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ABRSM to draft Key Stage 3 music curriculum


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#1 Hildegard

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 11:37

It hasn't been mentioned in this forum, but it may interest some to know that the ABRSM has just won the government contract to draft a new model curriculum for Key Stage 3 music. Schools Minister Nick Gibb tweeted ."Drawing on ABRSM’s expertise and its team of education professionals, and steered by our expert panel, this will be an important resource for schools." However numerous people have pointed out that the ABRSM does not appear to have experience of teaching class music in schools to the 11-14 age group:

https://www.tes.com/...iculum-contract

I have occasionally met AB examiners who are school teachers, although most seem to be private teachers or on the staff at one of the conservatoires. However, even those who have had a modicum of classroom experience seem mostly to be .Directors of Music in the major public schools, so I do wonder how the ABRSM managed to win this contract and just what experience of state-school class music teaching "its team of educational professionals" might have.


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#2 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 12:41

I now have this vision of an exasperated teacher trying to control a classroom full of rowdy teenagers while trying to get them to play all manner of scales in every key or neatly beam/group notes & rests in 15/8 time...


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#3 elemimele

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 13:07

My first thought is whether anyone owns any ships??

 

More seriously: what actually is a "new model curriculum*", and if it stands alongside the existing national curriculum without supplanting it, who will follow it, and why? Does it have any meaning, or is it just another bit of mutual back-scratching funded by the tax-payer ("we need to be seen to do something, you want cash, so we'll pay you to do something, don't care what, provided it doesn't get us into any trouble")?

 

(* Cromwell would have approved of the name, at least)


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#4 Hildegard

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 16:38

More seriously: what actually is a "new model curriculum*", and if it stands alongside the existing national curriculum without supplanting it, who will follow it, and why? Does it have any meaning, or is it just another bit of mutual back-scratching funded by the tax-payer ("we need to be seen to do something, you want cash, so we'll pay you to do something, don't care what, provided it doesn't get us into any trouble")?

 

It replaces the current Key Stage 3 music curriculum. The intention is to try to reverse the disastrous drop in the number of pupils taking GCSE Music, but it won't do that because the reason for the drop in numbers is not the content of the curriculum but the baleful shadow of the Eng Bacc and the emphasis on STEM subjects to the exclusion of the creative arts in many schools.


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#5 Cyrilla

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Posted 28 February 2019 - 23:42

Yes, when I first read this a week or so ago I did wonder why on earth it was ABRSM who seem to be writing the new curriculum (I think for all Key Stages?).

 

Looking at what they have come up with so far for the younger children, it looks very 'Kodály' to me (which of course isn't a bad thing tongue.png).

 

Over all the years that I used to run sessions for the AB on their CTABRSM course, I was always told it was called 'Kindermusic' (I soon told the participants no, it isn't, it's Kodály that I'm doing wink.png) - and, after I'd been pretty much mobbed at the end by people saying, 'This is brilliant/Why have I never heard of it/Why aren't all children taught this', I was firmly told that the AB could not be seen to promote any one particular 'method'.

 

Yeah, quite.

 

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#6 Hildegard

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 07:08

Yes, when I first read this a week or so ago I did wonder why on earth it was ABRSM who seem to be writing the new curriculum (I think for all Key Stages?).

 

I'm absolutely sure it couldn't be because the Chief Executive of the Associated Board is on the "expert panel" (of mainly worthies who have never taught class music) that are overseeing the project. No, couldn't possibly be. Even though it has been admitted that the tender process was not an open one – organisations could only apply if they were invited. It will doubtless be a nice little earner at the taxpayer's expense.

(And yes, it is all key stages.)


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#7 Cyrilla

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Posted 01 March 2019 - 20:53

Thanks, Hildegard.

 

I am frankly appalled at some of the 'experts' on this panel.

 

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#8 Aquarelle

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Posted 03 March 2019 - 11:12

Recent ABRSM exam lists have been strongly criticized for being out of touch with the needs and learning processes  of today's young children. So all I can say, with tongue very much in cheek, is that it seems eminently sensible to put  the school music curriculum into their hands. 

 

Seriously, put any one of these bright stars in front of a lively, noisy, poorly motivated, screen addicted, often disobedient class  with its mixture of high flyers and  pupils with learning difficulties, from stable homes and those from homes with various degrees of precarity, and see how fast they will come out with a nervous breakdown. You need guts, intelligence, imagination, ingenuity,  experience and the constitution of an ox to succeed – even just sometimes.  You also need to be passionate about the value of class music teaching and of teaching the arts in general.  I don’t think this applies to the ABRSM – their function is quite different.

 

Ps I had difficulties in posting this reply so deleted several times. Apologies if this affected your reading.


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#9 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 12 July 2019 - 20:45

Has there been any further developments on this come to light?


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#10 Hildegard

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 07:20

Has there been any further developments on this come to light?

 

I don't think so. The new curriculum is due to be published this summer, so hopefully in the next 8 weeks or so.


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#11 thara96

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 14:04

When will parents be able to read it?
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#12 Hildegard

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 14:51

When will parents be able to read it?

 

When it is published.


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#13 Hildegard

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 08:34

Has there been any further developments on this come to light?

 

Yes, the Department for Education announced a few days ago that the model curriculum for music has been delayed until further notice due to the work done by the ABRSM not being up to the required quality.  :(

 "It is not clear how long this process will take, but the DfE has indicated more evidence is needed to guarantee the curriculum is suitable for publication."

https://www.tes.com/...ed-over-quality

 

Very embarrassing for the ABRSM, of course. They have clearly tried to over-reach themselves by moving into an area (classroom music) in which they do not have the necessary expertise, and who appear not to have been able to buy-in that expertise.


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#14 Banjogirl

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 10:12

I'd like Cyrilla to write it. And every school music teacher be trained to deliver it properly. Wouldn't that be fab? Singing back in secondary schools. We've fallen a very long way.

 

I have a Polish friend who is very modest about her musical abilities, but I asked her once if everyone at school in Poland learned to read music and sight sing and she said yes, of course, as if it were a ridiculous question. But now her own children are at school here she can probably understand why I was impressed. But silly me, it's TALENTED people who can sight sing. Grr.


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#15 elemimele

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Posted 09 October 2019 - 11:56

That link, Hildegard, is shocking. It makes it clear that ABRSM only got the contract because the two other candidates in the tender process both (sensibly!) declined to bid. Does it really say that the entire future of how music should be taught in the UK was to be settled for £4500? Realistically that's two people and a laptop for a week and a half. Of course the quality would be poor.


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