Beginning orchestra curriculum guide

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Gallagher, Emily
Spieker, Matthew H.
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Thesis (M.M.)
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This creative project was the development of a curriculum guide for beginning orchestra. A curriculum guide is used by teachers to guide instruction and assessments for a unit, quarter, and/or year. The Beginning Orchestra Curriculum Guide is a standalone guide to instruction, activities, and assessments for the beginning orchestra classroom. It is built on the standards and learning targets outlined in the 2021 American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Curriculum. The ASTA standards have been utilized to create student learning objectives for each quarter of a typical academic year. Each student learning objective is accompanied by specific activities, assignments, and assessments that have been created specifically for the project, as well as other external resources that support the student learning objectives. The activities, assignments, and assessments are rooted in principles of educational psychology, including the learning theories developed by Carol Dweck, Lev Vygotsky, Jerome Bruner, and Edwin Gordon. These learning theories serve as the foundation for the pedagogical principles that are set forth in the Beginning Orchestra Curriculum Guide. The need for the development of the Beginning Orchestra Curriculum Guide stems from the increased push for curriculum alignment at a local level. The Curriculum Guide was created for the fifth grade beginning orchestra class at Nathaniel Scribner Middle School which meets daily for 50 minutes and currently serves 36 students with no prior orchestra experience. Future considerations regarding the Beginning Orchestra Curriculum Guide include additions and revisions to the existing guide, alignment to current grading practices, expansion to intermediate- and advanced-level orchestra classes, and the inclusion of suggested repertoire that supports the student learning objectives and pedagogical focus of each quarter and year.