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When do you record GCSE performances?

Discussion in 'Music' started by tbjhilton, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. Just wondering how others manage the burden of recording GCSE performance coursework - have previously done a mix of some out of hours and some in lesson time, while others are working on preparation for composition or performance - but with controlled conditions it is difficult to keep tabs on hours used etc while all pupils are working on different bits at the same time. This year I had dedicated composition sessions for this reason, and recorded all performances at lunchtimes & after school - never again! Even with only a small cohort (fewer than 20 candidates) it would take weeks to record all performances in lunch breaks, allowing for extra curricular rehearsals etc too.
    Was thinking of asking for a couple of days off timetable to conduct the recordings - Art, PE, Drama all have exam days. How do others do it?
  2. nikkib_1986

    nikkib_1986 New commenter

    I've used some specific lesson time for performance (mostly in year 10) for pupils to practice pieces/ decide who they're working with and what they're doing for ensemble.
    They are then asked to come at breaks, lunches and after school to record. Most of my class of 12 were willing to do this, but the "non-musical" students in my group were unwilling to. This could be why I'm still chasing them for coursework even though the deadline was before Easter!!
    It's hard work managing it this way and I have given up several hours of my own time but I see no other way round it.
    My school has superlearning days where pupils are off timetable and spend a full day in one subject. I fought for 18 months to get one and was finally awarded one- I could have done with at least 2 more though!!
  3. Pinoir

    Pinoir New commenter

    Two days off-timetable in the October of yr 11 (just before half term) where the pupils are each allocated a 30 minute slot for solo and ensemble performances. We find it's most effective to do it at that time of year as they haven't got in to the heavy coursework and revision demands of their other subjects yet. It's a big relief to have it done and out of the way by such an early point in the year!
  4. silverfern

    silverfern New commenter

    Up 'til now, I've tried to be flexible with recording coursework, having recording sessions in lessons (ie. perform in front of the class), and recording performances at school concerts. However, the students have always struggled to produce high quality performances in the classtime sessions; it doesn't seem enough of an 'occasion' and it must be rather difficult arriving to Music from, for example, Physics or French, and having just a short time to warm up, concentrate on the music, then record.
    I understand that students are entitled to record in a locked room on their own if they wish, but I'm not particulary comfortable with this, as to me, it's not 'performance' requiring performance/communication skills to an audience. Despite students' understandable reservations about performing in front of an audience, I find that this type of approach (ie. at school concerts), usually results in better quality performances. Perhaps they practise more, or aren't tempted to stop halfway and say, 'can we start again'.
    So... next year, I think I'm going to schedule after-school/evening 'mini-concert/recitals' where students will perform their coursework to a small audience, instead of recording in class. This will make counting the coursework hours easier too. I plan to have a couple a term (ie. about six a year), so that we have plenty of material to send off for coursework.
    I like the sound of dedicated Music coursework days, like Art have, too.
  5. saxo07

    saxo07 New commenter

    Previously I've had small groups so have got them to perform once a term and I give them the date the first lesson back. They perform in front of the whole class and I have some great results (as well as the school conert recordings etc).
    However, my Yr 10 class has 25 so this approach has been a real struggle (even though we have long lesson times), so I'm going to be holding chamber concerts after school and evenings in an attempt to get (some) to take it more seriously!!
  6. We do one recording of each student per term. In each lesson we have a 10 minute recording slot and students sign up when they have a piece ready. They have to alternate ensemble and solo recordings. This gives us lots to choose from when the time comes! Works well for our groups of 19/21. Students all put their performances on NUMU, this helps cut down on marking time as all of the recordings are in one place and easy to find.
  7. Many thanks to all for your replies - I do hold a 'class concert' each half term in Y10 to give them a chance to perform some work in progress and discuss what grade it would be worth etc, but rarely find that these are any good for final CW submission as they are done in such a rush. Most want to record their final piece near the end of the course - so a day or two off timetable in the Autumn of Y11 seems to be the best plan for next year.
  8. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe New commenter

    If you know the kids and when thier doing it it shouldn't be a problem to be sure its theirs.

    I am suprised at the number of people who do these in thier break/lunch/after school time. I somethimes use my free lessons for small groups like A level but personally I think the school should take the subject seriously enough to allow a day or so off timetable to do these recordings properly. It can also make the students feel its more important 'exam like' so that they take it more seriously and prepare properly. I certainly do for my GCSE groups. 20 mins each for solos should be enough.
  9. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    But it is. You show three flautists of around the same level how to record each other. One flautist who is perceived to be the best playsthe piece of one of the others. How can you be sure if you are not involved in the recording process? Seems odd to me.
  10. Isn't there anything in the Conduct for Coursework that says anything about the teacher being present? There is for AS and A2...
  11. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    From the AQA GCSE Spec:
    "Final performance must be completed under formal, i.e. direct, supervision and the teacher must assess the live performance".

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