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Why aren't 14 year olds able to read music?

Discussion in 'Music' started by Phantom of the Opera, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. gizzy

    Please tell me which Term or condition I broke?

    Or is this more evidence of a litle personal vendetta you are following (along with accusing me of being someone else) - now that seems to come under stalking.

    So - YOU are red-boxed.

  2. zia

    Brilliant - say something totally unsustainable and then pretend you didn't mean it.


  3. Phantom - I agree with your sentiment. By 14 pupils should be able to read staff notation along with other types of notation. However, for this to work successfully, the National Curiculum needs to have been properly executed throught every key stage. I don't really see why you then start berating people for the way that they teach. Surely everyone is different and as long as the results are there, then no-one can criticise them.

    I would be more than happy for you to come and work where I work for a year and then your opinion on teaching staff notation may change. I mix the two together quite well which bridges the gap between GCSE and AS/A2. Those that do get the higher grades at GCSE are more than happy to improve on their notation skills before AS begins. However, those pupils who have literacy issues should not be excluded from being able to access Music through a rigid necessity to teach staff notation. With the new National Strategy coming into force, I would also like to know how you plan to teach staff notation on its own when everything should be topic based. I'm sorry if you have covered this elsewhere - I have skim read the thread so far.
  4. Sorry - throughout
  5. Post 81:

    Sorry, but the boot is on the other foot. You *know* I have *never* "accused" you of being someone else. That is all entirely in your own paranoia based on a little aside of mine, which made no reference to anyone's identity. You just jumped to conclusions. Neither have I lied to you about it, as you have several times accused me of DIRECTLY.

    Now who has a vendetta?

    What I think, of course, is another matter, as is what everyone else here thinks. But I'm not going to put it into writing as I can't spell sound effects.

    Phantom, stop being so silly. You know the moderators can see every thing that is written on here, if they choose. They know what I have and haven't said, and in fact so do a lot of the posters. It doesn't matter how many times you keep repeating this slur, making it sound as though the person who has kept repeating the matter is myself and not you, there is no magic that will make it true. Good grief, I find myself having to say that sort of thing to kids in KS1 - you ought to have more common sense.
  6. I am red boxing u Phantom - I have not been on here for ages - now come on and find once again my name has been added in a forum in an offensive manner - await ur email from the moderators!!
  7. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Ziamarie, thank you for your paludit. One thing that a long career in music education has taught me is how much there is still to learn.

    Another, though, is to be cautious of "new ideas" that are largely window dressing. I'm old enough to remember that when George Selfe starting peddling his method 30 years ago, they didn't actually seem to me to be anything other than a distillation of what many competent teachers had been doing for years.

    I'd like to know more about "musical futures" (and a new thread might be better than a follow-up here) but from what I've read so far, it's only the product of what can be achieved by injecting a lot of cash into something that all of us should be doing anyway - letting pupils learn music through developing their own interests.

    I worry that, like George Selfe and his pre-occupation with the modernism of his generation, "musical futures" is very limited in its ambition, and doesn't actually extend the musical experience of its students into new worlds of music. I'd like to be proved wrong, of course.
  8. POTO:

    I would like to know your basis for facts. Where is your evidence? I believe that you extremely arrogant to suggest that the state system is 'failing' - but again can we have some evidence for this assumption
  9. I agree florian - Musical Futures sounds like a good idea, but needs so many resources that most schools will never be able to implement it. Regardless of resources, a department also needs extra teachers/assistants to be with each class, practise rooms galore and so much storage space that a new music block would have to be built.
  10. POTO The more you post, the more of your true colours you reveal. Obviously no one can match you in the cut and thrust of musical education so why don't you go away and find some new friends.

    I am not in a failing school. I am proud to be Head of Music there and I thoroughly enjoy teaching my students (at whatever level they are at).

    FG. If you google musicalfutures then you should get to the website. They'll send you a load of free stuff. I have to admit I haven't read most of it yet, but have picked at a little bit and used it (to great success) with Yr8 & Yr9.
  11. Post 82 (probably shortly to be renumbered!)

    I'd be fascinated to know what I lied about.

    You are red boxed yet again.
  12. Others - don't take my word for it about Musical Futures - there are video clips of heads of music on the website. The great thing seems to be that children who would not involve themselves in music lessons once they get to secondary school are doing so.
  13. Like I said, I have been following bits of Musical Futures with Yr8 & Yr9 this year. They have really enjoyed it and I have enjoyed discovering new musical things about my students.
  14. TrueFaith

    TrueFaith Occasional commenter

    My 2p on MuFu...

    Seen it work very well, in a school with lots of space, lots of instruments and a good few adults in the room (TA's, BT's and Classroom teachers).

    Also seen it work terribly, no space, little instruments, and one member of staff...

    It's a great system, but as mentioned above, VERY resource intensive.

    Much as I'd love to do some MuFu in my school, I feel that I don't as yet have the infrastructure present.

