IB DP Music Roles

The Diploma Programme is the final programme in the International Baccalaureate that also including the Primary Years Programme (PYP) and the Middle Years Programme (MYP). The Diploma Programme encompasses grades 11 and 12. IB DP Music fosters life-long learning through holistic learning. Rather than being simply excellent instrumentalists, students are asked to become well-rounded musicians. They must talk about music, research about music, composer music, and perform music. 

Music Process Journals must be organised around three distinct roles - Research (research/critic), creator, and performer

A pair of glasses sit on top of a book with the label Music Researcher

IB DP Music Students’ roles as researchers come from what the Music programme calls, “Extra Musical Findings.”  Here, the students look at the societal, cultural, and historical contexts in which their chosen music lie.  Essentially, the students research when the music was performed (history), who was performing it (society), and what was being performed and why (culture.) Of course, academic honesty is paramount, and so students include appropriate in-text citations and accompanying reference lists and/or bibliographies. 

Students who are music critics analyze music from both live and recorded performances and from score analyses. This is what the IB DP Music Programme calls, “Musical Findings.”  Students use helpful scaffolds like Dr. Smith: Dynamis, Rhythm, Structure, Melody, Instrumentation, Texture, and Harmony. When discussing their findings, they correctly use music vocabulary and provide specific time stamps (for aural analyses) or measure numbers (for score analyses) to provide evidence. 

An IB DP Music student holds a pencil against sheet music while labeled music critic
An IB DP Music student plays a guitar showing only the fingerboard and a left hand while labeled music performer

IB DP Music student performers have four stimuli from which their music springs. The first is an exploration, in which students look at diverse music and then arrange music that they have studied.  The second is experimentation, in which they perform music that springs from a personal inquiry.  The third is more music for music sake – they put together their own repertoire list of various performances. Lastly, HL students collaborate on a performance. 

Like student performers, the IB DP Music students who compose have their work spring from the same four stimuli. Their explorations, experimentations, personal repertoire, and collaborations give them opportunities to arrange, improvise, and compose diverse music. 

An IB DP Music student holds a fountain pen against manuscript sheet music while labeled music composer