Expanding the Context – The Often Forgotten Criterion of the Listening Exam Rubric

It's the time of year to carefully plan your listening for the exam!   The often forgotten criterion from the listening paper rubric is Criteria D: Context.  Let's discuss expanding the context of each of your answers.   What is “context”? IB defines context as historical, cultural and stylistic characteristics. Here are types of contextual information: Questions that are cultural in nature are: Function of music – What was this played for? Why was it written? Nationality, location, geography – This is especially important for ...

The Music of Summer: The Perfect Time To Jump Start IB Music

Totally excited about starting IB Music next year? IB music is a great course with numerous opportunities to learn and listen to different genres of music as well as study the contexts. Students learn performance repertoire as well as composing their own music. It will change your perception and paradigm of music listening, performing and composing. Most likely you are going to have a very busy schedule in the school year; using summer to get a jump start is highly ...

IB Music Exam: Tips and Strategies for Success

As you prepare for the IB Music exam, remember to develop strategies and methods for answering the IB Music Listening Paper questions. Decide which strategies work best for you or come up with your own, or a combination of those listed below. Use the approach that provides a guide to writing detailed answers in the shortest period of time. For this exam, the more evidence you provide for your assessment, the more likely you are to receive higher marks. STRATEGY 1: ...

Submitting Group and Solo Performance

How quickly the year has passed! You have most likely been working on your group and solo performances throughout the year. Now’s it is time to submit your music making. This blog provides strategies on how to finalize your performance including ensuring submission meet the length and accompaniment requirements, Running short on time? You may have enough music after all! At the SL level you are allowed up to one minute longer or shorter than the 15-minute time requirement due to musical ...

Links and Depth (listening paper)

This post concerns students' abilities to generate responses with the appropriate levels of depth when discussing the prescribed works. Using the approaches to learning skill - thinking - we can identify two skill descriptors that should be developed throughout the two years of the DP Music course: 1. Apply skills and knowledge in unfamiliar situations 2. Analyse complex concepts and projects into their constituent parts and synthesize them to create new understanding Question three of the listening paper invites students to compare and contrast ...

“When will we ever learn?”: the arts and shared knowledge

http://youtu.be/QhnPVP23rzo “The establishment has always been concerned about music,” folk singer Pete Seeger said about his peace and protest songs.  “I’ve quoted Plato for years, who wrote, ‘It’s very important that the wrong kind of music not be allowed in the Republic.’ And I’ve also heard there’s an old Arab proverb, ‘When the king puts the poet on his payroll, he cuts off the tongue of the poet.’ I think they’re both right.” Pete Seeger, who died yesterday at the age of ...

Next steps

This post concerns thoughts for the new year for DP Music Candidates. After a brief congratulations to the year two students from the southern hemisphere (who just completed their IB Diploma experience), advice for the new year is shared for year two students. I would like to congratulate the DP class of 2014 - I hope that you have realised the value of the IB DP throughout your DP experience and that your next steps in life are productive and meaningful. ...

Music & inquiry

After co-leading a category three PYP & MYP inquiry-focused music workshop, I wanted to share some of my thoughts regarding inquiry and DP Music. This post aligns to 'inquiry' as an approach to teaching and 'thinking' and 'transfer' as approaches to learning. Given the wonderful changes in the IB Middle Years Programme, DP teachers have a renewed responsibility to ensure that inquiry is occurring throughout DP Music classrooms. When I discuss structured inquiry with DP teachers a conversation regarding the balance of ...

Composing – where do you look for inspiration?

This post is intended for DP Music Candidates thinking about composition (creating). The featured piece is Variations on America by Charles Ives. We also discuss finding inspiration in unusual places. How do you find inspiration to compose (create)? (I use this word specifically regardless of the media used for the composition. The DP Music course asks candidates to present their creative thinking through a variety of options. The following discussion will apply to the following options: composition, music technology composition, improvisation, and arranging. Have ...

Preparing for the DP Music exam (November 2013)

Greetings DP Music candidates! This post is for you - regardless of whether you live in the northern hemisphere or the southern hemisphere - and is designed to help you with your exam review (yes - you should be reviewing!). I will briefly share my thoughts about what DP Music is about (in one sentence) and then share some advice regarding the Listening Paper. If you have any questions or comments, please post them to this site! If you are a year one DP ...