17650 SE Brooklyn St, Portland, OR 97236 • Phone 503-762-3206 • Fax 503-762-3236

Centennial Middle School

Home of the Cougars - Centennial School District



Brice R. Cloyd, Director


It is the philosophy of the Centennial Middle School Choral Department to provide students with a well-rounded choral music experience. Through participation in choral music, students learn musical skills such as literacy, history, culture, vocabulary, improvisation, and others. These skills develop the student’s musical competency and help to shape the student non-musically as well as we work together to build social skills, patience, teamwork, responsibility, accountability, risk-taking, leadership, pride, and self-respect. Through selection, rehearsal, and performance of diverse repertoire, the choral music experience at Centennial Middle School promotes diversity both inside and outside of the schools providing students with an unbiased look into different languages, religions, and cultures, while honoring each student’s personal beliefs and opinions.

We are all consumers of music; music education is both aesthetic and academic. It is the philosophy of the Centennial Middle School Choral Department to provide students with musical experiences beyond their typical passive contact, and provide an outlet of expression through singing and performance.

While at Centennial Middle School, choir members learn a wide range of quality choral repertoire ranging from classical, jazz and Broadway show tunes, to spirituals and multicultural music, spanning from the Medieval to Contemporary periods. In addition to learning quality choral repertoire, CMS choral rehearsals are centered on the nine national standards of music education, as determined by the Music Educators National Conference (MENC):

  1. Singing, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  2. Performing on instruments, alone and with others, a varied repertoire of music.
  3. Improvising melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
  4. Composing and arranging music within specified guidelines.
  5. Reading and notating music.
  6. Listening to, analyzing, and notating music.
  7. Evaluating music and music performances.
  8. Understanding relationships between music, the other arts, and disciplines outside the arts.
  9. Understanding music in relation to history and culture.


CHORAL CURRICULUM – In the classroom

Vocal Development

  • Utilize the singing voice as distinct from the speaking voice.
  • Match pitch in one’s own range.
  • Sing with healthy and correct breath support.
  • Sing with proper body alignment.
  • Sing with a healthy and free tone.
  • Sing with round/tall vowels.
  • Sing with loud and soft dynamics.
  • Sing staccato and legato.
  • Sing with clear diction.
  • Sing with comfort and confidence as the voice changes.
  • Sing with correct phrasing and appropriate expression.

Music History and Interdisciplinary Application

  • Discuss the historical and cultural background of the works performed by the ensemble.
  • Identify similarities and differences in the meanings of common terms used in the various fine arts.
  • Describe in simple terms the similarities and differences of music from different time periods: Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Contemporary (as appropriate to the literature we are singing)
  • Identify aurally by title and composer a repertoire of compositions that represent a variety of musical styles.
  • Develop an appreciation for music from different time periods.
  • Compare and contrast the music and cultures of several time periods and regions of the world.
  • Identify major genres of music of the style periods


CHORAL CURRICULUM – areas of study


  • Beat
  • Meter, Accent, Mixed Meters
  • Meter in 2/2 and 4/4
  • Conducting patterns
  • Duration values
  • Dotted Rhythms
  • Two against three
  • Triplets
  • Syncopation
  • Ties
  • Common Rhythm Patterns
  • Ostinatos


  • Pitch
  • Range
  • Register
  • Accompaniment, Soli, Tutti
  • Movement by steps or leaps
  • Repeats
  • Intervals
  • Melodic Sequence
  • Melodic Repetition
  • Inversion, transposition, imitation, repetition


  • Major/Minor
  • Cadence
  • Pentatonic Scales
  • Scales/Tonality
  • Whole and half steps
  • Pentatonic Scales
  • Construction of triads
  • Chord Patterns
  • Rounds, Partner Songs, Canon
  • Counterpoint
  • Descants


  • Vocal Blending
  • Vocal Qualities of various style periods
  • Vocal Qualities of male and female voices


  • AB, ABA, rondo
  • Theme and variations
  • Sonata allegro
  • Recitative
  • Aria


  • Moderato
  • Accelerando
  • Ritardando
  • Maestoso
  • Allegro
  • Others…

Assessments and Rubrics


Students sing alone or with others a variety of repertoire.

4 – Student intonation, rhythm, diction, and use of dynamics are excellent; pitches are correct; exhibits excellent breath control and posture.

3 – Student intonation, rhythm, diction, and use of dynamics are good; pitches are mostly correct; exhibits good breath control and posture.

2 – Student intonation, rhythm, diction, and use of dynamics are developing; some errors in pitch; exhibits basic understanding breath control and posture.

1 – Student intonation, rhythm, diction, and use of dynamics are poor; pitches are mostly incorrect; exhibits poor breathe control and posture.

0 – Student does not sing or there is not enough evidence of participation.



Students sight-read (or dictate) rhythms and melodies of unfamiliar music examples

4 – Students can read and dictate rhythms and melodies with no errors, keeping a steady beat when appropriate.

3 – Students can read and dictate rhythms and melodies with one error in each example, keeping a steady beat when appropriate.

2 – Students can read and dictate rhythms and melodies with frequent errors, with an unsteady beat.

1 – Students can read and dictate rhythms and melodies with many errors and frequent stops.

0 – Student does not read or write.



Students listen to examples and identify musical elements appropriate for grade level and area of knowledge.

4 – Student follows the listening example and listens with a critical ear and is able to clearly identify all elements required.

3 – Students follow the listening example, but sometimes misses the elements required.

2 – Students follow the listening example, but has difficulty identifying the elements required.

1 – Student is distracted during the listening example, does not listen critically, and often misses the elements entirely.

0 – Student does not follow the listening example.


Choir Participation Points

In addition to being assessed in music content knowledge, students will receive weekly participation points and performance participation points based on the following criteria as applicable:

  • Student arrives to class or performance on time
  • Student sits or stands in assigned spot quickly upon arrival
  • Student remains in assigned area for entire duration, respecting space and property of others
  • Student participates in warm-ups, sight-reading, reads Solfege, knows Curwin hand signs, and sings repertoire in ensemble with maturity and consistency
  • Student has required materials (pencil, music folder, appropriate concert attire)
  • Maintains eye contact with director and focus during performance
  • Remains silent when appropriate and participates to their best ability when asked
  • Sings with shaped vowels, healthy tone, and proper breathing
  • Sings with enthusiasm and energy, every time!
  • Maintains healthy posture