In such times as these, we seem to look towards our artists, entertainers and musicians to express with sight and sound what we as a collective struggle to put into words. I’ve heard from many students that whilst the past few weeks have presented unique and certain challenges, the simple act of picking up their instrument and playing it has been a much needed source of joy and escape.
I think this, in part, comes down to the type of focus that is required to develop a technique, learn a piece of music or write a song. But more than that, we know from King David’s harp playing, that God can work through music to sooth and refresh.
Our goal as a music team for this lockdown period has been to get students active on their instruments and also writing music.
Mrs Irvine has turned playschool presenter and developed a series of videos teaching students to sing songs and see sounds on the music staff. Our Year 4 Instrumental Program has continued with our ensemble directors, under the guidance of Mrs George, developing a website with instructional videos, play alongs, posters and sheet music. The website is available here.
Students in Years 5 and 6 are bringing to life particular scenes in the novels that they are reading in literacy by creating sound effects and arranging music in an app called SoundTrap with Mrs Irvine and Mrs George.
In Year 7 and 8, students are working on short composition projects under the guidance of Mrs Stonestreet, Mrs George and Mr Humphreys. The first is through developing an imagined video game and composing music to establish the characters, levels, power-ups, etc. The next project will focus on the Olympics.
And in Years 9 to 12, students (and their teachers!) have completed a two-week ‘Practical Challenge’ where they have set goals on what they’d like to work on in relation to their music reading, technical ability on their instrument and a performance piece. They have been making a short practice vlog to track their progress. From next week students and teachers will start their ‘Composition Challenge’ with short song-writing activities.
Our Music Tuition Program (formally called Peripatetic Program) also continues! Parents had the option to either pause their enrolment for the lockdown period or take lessons online via Zoom. We’ve been really encouraged by the number of parents who have opted for lessons to continue online. I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing the resourcefulness and creativity of our tutors in providing quality learning activities for the students. If you would like to know more about the program or enrol your child, please visit this website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, a large driver of the momentum in music education is regular performance opportunities. Whilst it is too early to lock in dates, as a team, we have been looking at creative ways that we can pre-record and livestream different student performances when we are back on site for face to face learning. Stay tuned for information about this as it becomes available.
Mr David Humphreys
Head of Music
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