Aug 12 2006, 04:32 PM
I've just started Standard Grade Music and I'm finding it a real bore! The teachers seem to go over the real basics and it's sending me to sleep! Does anyone else find this course really pointless? The music department in my school is really small and there are only 2 teachers! What are other schools like?!
Aug 12 2006, 04:50 PM
When I did GCSE Music, I wouldn't have said that it was a complete bore...some parts were but even if it is going over the basics there is no harm in hearing it again just to refresh it in your mind and there is bound to be something that comes up that you don't know or ha forgotten or was in the back of yur knowledge rather than with the rest of it. Keep it up, it gets better trust me.
We have 4 music teachers (one only part time because she is the technician) and two teaching rooms and the teachers are superb...I couldnt' ask for any better!
My school used to be one music room which was a normal room with tables and a keyboard on a table if we were lucky and most of the time we had to fit 2 classes in that room. We now have a purpose built facility with two large teaching rooms (one being a live room and the other a music tech room, 4 practice rooms and a recording studio and it has devloped greatly and I love it.
Aug 12 2006, 05:21 PM
Yip i had exactly the same problem last year when i started! Really boring!
At my school we also have only the 2 music teachers and only 2 classrooms. The classrooms are really well equipped though. We have a grand piano, enough keyboards and guitars for evertone, 3 drum kits and two electric piano's so can't complain about the equipment!
I'm really lucky in that instead of doing the standard grade i'm being allowed to do Intermediate 2. At your school do they not let the more experienced people who can play instruments play there own music? Do you have the oppurtunity to do the standard grade a year early? Some people do this at my school and then do the higher early.
Sorry for the ramble!!
Aug 12 2006, 07:39 PM
Wow! Your schools seem to be much better than mine!! Sadly we dont have a chance to do the course a year early...and the teacher we have has just left, I wonder who I'll be getting next term!!
We have two classrooms each with a drum kit, piano, keyboards and a few guitars but some of the keyboards are a bit dodgy and the equipment is never top quality! We only have two teachers but the new one I'm getting will make a 3rd. We do have some of the keyboards linked up to computers which is quite fun...I suppose it could be worse! A lot of the people in my class have never read or seen music before! Did that happen in your classes too?!
Aug 12 2006, 08:11 PM
What my teacher does is she lets me bring in my own music, and I get to accompany the class on the piano which is quite fun. I bring in my theory too so I'm allowed to sit and do that! And the teacher gets me to explain things to the people that don't understand which is scary!! hehe!! I find too that there are a lot of people who don't even play an instrument! Its like, wow, you're in the top music class and you don't know how to read music!?!
I suppose it's quite good anyway doing music at school because it's an easier standard grade to get if you know how to play! Apparently the standard now for Standard grade music is grade 2/3 for a 1, grade 3/4 for an A at higher and grade 4/5 for advanced higher!
Aug 12 2006, 08:37 PM
Yea i hate gcse music because all the people in my class are like grade 1 so i cant really work with anyone effectively on my stuff.There are only 2 classrooms and teachers so its not very good.There is not even an orchestra anymore so that does no thelp things.
Aug 12 2006, 10:41 PM
I found GCSE msuic a waste of time, in the end I went to about 2 lesson in year 11 all year, the rest I just practiced in, which was more constructive for me and let the teacher deal with the non-musicians in the class. If you're really hating it, ask your parents to write in and see what can be done. After all, if you were way ahead in Maths or English, you'd get to do harder work, not forced to stay at a lower level and get bored every lesson. Essentially, Music is just another academic lesson in school, so the same should apply.
Aug 13 2006, 11:13 AM
Our music department has 2 classrooms, 3 main practice rooms, and then 2 cupboard things that can be used as practice rooms. We have about 5 pianos etc, and quite a few computeres. I guess we have a lot of resources etc but most of them seem to be damaged. The 2 staff are fantastic, and really good teachers, but can be a bit too easy going, and rather careless and untidy which leads to a complete lack of organisation!!
As for GCSE music. I struggled to begin with because i had convinced myself that i couldn't do it. However by about halfway through the first year i thought "well actually, this is pretty simple".
Aug 13 2006, 01:43 PM
Luckily most people in the class that i am in can to some extent read music mostly guitar tab which means that a lot of time isn't wasted teaching people to read music.
What really does annoy me is that we have just finished our first year of the course and all we have done are foundation level papers which are horrendously easy.
I have a really fantastic teacher, she lets me do theory and practice my normal piano stuff and even lets me play flute in the class which is a bit strange when i play in a group of guitars!
Aug 13 2006, 02:09 PM
Looking back, I would be glad if my GCSE class had been taught the basics at the start. So many still can't read music and probaly still won't by the end. It gets VERY annoying asking them to play something then having to explain the sheet music to them. Luckily the rest of the time the lessons are flexible enough that those who can get to work on more complicated stuff.
Aug 13 2006, 07:14 PM
Standard Grade music is very easy for anyone who already plays an instrument properly and there will always be people who took it for a skive/because they thought it would be easy. It's probably a good idea to persuade your teacher to let you work on theory and other performing stuff when you can.
I think the reason it can be so unchallenging is they've made it so that people who haven't had instrumental lessons and haven't much other musical experience can do it (so it's the same as other subjects like science, French etc. - the idea being everyone is on an even footing in terms of opportunity etc.) - this means it's incredibly boring for the more experienced like you. And it'll be worse this year because they've "dumbed it down" by reducing the standard you need to be at.
It's a shame as normally Advanced Highers are supposed to be approximately the same level as the first year of university but grade 4/5 is obviously nowhere near that standard for music!
However it's not all entirely pointless - learning all the concepts etc. is always going to be useful, the composition though simple is essentially a good experience...and it's usually an easy '1' if you play an instrument.
Aug 13 2006, 08:53 PM
QUOTE(Braceface flautist @ Aug 13 2006, 08:14 PM)
I think the reason it can be so unchallenging is they've made it so that people who haven't had instrumental lessons and haven't much other musical experience can do it (so it's the same as other subjects like science, French etc. - the idea being everyone is on an even footing in terms of opportunity etc.)
The problem being that in music one gets taught next to nothing in the first 3 years of school so it isn't really on an even footing with French etc - well that was my experience. People learned very little in music lessons prior to GCSE options, hardly anything really, had few lessons, too many people in the lessons, and uninspired teaching. It's completely possible to have 3 years of lessons like that and still not have the first idea of how to read music! If GCSE music were aimed at the level of "people with no experience who'd been taught well for 3 years and actually learned something" then it would be a different kettle of fish, wouldn't it? *sigh*
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