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In order to create, perform and appreciate musical works, students must acquire a certain amount of knowledge related to the language of music and the structure of musical works, as well as the techniques and rules pertaining to instrumental and vocal practice. Presented schematically in the program, this learning: here is addressed in order to facilitate teachers’ planning.

Divided into two sections, Knowledge and Applications of Knowledge, this document provides an overview of the learning that students are expected to acquire over the course of their arts education studies at the secondary level, both in the compulsory program and in the optional programs. The first section covers knowledge that students should have acquired by the end of each cycle. The second section illustrates, by means of observable actions, how this knowledge is mobilized in the exercise of the three competencies developed in this program. The action verbs used in the statements characterize the progression of learning for each key feature of the competencies, from one cycle to another, and from year to year within each cycle. Also included, for each category of knowledge presented, is a review of the learning acquired at the elementary level upon which the secondary learning is based.

Since competency development and acquisition of the knowledge underlying the competency are closely related, the particulars contained in this document should enable teachers to help students acquire the tools they need to develop the competencies of the Music program and to discover their artistic sensitivity and their creative potential, whether they are enrolled in the compulsory program or in one of the optional programs. In their planning, teachers can reserve time for the assimilation of certain elements of learning content in order to offer students exploration activities as well as varied tasks for improvement purposes, or more complex tasks involving the application of different kinds of knowledge in a particular context.

Throughout their music studies, students learn to use different types of knowledge acquired in the classroom and through their cultural experiences in order to create and perform musical works. They also acquire the skills necessary to exercise critical judgment when appreciating musical works of different forms and cultures and they learn to use correct English and the appropriate subject-specific terminology to formulate this appreciation.

In the optional Music programs, students enhance the knowledge acquired in the compulsory program. In the context of more complex learning and evaluation situations, they are encouraged to consider the symbolic treatment of elements of musical language and to develop their ability to use these elements in contexts related to multimedia environments, especially in the Music and Multimedia optional program. They thus discover new avenues of creation, performance and appreciation.

The secondary-level Arts Education programs were designed to ensure a continuous progression of learning in the same arts subject from the beginning to the end of secondary school. Students can thus pursue their artistic path in a single subject into the second cycle. However, it may happen that some students change subjects in each year of Cycle Two. It is therefore important to establish conditions that will ensure as complete a training in music as possible.