AQA GCSE Music: Component 1 Section B: Contextual Understanding: Successfully answering the 2-mark and essay questions on the Three Tracks from Paul Simon’s Graceland

Dates:
Monday 01 February 2021 – 4pm
Monday 24 May 2021 – 4pm

Code: 8453

ABOUT THIS WEBINAR

The AQA GCSE music Study Pieces are changing – and getting your head around the new pieces can be a real challenge!  This webinar will focus on the new optional Study Pieces for Area of Study 3: Traditional Music: Three tracks from Paul Simon ‘Graceland’ album (Graceland; Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes; You Can Call Me Al) that replace the Three Tracks from Santana’s  ‘Supernatural’ album (first teaching from September 2020, first examinations from summer 2022).

This webinar is designed to provide teachers with the skills to teach confidently and accurately those aspects of the songs that are of relevance to the types of question found in the examination.  Rather than providing a bar-by-bar analysis of each track, the webinar will consider the music from the point of view of the style, with clear focus on how Simon embraces traditional African music, fusing it with American popular music.

BENEFITS OF ATTENDING THIS WEBINAR

  • Gain a sound, clear contextual perspective of the new Traditional Music study pieces without having to spend hours analysing them yourself
  • Review the different demands of the two types of question (2-mark answers and the essay)
  • Explore the music in terms of the use of musical elements, as appropriate to the sorts of questions found in the AQA GCSE music examination
  • Take away approaches that excite students, cultivate a deeper music appreciation and raise grades in exams
  • Equip yourself to set appropriate practice questions around this study piece

PROGRAMME

4.00-4.05pm: Welcome and Introduction

4.05pm: Graceland the album in context

  • Paul Simon: an overview of his creative output, including his previous use of music from other cultures
  • Understanding the creative process that enabled the creation of the musical fusions on the Graceland album
  • Putting the work in the context of the history of South Africa during the final years of the apartheid era – issues that arose at the time of the creation of the album; and considering issues that may arise in the classroom at the present time in connection with Simon’s embracing/exploitation of African music

4.20pm: Graceland (the song)                  

  • Key musical features of this song including its stylistic links to Delta Blues
  • Helping students gain higher marks by writing about its melodic features and rhythmic complexity
  • Key features likely to come up in Question 8 (the 2-mark questions)

4.40pm: Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

  • Key musical features of this song, including its use of features of the Mbube, Mbaqanga and Iscathamiya genres, together with Senegalese percussion
  • Helping students gain higher marks by writing about the use of studio techniques, including the creation of ‘unplayable’ music
  • Key features likely to come up in Question 8 (the 2-mark questions)

5.00pm: You Can Call Me Al       

  • Key musical features of this song, including its use of features of Iscathamiya and Mbaqanga
  • Helping students gain higher marks by writing about the contrasts between harmonic simplicity and rhythmic complexity
  • Key features likely to come up in Question 8 (the 2-mark questions)

5.20pm: Looking into the crystal ball: ideas for the sorts of essay questions that might be set

5.30: end

Dr Chris Maxim

Dr Chris Maxim began his career lecturing in higher education before moving into the secondary sector.  As an NQT (and Head of Music), he transformed the Music Department of a large inner-London secondary school, going on to create a thriving Performing Arts faculty and teaching KS3, GCSE and A-level.  Following many years in senior leadership, including as Acting Principal and Headteacher, he now works as a freelance musician (composer, conductor and organist) and education consultant, specialising in school leadership and music.  To find out more about him, please visit his website: www.christophermaxim.co.uk