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GCSE Listening Paper. Hardest part of the course?

Discussion in 'Music' started by kaz_parker, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Hi
    My name is Katherine I am Head of Music at a school in Leeds and I am doing a Masters in Education innovation and new technologies and I am doing some action research into a common problem that music teacher face everyday. I instantly thought of the GCSE Listening paper and wanted to see if people agreed with this idea.
    If anyone has the time to give me some feedback/comments if they feel this is a common problem that needs addressing and perhaps answer the following questions i would be really grateful!


    <ol>[*]Please can you state your Name and Gender?[*]Where do you teach?[*]How long you have been teaching?[*]In your opinion which part of the GCSE music course do you think the pupils find the hardest and why?[*]How do you think new technologies could help aid this part of the course to make it easier?[*]Any other comments/feedback? </ol>

  2. 1) I would rather not give my real name out but a false one if thats ok, Kate. (female!)
    2) I teach in a selective state girls school in the south of England
    3) I have been teaching for 17 years
    4) Composition - most find this hard - we use Sibelius but they still need to be step led through most things (how to write a melody /extend a melody etcetc - whic is fair enough) how to then structure their pieces, how harmony works etc etc but the new syllabus (we do OCR) seems to be a little freer in terms of allowing for greater creativity and less reliance on ticking harmony and melody boxes (at least I hope as I have given far greater freedom of ideas to this years year 11).

    Listening paper - they ALL find this hard (even those pupils who will go onto A level with predicted A grade) - the main reason being that they have to be able to apply prelearnt stuff to pieces of music they have never heard before. They really struggle to identify things in pieces that are new to them. Also, the wording of the questions is sometimes ambigous and not clear so they feel instantly unconfident in what they are doing.

    5) we are investing in cubase and sequel to aid the composition problem for less confident readers.

    6) Make the requirements of the listening exam more clear to the students - it is so broad and the links in styles within areas of study are tenous.

    Use clearer language in the listening exam

    Get rid of the obsession about dance moves - they are doing GCSE MUSIC for a reason and not dance!


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