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National Curriculum Research

Discussion in 'Music' started by adam--2903, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. Hi All!

    I'm interested in becoming a Music Teacher, and becuase of this one of my final studies on my music composition course is going to be education based.
    I'm looking at presenting research into 'The Effects of the NC on Music Education at KS3'

    I'd appreciate some tips on what sort of questions i should start to ask in my research?
    I'll be sending out a survey to music teachers and HOD's, so would like to get the most out of their knowledge!

    Look forward to hearing your ideas. :)
     
  2. Hi All!

    I'm interested in becoming a Music Teacher, and becuase of this one of my final studies on my music composition course is going to be education based.
    I'm looking at presenting research into 'The Effects of the NC on Music Education at KS3'

    I'd appreciate some tips on what sort of questions i should start to ask in my research?
    I'll be sending out a survey to music teachers and HOD's, so would like to get the most out of their knowledge!

    Look forward to hearing your ideas. :)
     
  3. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    It might be quite a timely piece of research as it is looking increasingly unlikely that Music will remain a NC subject for much longer. One of your most useful source of information will be those teachers who started teaching Music before the NC was introduced as they are best placed to tell you how the introduction of the NC affected Music Education - although they are a diminishing bunch! Also comparing the experiences of those of us who went through what is now KS3 as students before the NC with the experiences of students today.
    Things I would be interested in might include:
    Changes to content of what is taught - both in terms of styles of music and skills. Particularly amount of theory / staff notation, approaches to singing, listening and composition, amount of classical / popular / world music covered etc
    Attainment - what types of success were/are measured - and how. How students perceive their own progress - and on what basis.
    How much students enjoy / value their Music lessons
    Uniformity between schools (one of the aims of the NC was to try to ensure that all students at all schools were taught roughly the same things at roughly the same time)



     
  4. I was not a teacher before the NC, but I do remember being taught in school when there was none. Music lessons consisted of singing (not such a bad thing) and listening to records and "appreciating" the music. We are BORED. At my (grammar" school I only knew of one student who took O'Level music in the whole six years I was there. Basically, music teachers were there to play the piano for assemblies, tkae the choir and orchestra and get kids to listen to some "proper" music.
    A few things that have changed:
    • The inclusion of a much wider range of music (pop - world - classical - experiemtnal) and the discarding of value judgements about which is "best" (A wide range of music from compsers part and present)
    • Possibly less singing (this is a bad thing, and so the government have been pushing singing hard in KS2 especially - but not so much in KS3)
    • Classrooms full of Keyboards
    • An increase in practical music making (required by the NC)
    • A much greater take of music at age 14 (no comparison with before the NC where music was a very minority O Level)
    • The idea of progression through musical understanding (remember that attainment targets were not brought in until releatively recently)
    • The validating of students own muscial experiences
    • The encouragement of group work and composing
    • Don't forget how many and at what quality PLTS can be and are delivered through the music curriculum
    • An rise in the status of the music teacher amongst colleagues.
     
  5. Thanks for some great feedback! I spoke to my tutor today and he wants to see some academic evidence and hear about developments, so Ive got lots to do. I'll repost and let you know how I'll get on. It will be worth it once I'm picking up a first class honours I'm sure!
    Cheers :)
     
  6. At the risk of stating the obvious, you could look in the British Journal of Music Education, and Music Education Research Journal for academic forms of evidence.
     
  7. If I remember correctly there were always attainment targets in the music NC right from the first document but the wording and emphasis has altered slightly with each curriculum revision. Music first joined the National Curriculum in 1992, as part of a phasing in of subjects. The NC was supposed to create a unified approach to music teaching but very little guidance was given on exactly what to teach and how to teach it in the first document. QCA later produced some schemes of work but without backing many of them up with resources (recordings, scores etc). Some counties (Staffordshire was mine at the time) were good at providing opportunities for music teachers to get together to discuss and share, for others it was rather more ad hoc.
    In my experience the main shift of emphasis has been along universal lines in teaching e.g. NC now more about student learning rather than what the teacher is teaching, although there has to be evidence of coverage of a diverse range of styles, genres and traditions as well as opportunities to develop skills. The underlying principal is that you can teach your best lesson to a wall but it won't have learnt anything as a result! There is more sense of needing to engage the students in what you offer rather than a prescriptive idea that a particular composer should be taught or that you have all the knowledge and ideas to impart and your students simply drink and are edified. Pre-NC most music departments took their lead from the current GCSE spec so made sure that some aspects of GCSE were covered in secondary years 1-3 (the numbering of years changed when the NC came into being - pre-1988 no-one spoke of KS3, KS4 or KS5!)
    Assessment in KS3 in the early days of NC was simply a 'best-fit' teacher judgement against the levels based on the evidence amassed on a student e.g. recordings, written work, listening test, observation of classroom participation. This was only done at the end of the key stage e.g. end of yr9. Now we have to artificially divide levels into 3 sub-levels and assess from the first lesson in yr7 to prove progression for OFSTED and justify why Joe who is generally intelligent and got level 5's at KS2 in English, Maths and Science won't be getting a level 7 in music because he has no sense of rhythm and is tone deaf. (Ask Google about Fisher Family Trust data if this is not making sense to you). Work was marked and awarded grades for effort and achievement. There was less conversation about rates of progress but I think an acknowledgement where I worked that muisc was not just about growing great musicians but also about developing wider skills and competencies (co-operative group working and raising self-esteem etc lots of things now flagged in PLTS)
    I am sure there was bad practice and under-achievement and disengaged pupils. But I don't remember everything being so 'driven' and at least there was some kind of musical experience in assemblies each morning... and time to put on a school concert/show without every KS4 and KS5 student being pulled out of lunchtime/after school rehearsals at some point for an 'intervention' in their core subjects to boost grades (and overall A*-C percentage for the school)
    Nostalgia ain't what it used to be, eh?
     
  8. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Please could you explain what this statement means?
     

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