• International Music Navigator

Expanding the musical horizon - and keeping the students engaged in distance learning.

With the new IBDP curriculum, with no "set pieces" and no exam at the end of the course, I had to find a different way of exposing the students to a wide variety of music. I strongly believe in giving the student a voice in the course and also learning from them. At the beginning of the course, the repertoire of some students is still quite limited and they do not know how much amazing music is out there for them to be discovered.


In the past weeks, we have created, performed and analysed pieces which use ostinato, layering and rhythmic variation (as a preparation for the next bigger task). Students have been asked to create a listening log of at least 5 pieces which cover

  • different Areas of Inquiry

  • different time periods

  • different contexts (personal, local and global)

They made a short "fingerprint" for each song and they presented the pieces virtually to their peers.


It was a very successful task on many different levels:

  • The students were exposed to 45 very contrasting pieces in a very short time span.

  • They exchanged ideas - sometimes in a very agitated way!

  • The students were fully engaged in their learning as the students were presenting and discussing their choices.

  • It was a light version of musical analysis - choosing the pieces according to the requirements was challenging them at just the right level

  • Students had to justify why they chose the pieces and also put into words what they like about it.

  • I got to know my students even better through their personal context.

  • I was introduced to some pieces which were new to me.

Here is a sample from a student:

(N.B. I Feel Love could also be seen as AoI 3 - my students amended that later on)