Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Grade Six

Visual and Performing Arts: Music Content Standards.


Processing, Analyzing, and Responding to Sensory Information Through the Language and Skills Unique to Music

Students read, notate, listen to, analyze, and describe music and other aural information, using the terminology of music.

Read and Notate Music

  • 1.1 Read, write, and perform intervals and triads.
  • 1.2 Read, write, and perform rhythmic and melodic notation, using standard symbols for pitch, meter, rhythm, dynamics, and tempo in duple and triple meters.
  • 1.3 Transcribe simple aural examples into rhythmic notation.
  • 1.4 Sight-read simple melodies in the treble clef or bass clef.

Listen to, Analyze, and Describe Music

  • 1.5 Analyze and compare the use of musical elements representing various genres and cultures, emphasizing meter and rhythm.
  • 1.6 Describe larger music forms (sonata-allegro form, concerto, theme and variations).


Creating, Performing, and Participating in Music

Students apply vocal and instrumental musical skills in performing a varied repertoire of music. They compose and arrange music and improvise melodies, variations, and accompaniments, using digital/electronic technology when appropriate.

Apply Vocal and Instrumental Skills

  • 2.1 Sing a repertoire of vocal literature representing various genres, styles, and cultures with expression, technical accuracy, good posture, tone quality, and vowel shape written and memorized, by oneself and in ensembles (level of difficulty: 1 on a scale of 1-6).
  • 2.2 Sing music written in two parts.
  • 2.3 Perform on an instrument a repertoire of instrumental literature representing various genres, styles, and cultures with expression, technical accuracy, tone quality, and articulation, by oneself and in ensembles (level of difficulty: 1 on a scale of 1-6).

Compose, Arrange, and Improvise

  • 2.4 Compose short pieces in duple and triple meters.
  • 2.5 Arrange simple pieces for voices or instruments, using traditional sources of sound.
  • 2.6 Improvise simple melodies.


Understanding the Historical Contributions and Cultural Dimensions of Music

Students analyze the role of music in past and present cultures throughout the world, noting cultural diversity as it relates to music, musicians, and composers.

Role of Music

  • 3.1 Compare music from two or more cultures of the world as to the functions the music serves and the roles of musicians.
  • 3.2 Listen to and describe the role of music in ancient civilizations (e.g., Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Indian, Roman).

Diversity of Music

  • 3.3 Describe distinguishing characteristics of representative musical genres and styles from two or more cultures.
  • 3.4 Listen to, describe, and perform music of various styles from a variety of cultures.
  • 3.5 Classify by style and genre a number of exemplary musical works and explain the characteristics that make each work exemplary.


Responding to, Analyzing, and Making Judgments About Works of Music

Students critically assess and derive meaning from works of music and the performance of musicians in a cultural context according to the elements of music, aesthetic qualities, and human responses.

Analyze and Critically Assess

  • 4.1 Develop criteria for evaluating the quality and effectiveness of musical performances and compositions, including arrangements and improvisations, and apply the criteria in personal listening and performing.

Derive Meaning

  • 4.2 Explain how various aesthetic qualities convey images, feeling, or emotion.
  • 4.3 Identify aesthetic qualities in a specific musical work.


Connecting and Applying What Is Learned in Music to Learning in Other Art Forms and Subject Areas and to Careers

Students apply what they learn in music across subject areas. They develop competencies and creative skills in problem solving, communication, and management of time and resources that contribute to lifelong learning and career skills. They also learn about careers in and related to music.

Connections and Applications

  • 5.1 Describe how knowledge of music connects to learning in other subject areas.

Careers and Career-Related Skill

  • 5.2 Identify career pathways in music.
Questions: Letty Kruas | | 916-327-1023 
Last Reviewed: Friday, September 14, 2018