Music at St Mary’s offers every boy the opportunity to pursue their musical interests – to experience music, explore music, and develop skills as musicians.
We believe that boys’ personal growth is significantly enhanced through the study of music. Self-confidence, teamwork, self-expression, and creativity are examples of just a few personal characteristics that music study can positively affect. In addition, and perhaps most importantly, a thriving music and artistic culture enriches the lives of all who are a part of the St Mary’s community.
Our program is inclusive. It is not elitist, it does not value one form of music over another, and we encourage all boys who have an interest in music to become involved.
There are four inter-related strands to the College music program:
1. Classroom music (Years 7-12)
In Year 7 boys spend one lesson each week learning about music. This involves learning to understanding the various ways music is documented or notated, listening to music, playing instruments and making music together. Year 8 music builds on these lessons – students engage in an intensive study for a term, during which they strengthen their understandings and skills, including creating original musical works. Students’ experiences during Year 8 inform decision-making when selecting the elective music classes that are offered in Years 9-12. Senior Music (Years 11 and 12) is an OP Subject, and typically represents the work of boys who have taken music as a subject for much of their school lives, and who have well developed performance skills.
2. Primary band and group instrumental lessons (Years 5-6)
All new students in Year 5 learn a band instrument in groups of four or five, and form class bands. Students are provided with tuition and an instrument to assist their participation in the program. Each week boys receive a group lesson and participate in a band rehearsal where they join with their classmates to make music together. Class bands perform at the end of Terms 2, 3 and 4, allowing boys the chance to showcase their ongoing achievements and growth throughout the year. This is a two-year program, concluding at the end of year 6.
3. Private instrumental tuition
Each week, experienced, specialist tutors provide expert tuition in the form of private lessons. Our tutors offer the boys the chance to undertake external practical exams to learn simply for their own enjoyment.
4. Co-curricular performance ensembles
Each year, music students are involved in a number of performance activities. Performance ensembles include vocal groups, jazz bands, as well as duos and trios. In addition to performing at the College, at assemblies, in Masses and at various community events, the boys in the College ensembles may also have the opportunity to participate in external workshops, concerts and competitions. The performances of College musicians have become a feature of the annual College Awards Night.
Should you require further information about Music at St Mary’s, please contact the Head of Music, Dr Bradley Voltz by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We look forward to welcoming your son into our music programme.