    RE 14 year olds being able to read music... quite a lot of mine have EAL, and thus difficulty reading English, and understanding it! Therefore, it's quite a step to be expecting them to sightread!
  15. Many thanks for the support that has been shown for Musical Futures in this debate.

    I would just like to clarify that Musical Futures was heavily piloted, researched and developed by experts, including from the following:
    42 schools; Youth Music; DfES Innovation Unit; Music Manifesto; Specialist Schools & Academies Trust; Hertfordshire Music Service; Institute of Education, University of London; Artforms Education Leeds; CAPE UK; Synergy tv; Aim Higher; Excellence in Cities; Leeds College of Music; SAA UK; Nottingham Music Service; Nottingham Trent University; Creative Partnerships Nottingham; Eastern Orchestral Board; The Hallé Orchestra; Viva; Synergy TV; Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Sound Connections.

    ...not to mention the steering and advisory groups - all of whom are listed on our website, if you are interested.

    I feel that there is some misunderstanding of what Musical Futures is about. At the core is a genuine commitment to improve the experience of music education for young people at Key Stage 3, not to 'dumb down' in any way, and certainly not to provide entertainment or babysitting! It has been called a genuine example of personalising learning in music, attainment levels have improved across the board (including the gifted and talented students), raised motivation, self esteem, GCSE take up has increased, as well as students wanting to take instrumental and vocal tuition.

    While it starts with young peoples interests, all of the approaches build from there - taking students through new learning experiences and into new musical worlds, but at a point where their motivation is significantly increased. Students in schools in Hertfordshire for example have just finished a Musical Futures project, with stunning results, around Puccini's Tosca.

    The funding phase has now finished, but all of the models were established to be sustainable and replicable, and many schools outside of the pathfinder regions have now taken this on with success. But we really are keen to talk to, and offer support where necessary, all teachers, so do visit our website and contact us if you would like to know more.

    I hope that reassures people - we really aren't trying to replace any good practice here, rather to build on and develop what we know works for all students, not just for the minority.
  16. I teach in a state secondary school which is proud to call itself a musical futures school.

    In my department we have one AST, one teacher of 5 years experience and one NQT together with a team of peri staff, all with different experiences and philosophies.

    We are all 'classically trained' with a wide variety of musical experience, but generally have all been taught in such a way that notation is our 'security blanket'. Musical Futures (initially) removes this so in this respect, we are learning to play by ear, to improvise etc alongside our pupils and are better musicians for this.

    One thing we all agree on is that we want the informal approach to be an integral part of our musical curriculum, whilst we continue to deliver the essentials of musical learning (notation, music from other cultures, music ICT, etc.)in a vibrant, practical department where pupils actually want to be in our classrooms learning and making music. We also offer a personalised route through the music curriculum from years 9-13 which has been inspired by Musical Futures and its success in our school

    To place it in context:

    Very few of our pupils have any real experience of music making at KS2 and those who have previously studied notation in the classroom are generally very unconfident with using it when it is revisited in Y7

    My department had a history of under resourcing. Very little space, inadequate resources and very low in the 'pecking order'. GCSE was taught in twilight and only open to performers of grade 5 or above. We started Musical Futures anyway

    An elite few accessed music outside the classroom and the same pupils performed in concerts every year

    Lessons were spent almost entirely based around notation and keyboard work (as that was all we had). Behaviour was challenging and motivation low (pupils and staff)

    3 years later, I have just entered 52 pupils for music GCSE. All did MF in Y9. They are a totally mixed ability cohort from years 10 and 11 and have shown real commitment to the course. They work well together making music at their own level. They enjoy setting their own objectives and finding their own routes through the practical elements of the course and the majority of them show a real interest in exploring aspects of music that are new to them, such as notation/tab/sequencing etc. as they have an understanding of how it can be used and therefore how it is relevant to them.

    I've loved every second of exploring this new route and far from classing myself as a 'babysitter' I feel that I am now a better teacher and a better musician and the learning that takes place in my classroom is far more sophisticated than it was 3 years ago (backed up by HMI comment 'musical learning is 'profound').

    Let's stop arguing about which approach is better and get on with offering quality musical opportunities for all children in all schools!! Apologies if I have strayed from the original point.

    I have also posted this on the new thread just started!
  17. Devon

    The state system is failing because standards are continually having to be lowered and teachers are having to be entertainers rather than educators (musical futures, etc.).

  18. And I didn't say most of secondary education was those things, I said that those things were "so much" of secondary music education. In my opinion, almost any of that is far too much, but I never said it was most, of course not.

    Neither did I say I didn't mean it.

    I said "I should say that I don't of course believe that all secondary music education is colouring in and wordsearches (although I do know that it happens) - but wanted to turn the tables on those who rubbish what others do. To see how they reacted to being patronised and dismissed."

    Not the same thing at all.

    I hope you are beginning to understand. Let me know if you need more explanation, always a pleasure to help.

  19. Phantom:
    You have over-stepped the mark. You've lost the battle and are resorting to personal comments and jibes. You should be ashamed of yourself.

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