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Q1 - By Popular Demand

After analysing the mock results (looking at the hidden reasons as to what went well and what went badly) soon having to explain them, here by popular demand is a question 1, which wasn't well done to say the least!

Looking at the 70-80 answers I've seen, there is one key problem:

Using the right skills.

What are those skills?

Understanding what the task is asking you for.
Selecting appropriate information and embedding quotations.

For example:

'What do you learn about the Beach to City programme?' was the mock question.

People mistook the  the key word as YOU and wrote what they learned whereas the key part of the question is 'learn about the Beach to City Programme'.

Others showed the Analytical skills and talked about language techniques or presentational devices. This is not needed!

Look at this as an example of a good answer.

The reader learns that the beach to city programme targets 'Primary School Children' as they have analysed data that suggests that this group are particularly vulnerable at the coast.

There is no analysis - just a summary of the information that is appropriate to the question.

Remember you should have 4-6 embedded quotations and provide a summary of the text that answers the question. Nothing more difficult than that. They like to start you off with an easy question.

So here is a practice question for you:

Source 1

What do you learn about the benefits of a degree in Music? 8 Marks  


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Chris Hambling
2 December 2012 at 12:51

From reading the article ‘Notes on working in music’ the reader is delivered a thorough and in-depth message of that there is in fact, many benefits of working and studying in the music industry. This is evidently clear by the way the writer David Crookes explains to us the many different branches of work and education that music can split off into. David Crookes tells the readers of the various business connections that the music industry has and the attention of legal issues and team leading it requires, as a result, opening up the economic-side of oneself to apply in the future. Not only does he explain this, but he also tells the reader that Students of musical education can also still ‘enjoy the fruits of production’ through composition for bands, musicals, orchestras and even television and films.
Furthermore, he explains to the reader that courses in different universities ‘currently tend to mix theoretical education with practical applications’ which even allows students to study the technology and science behind the musical industry itself. This of course could then open up different opportunities into a career in ‘behind-the-scenes’ engineering of concerts and productions.
Not only this, but he also explains to us that the courses at universities provide teachings in communications skills to advertise and ‘polish’ a product for the music market alongside developing the skills of research as students have to write 12,000 worded dissertation, all of which can come into play with hundreds of different career options, not just music.
In addition, the reader learns that a music degree places the students into environments where they have to work with new staff, new personalities which require said student to adapt themselves to new and challenging social situations of which is a key factor to adapt to in any average working environment. Plus, with having all of these collective skills to apply to future situations when hunting for new jobs and lives, a music degree can ‘give you credibility too’, therefore giving you a higher chance of getting the chosen job over someone else and ‘if you make it really big – it can also offer up a multitude of opportunities in a wide variety of roles.’
Overall, the whole article really delivers to the reader the variety of options and opportunities a music degree has to offer, you can apply these skills which you accumulate over three to four years of your life to almost any future employment.

2 December 2012 at 19:57

You pick out a range of details surrounding the article and all are relevant points. However for a top band answer you would need to ensure you are talking about benefits. As a key word in the question I would expect you to use this word throughout your answer but you don't use it once.

I would give this 5/6 out of 8. The depth of understanding and summary of the text is strong but it lacks the link to what the question is asking you.

2 December 2012 at 23:03

From the article ''Notes on working on music'' I first of all learn that musicians can earn a lot of money from working in the music industry and music can increase your creative side.

I also learn that there are many routes you can go down when choosing a career in the music industry and '' music does not have to be all about the razzmatazz of The X Factor'' and is a more complex industry than it first appears, and music isn't all about being good at singing or playing an instrument but that "Even a band that formed at college and learned to play themselves would still need to know about marketing and networking,... the challenges currently faced by the music industry, the implications to music of the digital age and so forth."

The author David Crookes explains the industry well and I learnt from reading this article that Some universities are teaching the next generation of sound technicians all of the technical and communication skills they will need'' I believe that the point Mr Crookes is trying to convey is that music opens more doors than people believe and can increase your knowledge in multiple ways, not just creatively.

3 December 2012 at 08:40

Matt - look at the question - Does it ask you what you learn about the music industry? The key words in the question are 'benefits of a music degree' - your answer doesn't really address this so would only get around 3 or 4 out of 8.

You must make sure you are answering the question.

4 December 2012 at 01:51

The benefits of a degree in music include learning more skills than just 'simply playing an instrument' for example you learn the trades of 'the music industry' and about contract deals, business structure and how to get a record deal which are all necessary if you want to continue a career in music-in addition to learning the rules of classical, jazz or popular music. Nowadays they mix the 'theoretical education' with practical education. This is a benefit because they are skills needed for any musical job, for instance a 'venue performer' or musical director making it more accustomed to a variety of people taking the course and more people can take it. Another major benefit is you come away with a 'wide-ranging knowledge' of different 'periods' and 'cultures' of music. This includes the history of it, the formality and more. You need this to be able to speak about different topics in diverse situations and to look at music from different angles and understand complex levels of it; you learn about folk music, how popular it is today, where it originates from and how it influences other genres, (rock music comes from folk music originally and has certain elements from folk applied). This would show you can back up your facts with even more advanced knowledge and evidence. Graduating focuses solely on your skills of research that you demonstrate in your final year and a 12,000 word 'dissertation' This beneficial because the skills are 'transferable' and classed as relevent to a list of employers. Making a wider range of jobs avaiable to you in the future. Lucy Edwards.

4 December 2012 at 20:45

Well done 8/8!

You've hit the key words in the question, embedded quotations and showed the complexity of the article.

Shoutout coming your way!

6 December 2012 at 18:57

Achieving a degree in music benefits you in multiple ways such as; graduating with a 'wide-ranging knowledge of music' and this does not indicate to be 'simply playing an instrument'. Having a 'wide-ranging' knowledge of music includes knowledge of studio working, music business, recording compositions and many more. This benefits as these sets of qualifications and skills are recognized to be 'specialized' therefore not only is this considered beneficial in the music industry but also in other careers-it would be highly recognized on job applications or higher education applications. Another beneficial factor to be apparent is the 'opportunity' for performers and composers to work with professionals,(someone having a music degree) in the industry and this benefits as it enables chances to meet and 'collaborate' with students studying music. Working with others gains popularity within the social convention and this benefits by increasing the chances of one day gaining the 'richly reward'. When studying to achieve a music degree both 'theoretical' and 'practical' courses are mixed into one and this is a major beneficial factor as different genres, periods and cultures of music are included within the theoretical side and this relates back to gaining a 'wide-ranging' knowledge of music. The practical side includes ensemble performances,(relates back to working with others and gaining reputations) solo performances and compositions. Having both sides of these skills benefit by opening two routes for future plans; teaching and studying further about the 'history' of music, or pursuing a solo/ensemble career including performing as a 'recording artist', song writer and many more.

A degree in music benefits not only in the 'music industry' but is notified in other job applications that do not include music as the degree offers a 'wide-ranging' set of skills and knowledge which are useful in many other careers.

6 December 2012 at 20:51

This is a strong answer but where you try to complicate things with more complex vocabulary it is difficult to understand the point you are making e.g.

Working with others gains popularity within the social convention and this benefits by increasing the chances of one day gaining the 'richly reward'.

Not sure what point you are making here. Look for complex ideas but don't over complicate your answer.

Still a top band answer but 7/8 rather than full marks.

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