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MusicFighter

self learning ib music.....

hi, 

I am currently studying the IB bridging music. Apparently, my teacher doesn't quite know how to teach ib. I am a little bit worried about the next 2 IB years. Any advice?

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That sounds a bit nerve wracking. What exactly is the issue? Is he/she not understanding the material or the requirements of internal/external assessments, for example? 

I take IB Music, and my teacher has had lots of experience with it, which really helps. If your teacher does not know how to teach anything, I am slightly concerned. Talk to your other teachers and/or advisors about this. However, I am not saying that it is impossible to learn what you need to learn. Even if your teacher cannot teach you anything, there is still opportunity to learn at home.

Unless they change the syllabus within the next few years, the main skill you will need to develop is listening to piece of music and analyzing it. This involves looking at the form of it at certain seconds on the track or measures on the sheet music, identifying elements of melody, dynamics, all those musical elements. You will learn how to do this for western music, jazz/pop music, and music from around the world. You'll need to learn the characteristics of certain western musical eras, the characteristics that make up jazz/pop music, and what makes music from different countries definable. For internal assessments, if you are SL, you have a choice between composing and performing (either group or solo recital). If you are HL, you have to do composing and a solo recital. Finally, both SL and HL must complete a Musical Links Investigation, 2000 words comparing two pieces of music from completely distinct musical cultures.

I don't want to stress you out, I know how awful it feels to be stressed in the IB. Regardless, as you are in the beginning of your IB experience, I would get started now on creating a plan for how to learn this information. I hope all goes well for you and your classmates.

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My teacher uses 6 lessons of 40 mins to teach less than 30 words that we can understand by looking through the book. I live in hong kong, there's an awful exam called DSE and most of the hong kong student needs to go through it in order to study at university. DSE is just memorizing and practising really hard. My music teacher is teaching like he's teaching DSE which definitely would not work for IB. 

What can I do to improve my understanding skills or thinking process? I am super worried about my EE and IA....

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It helps significantly to know what projects/IA's/EE/TOK will look like and how IB exam formats will be in advanced, so that you do not become stressed by shock in the future. That's why I explained the format of the IB Music class to you. So, the first step would be to mentally prepare yourself for what's ahead: review the formats and concepts of EE's and IA's, get to know the formats of various IB exams, etc. Next, review example IB exam answers or IA's or EE's, etc, so it makes sense what you will be expected to do in terms of quality of work.

Lots of IB exams, especially ones with written essay-question answers, are very structural. Get used to a format that works for you and go from there. For example, in IB Music, the question will always ask you to analyze a piece of music with respect to some element of music (either given audio on a CD or a score). Sometimes, the question will be almost exactly: "Analyze, examine, and discuss what you hear in this (unidentified) extract in detail." Our teacher tells us to structure it as follows: Brief notes on context of the era or culture the music comes from, time/event chart of when important things in the music happens (for example, 1:53, String instruments enter with motif #2), list of elements of music (pitch, melody, harmony, dynamics, tone color, meter, form, texture) with notes for each, and a final "discussion" where you just talk about what is interesting about the extract (i.e. how does it conform to the era/culture? What makes this music distinct? Where does the music break away from form? Whatever is interesting to you). This is one example of a possible structure, but finding a usable structure for any exam will be of great use to you.

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