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Should I give a level 8 to grade 5 theory students?

Discussion in 'Music' started by TrueFaith, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith New commenter

    Although it doesn't really help your specific problem, I have the opposite problem in my new school... I am directed to "show" progress by making sure levels are always going up, and students are always hitting their targets - which are based on KS2 SATs.

    I'd love to be able to look at the level criteria and actually say what students were!
  2. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    Is it the improvise and compose bit that you are worried about?
    I would have thought that if they perform pieces above grade 5 level they, in most cases, will be performing in the style of the period and wouldn't for example, try to play a Bach piece in the same way they would play a piece by Debussy - so they are fulfilling this bit:
    and in their performance ought to have
    In the aural test for ABRSM especially for grade 6-8 section D requires them to
    and in this this have to
    and I'm sure in your own listening activities in the classroom you cover
    So perhaps you need to look at the opportunities you provide for improvisation and composition to these pupils. If you think that they do have sufficient opportunities to meet the requirements for this section then you ought to have no problem giving your gifted pupils (exceptional performers) a level 8 and look perhaps at level 7 for your talented pupils.
    Really - it is whether you can justify the level - remember levels are best fit - not perfect fit.
    This is my humble opinion anyway - but I hope it helps.
  3. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    Just having the exam on paper does not convince me I'm afraid - students have to use their instruments in class, play a solo, use it as part of group composition / improvisation before I will take notice. Agree that that type of background should do well but general listening might not be perceptive and composing could be very formulaic.
  4. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    I would have thought most music teachers do this don't they? I certainly always did (when I was a music teacher - retired now) - right from the start of them learning to play. I'm sure I'm not alone!

  5. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    Yes, most do. I was making the point that some students do not always bring their instruments in to class. If they do not it is not possible to measure their ability.
  6. NC levels are a complete waste of time. Just put any old thing down. Not even worth thinking about. I generally just do one higher than the last time unless the student really stands out (+ or -). If the parents think it should be higher, then make it higher! - Doesn't matter.

    The ONLY time it matters is at the end of Yr 9. (And that is, Level 5 or Level 6, none of this 5a, 6c rubbish).
  7. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Really, you're kidding. I have never noticed. [​IMG]

    Please explain the meaning of "It will all" and "pace" in the context of your sentence.

  8. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    This would not preclude a pupil from achieving N.C. level 8.
  9. So much discussion on standards and measurement. Does this really help the musical education outcomes for each child? All this time could be spent on invigorating curriculum.
  10. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Do please give an example of such a post.
  11. I agree, I know teachers with only grade 5 theory who still struggle with playing chords and writing a melody line etc... It has to be related to practical skills. In my private teaching I make sure all my students can write down, play and improvise on every major scale before doing the exam (same with diatonic harmony). You could have people with grade 5 who take 5 minutes to work out a scale, not useful in the real world, not that grade 5 is preparation for the real world, but it all helps!
  12. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    Would take me ages to find it, so you have caught me out. However it was in a thread which was about Listening and, in particular, the type of question which might read: "Where would you be likely to hear an example of this music".
  13. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    Should have read "It will all BE" and "pace" should have been in italics as it is Latin. Sorry but I've never been able to format these messages. Can't even manage to put in paragraphs, let alone emoticons after heavy sarcasm!
  14. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    Ahh!! A man after my own heart!!
  15. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Ah yes, I do have a strong dislike for the way that exam boards try to put music into boxes in that sort of way.
    If it is a song from a musical, you must be hearing it in the theatre (not in a concert hall or pub, or on the radio).
    If it is a string quartet, you must be listening to it in a recital (never in a shopping mall).
    If it is gamelan, it must be for some ancient village ceremony (never for the Tourist Board, or for school visits to the South Bank, or for a TV ad).
    Context has an importantance in music, but not in the compartmentalised, box-ticking way of the exam boards, which has little relationship to the ways in which music is performed today.
  16. trelassick

    trelassick New commenter

    Indeed, that was all I was referring to. Saddens me that the exams have gone that way.
  17. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    If it's gamelan...I must be hearing it in a nightmare.
  18. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Do you find it gives you a strange ringing in the ears?
  19. Gassman - you might indeed hear a Haydn Quartet in a shopping mall and, indeed, I hope that you do. However, the context in which the music is created and therefore the intention of its originators is important in the way the music sounds and is performed, even if that context is then subverted.
    Thus - Haydn in a shopping mall might be consumed in a different way by an audience however the original intention of Haydn in composing the work, perhaps for a patron to play, still stands and is something that should be taught.
    I feel that the deconstruction of music that has been radically recontextualised might be better left to degree level studies.
    I once heard a Gamalan in a shopping centre in Hertfordshire and every so often one of the instrument played the minor third at almost exactly the same pitch as the "bing bong" used on the PA system - it fascinated me so much I had to hear out the whole piece just to keep hearing it. Then at exactly the moment the piece finished the "bing Bong" went off . . it was almost surreal.
  20. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Yes, that's why I said that context has an importance in music. But one must also be careful not to "pidgeon-hole" in the way that exam boards so love.
    That's a good example. Haydn didn't, by and large, write his string quartets for patrons to play. They were written for middle-class amateurs to play at home. That's why they were published. Had they been intended only for a patron, they would have remained in manuscript.
    The patrons mentioned in the dedications to the quartets (Count Apponyi and so on) paid for the prestige of having their names printed on the scores, not because they had commissioned Haydn to write works for their private / exclusive use.
    Does the fact that Haydn wrote his quartets for an audience of just four people (the performers) mean that that is the only way we should enjoy them today? I don't think so. Context is of some interest, but it is not one of the most important things about music.

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