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AQA GCSE MUSIC LISTENING EXAM 2012

Discussion in 'Music' started by truffle03, May 15, 2012.

  1. Any thoughts about this year`s listening exam? My students thought it much more straightforward than the 2011 paper they did in their Mock. In fact, they felt disgruntled that there was only one of the longer style questions referring to metre, rhythm and dynamics we`ve spent ages preparing for. The melodic dictation seemed to cause no problems, but the identification of rhythms (particularly Q6) was more problematic (usually it is the other way around). This is the third year for this syllabus and this style of listening paper. I was disappointed that was there was little opportunity for my higher level students to `shine` via the longer answer questions. There were too many closed questions.
     
  2. Any thoughts about this year`s listening exam? My students thought it much more straightforward than the 2011 paper they did in their Mock. In fact, they felt disgruntled that there was only one of the longer style questions referring to metre, rhythm and dynamics we`ve spent ages preparing for. The melodic dictation seemed to cause no problems, but the identification of rhythms (particularly Q6) was more problematic (usually it is the other way around). This is the third year for this syllabus and this style of listening paper. I was disappointed that was there was little opportunity for my higher level students to `shine` via the longer answer questions. There were too many closed questions.
     
  3. I haven't looked at it yet, but my students felt fairly positive about it. We were caught out by a few terms that we did not spent much time on such as the dominant 7th and we only lightly brushed over ornaments. Disappointed that there was seemingly little in the way of cadences, intervals, texture, 'long questions' and tonality that was a heavy focus in previous years' paper. My students seemed to think it had a different feel from the earlier papers.
     
  4. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    Not seen the paper yet but I focussed on the long open questions, cadences,texture and tonality. Seems I wasted mine and the students time!!
     
  5. fuzzycat

    fuzzycat New commenter

    I am really quite annoyed about a lot of it - where on the syllabus does it mention barbershop (I know vocal ensembles is in there, but none of the examples on the spec are remotely related to it, and barbershop doesn't really link to any of the AoS)? Similarly - no mention anywhere in the syllabus of needing to be able to identify metronome markings, the word 'anacrusis' isn't mentioned anywhere, and they have once again used examples of music from genres that aren't anywhere in the spec. Three rhythm identification questions, with one in particular far harder than anything I've seen before, and some really quite ambiguous questions that colleagues and I have been arguing over the answer to as we're not quite sure what they're getting at (eg the identify the tonality in q11, which I think is actually quite tricky given the mixture of chords!). I do also echo the point about there only being one extended answer question - and this a comparison of extracts, which has also not appeared on a paper before now.
     
  6. Glad others share my concern. The warning bells rang with Q1 wth the identification of the two modulations. Modulation to the subdominant is not specified in the syllabus... only to the dominant or rel major/minor. Also, where were technology-based questions this year? Re. the comparision question: how are marks credited? It will be interesting to see the mark scheme when it is published.
     
  7. It is interesting to find similar concerns here. My students worked really hard to prepare for this exam, and yet the questions were very closed (i.e. modulation) and I thought the word anacrusis went with the old spec...(i.e. removal of the Baroque suite!) I am worried for my students, I just hope the boundaries are lowered and the paper is scrutinised.
    Feedback from others gratefully received.
     
  8. dropje

    dropje New commenter

    Modulation, augmentation and diminution....didn't cover this. Overall a much easier paper than last year.
     
  9. ineedsleep

    ineedsleep New commenter

    Dropje, no modualation? There were two questions on it within question 1!
    Ins
     
  10. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I'm coming at this from the other side. I found it hard - harder than the mock paper I'd had a look at.
    For the barbershop question I put it was a male voice group... am I wrong?!
    Maybe it didn't play to my strengths, rather than it being hard. However, I felt I had to guess at a lot of it. The question asking me to identify the rhythm of the bass line would have been easy had I been able to hear a bass line, but sadly I couldn't hear it at all and had to guess! Very little there in the way of world music, or structure and form. Had I spent more time revising, it wouldn't have helped me!

    Ah well. It doesn't matter.
     
  11. I totally agree with @fuzzycat and I'm stunned by some of the comments on here.

    In 10 years of teaching I have never seen such a difficult paper. What's more, there are a number of questions which are at best ambiguous and at worst just plain wrong. Having looked through this with a group of Music teachers from all backgrounds and including a couple of Masters Degrees, we could not agree on some of the answers but are in agreement that some questions/answers are incorrect.

    Was Q1b) a trick question? There were no chords before the voice enters, so was the answer 0? Or are the students expected to work out the implied chords from the bass line? If so, I would feel confident saying that many Music teachers would need a piano to do that! Also, the modulation was not really a clear modulation at all, transitory at best - a chord change does not qualify as a modulation and yes, this was to the subdominant which is not mentioned in the spec.

    We are wondering what anyone got for the harmonic device in question 5 also? The 'barbershop' question (which it seems is the answer they were looking for) is very ambiguous! 'type of vocal ensemble' could have been, Male, African, A Capella - all of these would have been correct. If indeed they were looking for 'barbershop' then this was a very poor example - not traditional at all which is the type of example we would obviously try to play our students - and that's even if barbershop is in the specification.

    Other problem questions were the 6dii) - how many students seriously could play rhythm c? Whatever the Indian flute was in 8a) is not mentioned in the spec so was therefore not taught to our students and I genuinely ran out of time myself on question 10 without finishing it - what happened to the time to read through at the start of each question?
    More very tricky rhythms in 11a) and 11g) was just a joke as the tonality changes.

    Some of this paper was unrealistic for inner city schools teaching 1 lesson of theory per week - they seem to expect the students to know everything. There should never be a point where music teachers are struggling to agree on answers to a GCSE paper.

    I'll get writing to AQA I think....
     
  12. fuzzycat

    fuzzycat New commenter

    Yes indeed - this week's job! (one of them...)
    I'm glad it's not just me. I've now spoken to a few other music teachers, all of whom agree. It's just not fair on the kids to have questions that, as has been mentioned above, several music graduates cannot agree on the answers to!
     
  13. Especially when the AQA AS listening questions were more straightforward! Ridiculous. I will be writing to complain too!
     
  14. <font size="2">Hello All,</font><font size="2">I thought the paper was answerable, even if a lot of the questions were quite closed. I agree that there were a few things missing compared to previous years, however, they can never test the entire syllabus on one exam. I do agree that the questions are sometimes a little 'naughty' and it is something which a number of colleagues and I are becoming increasingly worried about. AQA seem to becoming somewhat vague/wordy with their questioning, thus confusing the students. (My colleagues in Maths are moving to Edexcel as of September and my colleagues in English have already moved to WJEC because of it). Is it possible that they are attempting to make the GCSE's more difficult; not by adding more challenging questions, but by trying to confuse our students? Just a thought...</font> <font size="2">Daniel</font>
     
  15. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    I got an A!
     
  16. We got 5A*s and 2 As in this unit. These are our best ever listening results at the top end. On the other side at the bottom end we got 1 U, G and A number of Es and Ds.
     
  17. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    Congratulations Lily.
     
  18. Not just your centre, no. Look at the difference in the grade boundaries between this year and last - this year you needed 39 to get a C grade, whereas last year 38 would have got you a B. It's not just English that needs a review - I'm fuming on behalf of my students - some were 2 grades lower than predicted overall, partly due to the shift on boundaries in this unit this year. Hmmph!
     

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