Recent Posts by Matthew Gonzales

Thematic development and transformation

Greetings DP Music teachers! I hope that our colleagues in the northern hemisphere are enjoying a happy return to school whilst our colleagues in the southern hemisphere are enjoying a productive year. The discussion today centres on thematic development and transformation. One area that I experimented with heavily in my classroom was how to provide students with enough scaffolding regarding development in their compositions without having students sacrifice their initial ideas for a 'prescriptive' approach to development. There are various approaches one can ...

Music assessment objectives and assessment criteria

Greeting DP Music teachers! Today I would like to briefly discuss the assessment objectives in DP Music and how to use these objectives to develop rubrics. My discussion today is informed by my knowledge and understanding of the Middle Years Programme in the context of assessment. In my humble opinion, the MYP handles assessment extremely effectively - there are clear assessment criteria which are clearly linked to assessment objectives. The wording of both the criteria and the objectives is exactly the same. ...

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 ...

Listening paper recommendations

I hope everyone is well in the DP Music world. I have just started grading DP Music listening paper for the May 2015 session. I would like to share my thoughts in process while my experiences with the listening paper are fresh. Pragmatically, these recommendations will be more pertinent for DP Music colleagues in the southern hemisphere; northern hemisphere teachers could use these recommendations for their year one DP students. The depth of the response of a student is of the ...

Listening Paper – Section C – a tribute

The May 2015 exam session brought a change to the DP Music Listening Paper: the elimination of section C for HL students (the musical links discussion using two pieces from section B). I would like to honour section C as I found great value in the skills, knowledge and understandings that were embedded in this section. One of the many elements of the DP Music Listening Paper that I value is how the paper invites students to 'think on their feet' ...

Preparation for DP Music in grades 8-10 – musical ensemble suggestion

By Saturday, May 23, 2015 No tags 0

What can be done to prepare students in younger grades for the wonderful rigour of the DP Music course? My experiences in the my non-Diploma music classes were large musical ensembles (60-100 students per ensemble) that had consistent membership/enrolment for the entire academic year. These ensembles performed 4-6 times. As I developed my DP Music course, I wanted to design a class that invited and encouraged participation from students of all musical backgrounds. Through implementing this goal, I found that as ...

Listening paper review (two suggestions)

Greetings DP Music teachers! With less than one week to go for the DP Music exam in northern hemisphere schools, I hope you students are reviewing for all of their exams with intention and fidelity. This post concerns two different strategies for reviewing for the DP Music exam. 1. Have students create flashcards of different musical styles and genres Each flashcard should contain four-six points on the musical identity of the specific genre (e.g., baroque music: one mood pieces, polyphony and homophony, move from ...

Assessing for learning (in DP Music)

By Sunday, May 3, 2015 No tags 0

Greetings DP Music colleagues! I hope this post finds everyone well. I am working on an assessment in the DP workshop at the moment and would like to share some general thoughts about assessing for learning in DP Music. When we assess for understanding we are engaging students in an authentic task and look for ways to consistently and systematically provide specific feedback to each student. The size of the class and the length of the class impact the degree to which ...

Musical Links Investigations (teachers)

Greetings DP Music colleagues! I return to you after a wonderfully intense May 2014 exam session. I have just finished moderating Musical Links Investigations and would like to share my insights with you. The focus of this post will be the Musical Links Investigation. Pragmatically, this post will better serve southern hemisphere teachers, but there is also benefit for all DP Music teachers. I would like to strongly encourage teachers to focus on musical analysis (as opposed to musical description) and encouraging ...

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. ...