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Music 1A: Concert Reports

I finished grading concert reports over the weekend. The grades will be posted very soon, and the reports will be available for pickup in class on Monday and Tuesday this week.

There were lots of excellent concert reports this time around — though I don’t think I’ll mind if it is a long time before read another report about a concert of Beethoven sonatas! (For those who don’t know, perhaps half of the two classes attended one of a series of concerts featuring this music.)

Assessing your report grade

You may have questions about your report after you get it back. I would very much like to discuss any questions or concerns that you have. However, I have a rule about this for concert reports. Unless your issue is very minor (perhaps you can’t read your grade?) I request that you do the following:

  1. Carefully re-read your paper and my comments.
  2. Re-read the concert report guidelines at the class website to see if my comments make sense in that light.
  3. Speak to me at the next class meeting to get clarification about my comments and/or your grade.

If your grade is lower than you hoped…

… you have an option that can make a big difference in your grade. You can still do the optional second concert report and by applying what you learned from the first report you can likely get a higher grade on the second one — sometimes a lot higher. You will also want to do the following:

  • Attend your concert way before the deadline (in week 11) so that you have plenty of time to do your best work.
  • Avoid repeating mistakes that lowered your grade on the first report.
  • Well before the due date bring drafts of your work to me during an office hour so that I can help you refine and perfect your work

By focusing on these things you can raise your concert report grade considerably!

Note: We could have avoided many of the problems encountered on the concert report if you had brought a draft to my office before the deadline! Some of the common factors that lowered concert report grades included:

  • Reporting on only part of the concert — your report must cover the whole performance.
  • Including material taken from outside sources in place of your own observations about the music, for example using material from the printed concert program.
  • Insufficiently proofreading and editing, resulting in writing that does not clearly communicate your observations and ideas.
  • Late submission of the report
  • Not using the required format for the report — objective description for each piece/movement with associated subjective reactions, and a summary quality of performance section.

 

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