Presentation on theme: "Historical Musicology The links between A-Level and Degree Level Music."— Presentation transcript:
Historical Musicology The links between A-Level and Degree Level Music
Aims/Objectives To discuss what the main differences are between the Historical Musicology course and Music at A-Level. My background. Layout of the Historical Musicology course. Assessment. How teachers might help students transition to a music degree.
Dr Simon D. I. Fleming I teach part-time in the Music Department of Durham University on the Historical Musicology course. Specialist field: music production in eighteenth-century Britain, with a primary focus on the north of England. Doctoral thesis: music production in eighteenth-century Durham City.
Dr Simon D. I. Fleming Over ten years of experience of teaching music in schools and have taught the AQA, Edexcel and OCR courses in Music at A-Level. Teach part-time at the Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington; responsible for AS and A2 Music. I currently teach the OCR syllabus at AS and A2.
Layout of the Historical Musicology course Students have a weekly lecture which focuses on a particular area of music history. In 2013/14 first year students have studied the 19 th -century but will be studying the 18 th -century from next year. Example lectures for this past year include: Beethoven and monumentalism – Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’ and Symphony No. 7 Italian opera and the establishment of a virtuoso vocal art form – Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and the Risorgimento England and the choral tradition
Research-informed teaching At university, it is encouraged that teaching is ‘research-informed’. Research-informed teaching refers to the practice of linking research with teaching in Higher Education. Professor Dibble, as an acknowledged expert on 19 th -century British music, has used his research to deliver the lectures on Stainer, Parry, etc.. For the concerto grosso, I draw upon my research on Avison. In secondary school there is little opportunity for ‘research- informed’ teaching outside KS3 although many teachers choose a topic with which they have the greatest affinity when delivering the A-level course.
Seminars Each seminar group consists of five or six students. In each fortnightly session one work or movement is studied in depth. There will be discussion about: The composer and his compositional output. Background to the work itself that places it in the wider context of what else was being composed at around the same time. An analysis of the structure, tonality, harmony, melodic material, instrumentation, texture and any other features of interest. Who or what were the main influences in the compositional process.
Essays Essays are marked on a scale of 0-100. Unlike at A-Level, students at degree level should aim to produce a publishable piece of work that includes musical examples, bibliography and footnotes, with their own analysis supported by extensive background reading and quotations from scholarly sources. They do not get multiple attempts at their assignments. Students are welcome to ask questions before they submit their ‘summative’ assignments, but once marked there is no option to resubmit. To compensate, students get two formative assignments each year which are designed to help prepare them for their summative essays. They get detailed feedback with their mark to help them improve; many also arrange tutorials to discuss their feedback. Unlike A-level, students are not expected to memorise their essays for reproduction in an exam; as such this is more like mainstream musicology.
Essays Example: Write an essay about cyclic form during the first half of the Nineteenth Century with reference to the fantasy, the sonata and structural compression. Students tended to choose, for the sonata, Liszt’s piano sonata in B minor as this had already been studied in a seminar. Hints had been given as to the importance of Schubert’s Wanderer Fantasy but this work had not been studied in any depth; students were expected to do the background reading and analysis for themselves.
Oral Presentations Students need to give a ten-minute summative oral presentation to their seminar group. Given a task in relation to a set work that they need to prepare for and deliver. A: How does Mendelssohn’s admiration of the music of Bach and Handel manifest itself in his life and in his choice of musical genres? B: Regarding Elijah, choose three contrasting movements and guide the tutorial group through them, showing how the music both evokes, and diverges from Baroque templates.
Oral Presentations Students are expected to: Prepare a hand out or a PowerPoint presentation. Provide a bibliography and make reference to scholarly literature in their discussion. Include music examples both in audio and in score.
An extension or a large leap? What is taught at degree is, in many respects, an extension of what is taught at A-level. In assessment, there is larger gap between what is expected at A-Level and at degree level.
What might we as teachers do to facilitate the transition from A-level music to degree level? Encourage students, as they study their set works, to do the analysis for themselves using the appropriate musical vocabulary. Encourage students to speak out in classroom discussions. Encourage students to use Sibelius (or other computer-based notation software) Use scaffolding theory and threshold concepts. Utilise scores in your discussions and encourage students to annotate them. Choose classical-based set works. Encourage students to do background reading on the works they are studying and listen to other related pieces of music.