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Common Misconceptions in Music

Discussion in 'Music' started by englishteach101, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. Hello, Mr Bronson. Still going on about Paul McCartney? (Friends...? Olive branch...?!)
  2. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Er, OK. I take you're not a fan of Mr. McCartney then?
    Go on, give me me your top 5.
  3. All pupils with a FFT target of grade A can achieve it even if they have very limited musical ability. A misconception held dear by SMT. I also wish I had a £1 for every person who has told me that they can't sing - so many people believe that they can't when in fact they can.
  4. v12


    Ironic, isn't it, as so many think that they can, when in fact they can't!
  5. very true v12.
  6. brookey1970

    brookey1970 New commenter

    That 'music' cannot be assessed as it is practical/expressive/abstract and therefore entirely subjective.

    That no meaningful music can be taught by non-specialists, especially in primary.

    That if children do lots of singing in primary (e.g. the songs from their Christmas or summer show), it means they have 'done plenty of music'.

    That all children entering Y7 have done 'no music' in primary.

    That I am lucky because I can play the piano.
  7. I don't mind him... I am just not blown away.

    Top 5 favourite musicians or misconceptions?

    Top 5 musicians (whom I'm blown away by, and I'd pay silly money to see - interestingly all pop/rock and men):
    George Michael
    John Lennon (if he was alive, also Michael Jackson similarly)
    David Bowie (about 10 years ago or previous to that)
    Eric Clapton (ditto)
    Elton John (ditto, though still pretty good)

    Top 5 misconceptions...
    That all children should learn an instrument (or want to)
    That you don't need to learn how to read music (notation of some form) to have had a good, rounded music education
    That you do need to be able to read music in order to be a good musician (see! - but it definitely helps someone who wants a serious music career)
    That music is taught best as a PPA cover subject!
    That you will attract more boys to your choir by singing songs about football. (No, not even that works in my school, especially when they can choose Brazilian football skills, basketball or surfing as an alternative on a Tuesday after school.)

    I'm sure there are lots more too...
  8. And yes I agree, I hate that one.

  9. I think you definitely can say that one musician is better than another. Eric Clapton is infinitely better than me on the guitar!!
  10. Common misconceptions:

    That music is a doss.
    That if you can't play an instrument that you're **** at music
    That music is all about performing (we've implemented some very successful SOWs this year that have had absolutely no performing due to room constraints!).
    That all music teachers are brilliant pianists
    That the choir can just turn up to sing something at the last minute
    That music teacher is synonymous with audio engineer
    That classical music is for old/boring/posh people. I am neither of the 3 and LOVE a variety of genres.
    That being a singer means you can automatically be a good member of the choir. I am of a very strong opinion that some vocalists don't have a suitable voice for choir.
    That because you're a music teacher you know every piece of music going
    That anyone with an FFT estimate of an A will get an A!

    P.S. Just because it is a sore point with me the FFT do NOT set targets, they set estimates, what they believe are the %chances of students receiving a particular grade. It is the same at our school. What they don't tell you is that someone has an FFT of a B, they may have 30% chance of getting a B but 29% of getting a C, 28% of getting a D, 13% chance of getting an E!
  11. davisnigel

    davisnigel New commenter

    As a member of SLT, we DO tell our teachers that at our school, AND we show the students the chances too - VERY good at motivating... e.g. your biggest % chance is a D (33%)... but look - 28% of students with your background get a C... can YOU be one of those? Quite powerful when used like that...
    What I do say to our Music department (and all the other practical, skills based subjects) is that the FFT is really based on the academic subjects of Maths and English (at Key Stage 2)... so the arguement is "What have they got to do with Music GCSE?" - and the answer is, seemingly, "not a lot!"... however, when you think about FFT - they are accurate for those subjects - and therefore I think Music etc should actually do BETTER than FFT as over-all departments, because it is an option subject - students generally choose it because they have an ability/aptitude for the subject - so high ability students who are good at music (and art, etc) should achieve their FFT in most cases, and - crucially - those who are not high on FFT choose these subjects often as they will be their BEST subject, so really should out-perform their FFT (as the FFT has no idea that little Jonny is not very bright, but practises on his guitar for 2 hours a day and can read music).
    One actual question - and this is misconceptions... and this is from our own Head of Music, is that, because it is a practical subject which has after extra curricular clubs, he should npt have to set and mark homework... what are other department leaders/teachers thoughts on this one???
  12. v12


