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Strings Orchestra
Tell me a bit about classroom music
Classroom music is taught four days a week by our specialist classroom music teacher, Wendy Turton. Each class attends a half-hour lesson each week. Lessons are planned to follow a developmental program employing the Orff-Schulwerk method with elements of Kodaly. Students in Years 4 to 6 supply their own recorders and all students participate in a variety of activities including singing, dancing, reading, writing, composing and performing music.
The Freshwater State School choir is open to students in Years 4 -6. They perform at community and school events such as special parades and the school fete. Green school shirt and black shoes (and green and white ribbons for girls for tying back hair) are required for performances.
So your child is interested in playing a musical instrument
What happens first? At the end of Year 2 and Year 3 students sit a musical aptitude test. This test will measure your child’s ability in the areas of pitch, harmony, melody and rhythm. Places are offered after consultation with the instructor, the classroom music teacher and support teachers. Places are limited due to our instrumental music instructor time allocation. Students new to the school and students who are absent from the initial test have the opportunity to sit at the beginning of the year.
Students in Year 3 may begin learning to play a bowed instrument i.e. Violin, viola, cello, or double bass.
Students in Year 4, depending on their size, may begin learning woodwind/brass instruments.
Students in Year 4 may begin learning percussion.
Do I have to pay for lessons? No. Instrumental music lessons are free but there is an annual instrumental music levy.
What does the levy cover? It covers the purchase and upkeep of school instruments, music stands and sheet music. Sheet music is very expensive to buy as each instrument requires a different piece of music to play plus copyright laws add to the cost.
Can my child borrow a school instrument? The school has a limited number of instruments available for loan at a cost per semester. After which, it is expected that if your child is continuing on with the music program you would supply an instrument of their own.
A number of local music stores offer the ‘rent, try, buy’ scheme which is exactly as it sounds. You rent the instrument, you try the instrument and if your child is continuing with playing and learning, you buy the instrument. Please speak with the instrumental teacher before purchasing or renting an instrument.
What is expected of my child? Expectations of students in the instrumental music program are high. Students need to commit to the regular practice of their instrument, attendance at one free 30 minute lesson per week and when ready, school band rehearsals and all performances. Likewise, parents will be required to be prepared to provide a quiet area for practice and unlimited support to their child and the school’s program.
When will I see my child perform? An instrumental music student will become a part of the school band and/or string orchestra and perform at various venues including school assemblies, shopping centre play-outs, the school fete, annual music nights and competitions and inter-school camps.
When does my child have lessons? This would depend on the instrument they play.
  • Woodwind/brass lessons on Wednesday and Thursday
  • Strings lessons on Tuesday and Thursday
  • Percussion lessons on Friday
Lessons are conducted during school time and are generally half an hour long. These lessons are taught in groups of 3-6 students. Students must see their instructor if they cannot attend a lesson.
Ensemble participation is an important part of the instrumental music program. As soon as we feel your child is ready, he/she will become a member of an ensemble. Currently we have a concert band and a string orchestra. Concert band rehearsals are before school on Fridays, string orchestra before school on Tuesdays. Progress on any instrument is dependent on regular practice. Practice should be regarded as homework and is often best done along with the student’s other set homework. Students are expected to practice 10-30 minutes at least five times a week depending on their level of experience. If a child is not performing practice, they may be asked to leave the program.
Your child’s progress will depend on support at home and the encouragement you can give.
A written report is included on your child’s report card each semester.
Acceptance into the program is on the basis of a minimum of one year and may continue through to the end of high school.
Places are limited due to our instrumental music instructor time and the importance of maintaining a balanced ensemble for the best musical outcome.
Do music students wear a uniform? Yes. Music shirts, both new and second hand, are available from the uniform shop on the school grounds. Band and orchestra members wear music shirts, long black pants or ankle length black skirts and black shoes and socks. Girls wear green and white ribbons in their hair.
What instruments are taught at Freshwater State School?
  • Mallet instruments – (class lessons)
  • Recorders – (class lessons)
  • Year 4-7
    • Woodwind/brass – (Monday)
      • Flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, baritone, tuba
    • Strings – (Tuesday)
      • Violin, viola, cello, double bass
    • Percussion – (Thursday)
      • Drums, mallet instruments and other orchestral percussion.
Instrumental music is a very rewarding experience for students, parents and teachers.