Earlier this year, AQA, Britain’s biggest exam board approved the study of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, a Beatle’s music album, as part of the curriculum for GCSE music students. The album is considered appropriate because it helped “define popular music”. In particular, three tracks from the album were selected to be studied by candidates: ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’, ‘Within You Without You’, and ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds’. Some of the aspects that make up the songs that would be studied by students include the melody, harmony, structure, rhythm as well as the meaning behind the music and lyrics. Seb Ross, who leads AQA's music department, said: "Pop music began in this country with The Beatles in the swinging sixties, so what better band to look to for the study of contemporary music than the Fab Four. We've chosen The Beatles because John, Paul, Ringo and George helped to define popular music and the iconic Sgt. Pepper album has taken on a life of its own, so it's an exciting addition to AQA's Music GCSE." Via AQA Students would also be given the opportunity to prove their DJing credentials as part of the performance section of the qualification. This would involve demonstrating their technical skills on a DJ set. Students will still be able to sing or play a musical instrument for their performance. They'll be free to choose their favorite songs to perform, whether it's Nessun Dorma, a Beyoncé classic or some bossa nova in the form of Mas Que Nada. Via AQA In the spirit of making education a little more relevant to the younger generation, Laura Burton also thinks that it’s important for music to teach children something about life. She suggests 10 songs that would be relevant in young people’s education: Shake a Tailfeather – Ray Charles This version remains a favourite — largely for its inclusion of various 60s dance trends such as the mashed potato, the frug, the twist and the monkey. Young people should be taught from an early age that a life without dancing is really no life at all. Via The Guardian Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday As an example of how barbarically unkind human beings can be to one another, Billie Holiday’s 1939 recording provides an important lesson for the young. Via The Guardian There is Power in a Union – Billy Bragg A lesson in the importance of caring for one another and not just ourselves. Via The Guardian I’ve Never Been to Me – Charlene In the classroom, this song could serve an important role as an example of antiquated thinking with regards to gender. Via The Guardian You Can’t Hurry Love – Diana Ross and the Supremes One of the presiding features of youth, of any era, is its intense lust for speed – to rush onward and forward and further yet. Best, at an early juncture, to teach them that there are some things cannot be hurried: good pastry, completing [...]
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