IB Music Sample Course Description
This course is designed for music students with varied backgrounds in music performance. The aim of the IB music program is to give music students the opportunity to explore and enjoy the diversity of music throughout the world by enabling them to creatively develop their knowledge, abilities and understanding through performance and composition. Students will be expected to demonstrate their understanding of music by performing, by using appropriate musical language and terminology in analyzing musical works from many varied cultures and periods, and by exploring music through music theory, aural skills, composition, and music history. All IB students must take this course in conjunction with one of the school’s large ensembles (Band or Choir since no string orchestra is in place at KHS). Students are expected to complete the IB Music Exam in May when applicable to their time line (HL (2) and SL).
- Grades 11 or 12
- Enrollment in one of the school’s large music ensembles
- Students must have a good working knowledge of classical music fundamentals and be able to read music in at least one clef to enroll in the class.
- Supplemental private lessons are certainly recommended.
- Students must keep a folder, which will be outlined in this syllabus. The folder will be turned in along with the students’ other assignments and graded by the instructor at a local level before being submitted to I.B. for testing.
- Students may need to bring their respective instruments to class on specific performance days.
- Students will perform individually, as well as in a group.
- Students must plan ahead to effectively prepare themselves for the I.B. Exam in May (when applicable). PLAN AHEAD – The end of the year is a VERY busy time for I.B. students.
Music Theory, Composition, and History
The fundamentals of this course are those of a Music Theory course married with that of a Musicology course. The ability to recognize, understand and describe the elements and processes of music that are heard and presented in a musical score are crucial elements of the I.B. Music curriculum. It is designed for students wanting an enriched understanding of their current musical activities as well as those planning to major in music in college.
Basic compositional techniques will be addressed and class composition and arranging projects will be mandatory. The I.B. Courses will cover the history of western music from the Antiquity of music to the 21st Century. Non-Western Music, American Jazz, Latin American, and folk music from various countries will be covered in detail as well. The socio‐economic influences of music in society will play an important role in class discussions.
Other major attributes of the I.B. concept are creativity, wholistic or world-wide thought, connectivity, and high-level critical thinking – not just memorization and regurgitation. The goal of the International Baccalaureate Program is to teach you how to learn, and how to continue to learn.
IA: Higher Level v. Standard Level
There are three types of students in this course: HL (2) students who are in their 2nd year of the HL course, HL (1) students who are in their 1st year of the HL course, and SL students who will only take this course for one year. The I.B. prescribes different levels of assessment for each different level of student in the Music – DP course. There are specific descriptions in the Music Subject Guide you have been given (pp. 42 – 51). Here is an abridged version of those details, which we will discuss at length:
- HL (1) Students:
- Will not submit IA’s or EA’s this school year to the I.B.
- Will submit a smaller version of the IA and the EA to the instructor
- This first year is designed to get you where you need to be to be successful on the HL exam your senior year.
- HL (2) Students:
- IA – Must submit IA to Instructor which will be submitted to the I.B. for moderation:
- Creation & Reflection: Must submit three separate pieces of coursework, each must meet the criteria spelled out in the Music Subject Guide
- Solo Performance: Must submit recordings of solo performance at the appropriate level for the aptitude of the student. 20 – 25 minutes of music required.
- SL Students:
- IA – Must submit IA to Instructor which will be submitted to the I.B. for moderation: (Must choose a track)
- SLC – Creation only: Must submit two separate pieces of coursework, each must meet the criteria spelled out in the Music Subject Guide.
- SLG – Group Performance: Must submit recordings of group performance at the appropriate level for the aptitude of the group. 20 – 30 minutes of music is required.
- SLS – Solo Performance: Must submit recordings of solo performance at the appropriate level for the aptitude of the student. 15 – 20 minutes of music is required.
Musical Links Investigation
The Musical Links Investigation is an independent media script of no more than 2,000 words comparing the relationship between two identifiable and distinct cultures. The student will analyze and report on one, or more, musical pieces from each distinct culture/time period. In addition, these examples should share one, or more, inherent link(s) that can be explored in sufficient musical depth. This component offers the opportunity for the students to use contemporary methods of communication by presenting the investigation as a media script or a research paper.
The most important key to the Musical Links Investigation is establishing links between the two different musical cultures discussed in the assignment. This is NOT a compare and contrast paper, the assignment is to LINK the two cultures by finding commonality and connectivity between the two very distinct pieces.
A large factor in the grading of this project is ORIGINALITY and CREATIVITY. Discuss with your peers, instructor(s), and other musical mentors and come up with something that will be memorable for the IB examiner.