Music contributes to the artistic, cultural, intellectual, psychological and social development of the child.
Our visiting specialist instrumental teachers, Mr Bruce Eddiehausen and Mr Michael Spiller provide instruction to students in the broad areas of strings, brass/woodwind and percussion with the aims of:
- Providing the opportunity for musical development of students through instrumental instruction in a group of students at similar level.
- Providing ensemble experience for these students so that they develop ensemble performance skills as an integral part of their music education
- Encouraging chamber and solo performances for these students to foster confidence and independence in performance
- Complementing and extending the school music programme
- Providing the opportunity for students to develop a deeper understanding of music through a knowledge of its melodic, rhythmic and harmonic properties
- Fostering sensitive, discriminating and creatively aware persons
- Providing the opportunity for students to become involved within the levels of their musical abilities
- Giving all interested students a chance at learning a musical instrument if spaces are available.
Selection/inclusion in Instrumental Music Program
Students interested in playing an instrument are selected and invited to join the program according to instrument availability, and support from parents, principal, music co-ordinator, instrumental teacher and classroom teachers.
Instruments are loaned from the school according to the school loan agreement. The Agreement is for the first year of tuition, and includes procedures for repairs or damages. Students may use their own personally owned instruments.
A levy will be charged for each participating student. The levy will help provide resources, repairs, purchase music equipment and assist with administrative costs.
The parents and child must be prepared to accept responsibility for the loaned instrument. A damaged instrument must be returned for assessment and repair. Parents will be requested to meet all or part of the cost of repairs due to misuse, negligence, lack of maintenance while the instrument is on loan.
Roles and responsibilities
Various personnel have defined roles and responsibilities for the effective implementation of the instrumental music programme:
- The Music Parent Committee
- Music Co-ordinator
- Instrumental Music Teacher
- Classroom Teacher
Brass, Woodwind and Percussion
At Stanthorpe State Primary School we offer students the opportunity to learn an orchestral instrument in a group setting.
Students in years 4, 5, and 6 are offered places in the programme to learn on of the following instruments:
From the woodwind family - the flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone and tenor saxophone.
From the brass family - the trumpet, trombone, baritone BC and euphonium.
From the percussion family - the electric bass guitar, the glockenspiel, the drums and many auxiliary percussion instruments suited to the Concert Band Programme.
The school owns many instruments that we can loan our students for the first year. If students are making satisfactory progress, parents are asked to purchase an instrument so that the students can continue on with lessons for another 2 years and into their high school education.
Of course the aim of the programme is to produce a Concert Band so that students can perform as an ensemble. Lessons are provided with the understanding that when students have reached an acceptable level they will attend band rehearsals and perform at various events around the district.
A question often asked of our instrumental music teachers is "Do the smartest students learn instruments or does learning an instrument make the students smarter?". The answer is "Both", and here's why:
1. There are many more students wanting to join the programme than places available. This means students are selected based on who we think will have the best chance of success. Students with a high level of commitment, who complete work on time, who are organised and industrious do the best and we look for these types of students.
2. Research over many years has clearly found that learning a musical instrument increases right and left hand brain connections which help students in all areas o academic achievement. Students make miraculous improvement and overcome learning difficulties as a result of music education. Learning an instrument gives you an opportunity to develop vital success skills and makes you smarter.
Playing an orchestral instrument in a Concert Band is fun and exciting. It is challenging and hard work. It takes commitment and effort. It is rewarding and inspiring. It is a life long skill that can open a multitude of opportunities in the future. And the lessons are free!
Our instrumental programme begins in year 3 for students wishing to play violin, viola, cello and double bass (double bass, due it's larger size, is harder to manage and requires physically larger students, usually from the upper grades). Students are selected to play from our range of string instruments based on a number of criteria and which includes interest shown by the child in playing the instrument, a music aptitude test, principal and class teacher approval and personal parent/child interviews.
Students undertake their lessons in a group situation during school time and are required to participate in the school string orchestra after the first year of tuition.
As a string orchestra member, students are required to make a commitment to public performances such as the eisteddfod and music competitions. As well, students can attend local and regional music camps. All of these activities provide a wonderful and inspiring learning opportunity for our instrumental music students as well as providing an enjoyable and rewarding challenge.