Music – Responding to Theory Presentations

How successful was your theory presentation? What would you do differently if you had the chance again?

Our theory presentation was relatively successful; we were able to meet various requirements. We were able to demonstrate a decent amount of knowledge and understanding on Natural Minor Scales by explaining the concepts, processes with use of subject-specific vocabulary. We addressed the significance of Natural Minor Scales in different musical contexts. I think we could improve our knowledge and understanding by providing more of an elaborate explanation. We achieved these task descriptors with support from areas of our presentation like having an appropriate title, members names, appropriate fonts, font sizes and graphics. As mentioned above, we acknowledged the importance of Natural Minor Scales in the context of theory and in context of playing, or band practice in particular. We provided an explanation of the procedure employed to work out the skill by introducing 3 different methods – counting from whole notes and half steps, but also relating minor scales to major scales and vice versa. One thing to improve on, I think we need to clarify relationships between key signature and the scales by note how the accidentals are related to the root note of the scale. We provided a few examples for each method used to work out the skill. We tried to be selective with our examples so to cover different levels of difficulty. However, these examples may have come across and appeared slightly confusing, especially when mistakes are made. I think there was also good interaction between Marin and I during the presentation. More prepared prior to the presentation with necessary materials such as markers and erasers. I think the handout we created covered all the areas that we addressed within the presentation, I think it was a good reflection of factors of Natural Minor Scales.


Discuss your practice routines and development on your instrument.

When practicing – I usually play at a slower tempo, trying to focus on accuracy, dynamics and articulation. After, I develop and play at a faster tempo, occasionally using the metronome. If I make it as far, I try to work towards conveying the mood of the song. I would like to try different methods – such as scale variations – that help improve  my technique and familiarity with the instrument. I definitely feel like I have to dedicate more time to my instrument, practicing more to ensure steady progress.


How successful were you at your theory test? Discuss the concepts that you did not master.

I felt indifferent about my performance immediately after the assessment. I felt successful because I understood the procedures for each section of the assessment, but it was also unsettling because I had a feeling I made many mistakes, – careless or not. I was right, my results weren’t that great. From the assessment, it can be observed that I understand the concepts to some extent. I was able accurately solve some questions within each section, but made mistakes within others. This may be a result of careless mistake or just increase in difficulty. I need to focus on improving my skill level primarily in transposition and triad inversion.


What are your strategies to improve results in the subsequent months?

Review will be a primary strategy used to improve my knowledge, understanding and skill of the topics we covered,  Going over course material and making use of different resources. However, I will also approach others – especially those who had strengths in my areas of weakness, did well in areas I struggled with. I will try to employ their methods and their strategies of learning, apply it and see if it’s more feasible.


How do you show the IB Learner Profile in the music class?

I think I demonstrate the attributes of an inquirer – especially applicable within the theory unit – seeing as (I feel like) I was eager and especially curious to develop a conceptual understanding of the skills studied as well as the processes involved. I grew to be more knowledgeable as a result of being an inquirer. My curiosity fostered and deepened my knowledge, understanding and skills of various subjects. I became more of a thinker – again, especially within the theory unit as I faced a wider selection of problems. I was able to take initiative in reaching out to peers and teachers to be critical and develop different perspectives and methods used to approach and solve problems. Last but certainly not least, principled is a skill I excelled in during this course. I demonstrate an extraordinary amount of respect and appreciation towards my peers and my teacher. Although I am quite confident in some areas, I think there is room for improvement, particularly in areas concerning being caring, a risk-taker and reflective. Although I am somewhat caring in the respect that I demonstrate empathy, compassion and respect towards my surroundings – including the environment and (usually) the people around me – I need to increase the amount of care directed at my instrument, deepen my commitment towards the instrument so to make a positive difference to myself, but more importantly, a contribution to the band.
I think risk taking is a particular weakness of mine when it comes to playing in the band. I must work on being more courageous and confident when exploring unfamiliar situations, pushing myself to approach and explore some roles, ideas and strategies that may be slightly uncomfortable. Being reflective is another aspect that needs to be elevated. Giving more thought and consideration towards my learning – my attitude, my habits and my progress in particular – so that I can identify strengths and weaknesses to pinpoint areas that need to be further developed.

Arty McArtface – IDU Crit D Reflection

Please write an interdisciplinary learning reflection addressing personal success as a interdisciplinary learner, benefits of the IDU with specific examples and limitations of the IDU with specific examples. This should be separated into 3 DISTINCT paragraphs. 

As an interdisciplinary learner, I was able to make connections between two somewhat different disciplines to create a final product that reflected my identity as a Hong Konger. I utilised a relevant amount of knowledge, understandings and skills derived from English. For instance, I was able to apply my knowledge and understanding about literary devices that had a sensory aspect so I could translate it into my final product through visual arts and music. My poem concentrates on creating a contrast between the utopian and dystopian aspect of Hong Kong which is described through sensory imagery, this translates into the visual product as seen through the breathtaking view situated through the window and the subdivided flat that stands before the reader. The poetry unit also taught us to be very aware of our audience which was applicable to our final product in terms of what to produce in order to present poverty to a certain extent, and how to use designated techniques so there is an intended effect on the audience. In terms of Fine Arts, we were able to use the Elements of Art and the Principles of Design to elaborate on the theme of our poems. For example, we made very explicit colour choices so to express the cage home as dark and dirty, a place of poverty which contrasted against the brightness in the window which reflected hope and yearnings.
Throughout this process, I recognized a wide range of benefits from the IDU. A significant benefit was the opportunity to present our poem through visual and auditory means. For example, we were able to translate different literary devices such as forms of sensory imagery, visual imagery or auditory imagery through our drawing and through our piano. This would allow for the audience to have a better understanding of the poem as well as a stronger connection. Another benefit of the interdisciplinary unit to allow the Fine Arts to compliment the content we created in English. For instance, we were able to use the music to emphasise on the mood of the poem. We were able to have access to a wide range of resources and materials that allowed us to present our poems in a unique way. For instance, some used the 3D laser cutter while others used plasticine and some CDs, etc.
Although the IDU came with a selection of benefits, there were a few negatives. Contrary to the first benefit, it can be difficult to present our poem through art mediums and have it clearly communicate the contents of the poem. Although devices that are associated with senses such as metaphors and imagery can be integrated, it may be difficult for the audience to develop a theme that correlates to the theme of the poems, or for someone to understand how this product has its relations to English.


Please grade yourself using the IDU Specifications: 


Please self assess using the rubric:


Please write a justification for your interdisciplinary learning reflection:

I think I was very successful as an interdisciplinary learner because I was able to integrate a range of skills from English and Fine Arts – both visual art and music – to create a cohesive product that reflected my identity in Hong Kong with its relation to my poem. I used my understanding of literary devices with a sensory aspect and translated it into my product through use of knowledge from visual art specifically the elements of art as well as music with prior knowledge of Garageband to compliment on the theme and tone of the poem. Throughout the process of creating my final product, I was able to identify a selection of benefits that came with this interdisciplinary learner. I was able to take advantage of these benefits so to make our piece somewhat unique and reach its best potential. However, there were a few roadblocks that came with the development of this product of which is the main limitation of this interdisciplinary unit. But, with problem solving, we were able to work around those and come to create a stunning product!