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UNIT 2 AQA GCSE Music-help/advice required ASAP

Discussion in 'Music' started by nataliemusic, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Hi there,

    For Unit 2 of the AQA GCSE coursework there has to be a link to the Western Classical Tradition. The problem I have is that the majority of my Year 11 students are songwriters-eeeek!!!

    I have a student who has composed a verse-chorus-verse-chorus song. Could this be linked to Binary Form (AB)?

    It is so difficult? How is everyone else doing with this? Any advice around this would help me?.

    For example-what if the song was structured as verse-chorus-verse-chorus-middle 8-chorus-what could the structure be linked to? How could I get round this?

    Thanks

    Natalie x
     
  2. Hi there,

    For Unit 2 of the AQA GCSE coursework there has to be a link to the Western Classical Tradition. The problem I have is that the majority of my Year 11 students are songwriters-eeeek!!!

    I have a student who has composed a verse-chorus-verse-chorus song. Could this be linked to Binary Form (AB)?

    It is so difficult? How is everyone else doing with this? Any advice around this would help me?.

    For example-what if the song was structured as verse-chorus-verse-chorus-middle 8-chorus-what could the structure be linked to? How could I get round this?

    Thanks

    Natalie x
     
  3. My HOD is going on a course sometime soon about this ... we are planning to start teaching unit 2 at the end of the month. Don't forget that they have to do a written exam about this composition, unlike Unit 4; so they need to be able to discuss their piece with detailed references to WCT. Sorry, but I don't know about using songs; I suspect it would make the writing harder though!
     
  4. gliss

    gliss New commenter

    Will you have enough time to get this completed before Easter - 20 hrs composing, then recording and the 2hrs controlled assessment. Mine are starting this now - played some of the exemplar compositions, went over the example student assessments in unit 2 guidance from the AQA site - which was very useful. Pgs 7-8 are worth looking at.
    good luck everyone - 4 months to go.
     
  5. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Surely the fact that verse-chorus form is a structure found in the western classical tradition is sufficient to make the link? One only has to think of the famous arias in Carmen that use this form:
    The habanera: D-minor verses, D-major choruses
    The gypsy song: E-minor verses, E-major choruses ("tra-la-la ...")
    The toreador's song: F-minor verses, F-major choruses ("Toréador en garde")
    There are many other examples, particularly in Verdi and in French mélodie and operetta.
    Also, while I don't teach the AQA spec, does the link have to be made through form? Couldn't other aspects of the composition (such as textures, phrase structure, tonal schemes etc) form the link? Perhaps someone who teaches the spec might advise on this point.
     
  6. dilly_84

    dilly_84 New commenter

    Hiya
    It can be a really loose connection. Therefore get them to use major/minor chords and a few cadences and then it can be linked (it's what mine are doing). As Florian said, the link can be basically anything to the Western Classical Tradition, even if they end up doing some weird through composed trance thing (although not recommended [​IMG] )
    My Year 10's did their Unit 2 (the one with the exam) in Summer last year and will be starting their Unit 4 (25hours) this week with hopefully lots of preparation done over the Christmas holidays (fingers crossed....)
    Dilly x
     
  7. dilly_84

    dilly_84 New commenter

    Sorry this makes no sense, they're Year 11 now.
     
  8. gliss

    gliss New commenter

    sorry my thoughts are not linked to the quote. I am so so worried about my gcse comp results. I got my students to do unit 4 first and we are now over half way through unit 2 - they seem to have forgotten about chords, cadences, melody etc they have not linked what they learnt in unit 4 and it is as though we are having to start again. Another worrying aspect is that they have just given up!!!! I have produced composing checklists i.e 'have you used...... imitation, sequences, dominant 7ths etc........they seem to have given up....... have I been too demanding because I 've felt such a weight on them meeting Yellis targets? Their compositions lack creativity( something that was never a problem in the old spec) because they / I have made them tick boxes.
    So today I totally walked away from the lesson, it took them 15 minutes to settle down and start to work. I am now at the stage of thinking - I have done all i can do , you need to get on with it, stop moaning, stop blaming me that I have made their compositions ****( rate my teacher is wonderful aint it!).
    Every waking moment I am thinking of my gcse students....it is taking over my life - 23 yrs of teaching and this year is an all time low. What has happened to independance, creativity and just experiment and get on with it, act on advice or not - live with the consequences.
    am I alone on this? have we got an educational system that allows pupils to fail ....NO.....cos we as teachers have such pressure to reach targets. which is making teachers spoon feed lazy students who then go into the ...lets blame teachers. 5 yrs ago a pupil got a C grade, his highest GCSE grade......he came back to school and said ' thank you miss, I never thought i was any good at anything, but what I learnt from music was that I have to experiment and try my hardest, i spent a lot of time just twiddling' and never giving up .......not seeing much of this in my yr 11's ......twiddling = talking. Grd 4/5 musicians do not play their compositions!, I ask , what do you like playing on your instrument .. I don;t know ...... what part of that piece do you enjoy playing ...... i don't know........
    AHHHHH



     
  9. gliss I know exactly what you mean. Mine are driving me insane. The more able refuse to listen to any advice and seem to think that they can get their target grade without any effort. One declared that he didn't think he should have to relate his composition to the Western Classical Tradition if he didn't want to and why was I making him do something that he felt was a rubbish thing to do. He was promptly show the full exam syllabus! My more able also resent any guidance about choosing performance pieces - "i like the piece and want to perform it", never mind that the 2 of you singing exactly the same melody line all the way through isn't suitable for an ensemble. My less able however are heeding advice and should be okay. I have insisted on cadences, phrases and a choice of suggested structures like theme and variations, ternary form etc. According to some of my pupils, who of course know much more than I do, this is stifling their creativity. One even asked if I knew what I was doing and had I taught GCSE much (I managed to resist replying "since before you were born sunshine!") Add to this a couple of kids who can't hear when notes clash badly or when things aren't in time with each other when they listen back to their work in garage band and the guitarist that refused to tune his guitar before recording his performance and doesn't think it matters! aaarrggghhhh
     

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