    More TLAs! Could someone explain what FFT stands for, please.
    The Prep for the conscientious music student is his or her daily practice. The marking is the attainment on the concert platform and in the graded exams - both opportunities which should present themselves regularly.
  13. brookey1970

    brookey1970 New commenter

    I asked a colleague (whose employment of the vernacular, admittedly,
    has to be often witnessed to be believed) about the meaning of FFT, and
    was forced to reject his suggestion, since he proposed a phrase whose
    third word began with an 'S.'
    davisnigel - you state (in a nutshell) that children should exceed predictions in Music, since they opted to do it, whereas Maths and English are compulsory. Yet there is a significant number of children who opt to do "Music etc." precisely to avoid the intensity of the "targets spotlight," and because they are valued by staff for their creativity, positive disposition and effort, rather than crude, one-size-fits-all, criteria-driven exam board attainment.
    Furthermore, there may be laughter in some quarters about your generalisation that "students generally choose it because they have an ability/aptitude for the subject." That in itself could be construed as a misconception in some cases. Indeed, when Music is facing a squeeze in many schools,
    redundancy-fearing departments understandably end up taking who they can
    On your question about the setting of Music homework - the arguments for and against are well-rehearsed. At KS3 it serves very little purpose, since so many of the children are unable to do anything practical and meaningful meaningful outside of the classroom, and tasks end up being, by definition, a total and utter waste of everyone's time.
  14. A very recent one:

    one can learn the guitar by playing Guitar Hero !
  15. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    That the bassline is played on the drums. This always puzzles me but every year I have to correct my year 7s about this one. Perhaps they've heard of a bass drum....
  16. cmf


    The biggest one would be:
    That all music which uses orchestral instruments is "Classical"
    I think we all have done it, called something classical music when in fact its from the wrong time period. I have only recently stopped when I taught a topic on musical periods. We listened to all six periods and after class discussions, we finally found out why most students do not like "Classical" Music but do like Baroque and Romantic. This has been a revelation for all my lessons since.
  17. Fisher (sp?) Family Trust?
  18. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Other subjects could claim the same thing. KS3 music homework doesn't have to be "an utter waste of everyone's time". Just set more worthwhile homework tasks.
  19. We have less time with them than other subjects, they choose it because they enjoy it - not necessarily because they are good at it, and without private tuition or some guidance from a professional musician there is no guarantee that they will be learning anything.
    If little Jonny is not very bright, he may be progressing very slowly. Without guitar lessons he may not be learning anything and (believe me) will not be able to read notation (perhaps tabulature - but this is useless at GCSE).
    Those 'gifted' pupils (who I believe you are refering to) are gifted and talented because they have had private instrumental teaching (<u>or alternative equivalent</u>). This is the 'gap' between achievement in music.
    I have numerous BRIGHT students with high FFTs but have never had instrumental tuition - therefore they have no chance in comparison to 'normal' GCSE candidates. It's not fair but it's true. And incidentally, this is what separates other arts subjects from MUSIC.
  20. fuzzycat

    fuzzycat New commenter

    Ok, here are mine:
    - that right-handed people can't play the keyboard/piano with their left hand and vice versa
    - I'm with you on the 'I can't sing' one
    - that beat and rhythm are the same (no no no!!!)
    - that if you can't play something in the ten minutes I give you to practice it, it means you can't play it full stop (ever heard of practice??)
    - I wholeheartedly echo the composition without music theory problem
    - that you can compose, as a Year 9, something in 5 minutes and you've 'finished' (that's what you think...!!)
    - that 'it's got a good beat' is an acceptable way of describing why a piece of music is effective
    - that music isn't a real subject (from pupils, parents, other teachers...)
    - that the school show can't have been that much work to put on

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