Friday, 7 October 2011

Knock about fun

with other Music teachers yesterday on an INSET course. We've now switched entirely over to IGCSE, which amongst other things is a very small board for home entries, so they more or less know all the candidates, I think. Certainly, I've never had someone come up and give personal feed back for our candidates. Anyway, we also went through all the other current GCSE and A Level syllabuses in the breaks. Why is there a Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto on for AS this year? Well presumably because it allows them to ask you a question comparing woodwind writing in that and the Haydn, but as an example of Vivaldi, the baroque concerto, ritornello form or anything else I can think of, it's a bit pointless. I would have gone for Brandenburg 2 or 4 to do that, but I just teach the syllabus, I don't write it. Someone asked me if I had found our A Level Syllabus confusing in that half the set works changed last year and the other half didn't and um, no I did not do what she did and realise just before the Eatser holidays because I check that type of thing to an OCD level of checkiness and I think it is a big big mistake and I know teachers who have been sacked for that one. Admittedly, it did involve not finding out until the exam packet was opened minutes before the exam started. No tolerance would be shown where I work for such a mistake. A candidate could easily miss a university offer for that. The Chief Examiner was there and an authoritive lady in charge of multiple specs (syllabi) who seemed in the role of making sure it didn't all get out of hand. People can lay into INSET providers. I think she may have been a bit mystified as to exactly why everyone burst out laughing at various points in sample performances and compositions. It's not derision, it's more hysteria, because where Flossy's composition gets submitted in that form or that recording of a Mozart Piano Sonata where the candidate banged the last note of each phrase, someone has probably discarded a number of recordings far far worse. Shame they didn't play the brilliant candidates who exceed full marks... Off to check those set works again. For June 2012 examination...

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