.
15 min “Theme and Variations” rehearsal

●      Play theme by itself.

●      Discuss the different between each variation – is it rhythmically, melody, stylistically different?

Recognize musical relationships and patterns.
Pack up, closing comments, assign homework.


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Hi. I play piano. I write.

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