Each of our Year 3 students experience five different instruments this year as part of our collaboration with the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music. Expanding on our string programme last year, in addition to learning the violin and cello, they’ll also learn the flute, clarinet and saxophone.
Paul Smart explains the importance of learning instruments within the SGS music curriculum. “Experiential learning is a big focus of our Grammar Minds programme. For example, resilience and co-operation are two groups of learning attributes we teach our students to help with their learning; these are easily learnt through our music programme. We’re also focused on drawing out strengths in each individual student, opening them up to new experiences and helping them to discover their own inspiration and capacity for learning. As a result of this, their confidence grows and so too does their learning.
Having the UHCM just down the road in Muswellbrook is of great benefit to our school. Not only are UHCM teachers teaching instruments to our classes, they also tutor individual students in instruments of their choice right here at school. “
In addition to this, Years 5 and 6 students learn the ukulele, Year 7 and 8 students learn the guitar, and from Kindergarten through to Year 2, students learn the Djembe drum and percussion to develop their appreciation of rhythm.
Gilian Miles, employed by the Upper Hunter Conservatorium of Music (UHCM) teaches cello to Year 3 students at SGS and tutors individual students who choose to learn an instrument outside the classroom.
“In the earlier years, learning a stringed instrument helps to develop students’ fine and gross motor co-ordination, creating new pathways between the hemispheres in their brain. It is also helps students learn to hear pitch and sounds produced by the musical notes they play. Music is a universally common language across the world and learning an instrument is a great opportunity for the students,” says Mrs Miles.