In the famous words of Henry Longfellow, “Music is the universal language.” It transcends barriers to foster a sense of togetherness, a reflection of the values underpining St Joseph’s Primary School. With the understanding that music is an important part of student's holistic development, whole class music lessons are taught from Prep through to Year 7.
At St Joseph’s, the students have a one hour lesson from Prep to Year 5 with the Year 6 & 7’s participating in a thirty minute lesson each week. During their time in music, the students learn to perform on a variety of classroom instruments and to sing in parts. They also create short, simple compositions and demonstrate an ability to listen and respond to music.
Midway through 2013 the Australian Curriculum : The Arts will be released with implementation over a three year period. There are five areas to The Arts - Music, Drama, Dance, Visual Arts and Media. Specialist music classes in Prep - Yr 3 will include Dance, Visual Art and some Dramatic activities. Through a group creative process a themed, connected art performance will occur each term. Years 4-6 will priarily retain a music focus and shall address the following-
• Music That Tells a Story - examines the descriptive power of music;
• Music and Drama - studies musicals, film & T.V music, dance music and opera;
• Music from Around the World - Aboriginal, African, The Americas, British Isles, Asia/Pacific
Throughout these units the students will learn an instrument in classroom music time. In school it is primarily the voice (singing) as well as melodic and non-melodic percussion. In the Upper school they are-
- The Year 4 Instrumental Immersion Program. The student either chooses to learn the flute, trumpet or violin. Lessons are held in groups of 10 as part of their weekly classroom music program with Lindsay Macdonald-Clow ('Lindzmuse') teaching the flute, Alex Pattri ('Offenbach Strings') teaching the violin and Paula Simpson/Myron Cheney, the trumpet.
The aim of this developmental program is that by learning a musical instrument it is hoped that the student will gain an interest and an enjoyment in making music with others and therefore begin a life-long skill that contributes, in a positive way, to the wider community.
While the program is for Year 4's only. It is hoped that students who enjoy and develop these new skills will go on to have further lessons and become part of the school's String Ensemble or Band Program.
The school has purchased the 60 instruments which are then loaned to the students, just like library books and other resources. In semester two, they may change over to their second instrument.
- The Year 5's learn to play simple melodies and basic folk chords on the classical acoustic guitar.
- Their final year of primary examines The History of Popular Music - Jazz, Rock / Pop and fusions. The students are to select an instrument that they have learnt and form a band. They are to create a short song, perform a song from the 7 decades of Rock/Pop Album and become familiar with music technology.
Opportunities for students to perform occur throughout the year, particilarly at weekly assemblies and whole school events.