School Of Music Web

Introduction to Music

Music study at Churchlands Senior High School provides the opportunity to be part of a student group with similar interests and talents. Students belong to large and small orchestral, band, choral, vocal and instrumental groups, and receive a Kodály based music education of the highest standard available in the state.

Two streams of students

  • The Gifted & Talented (G&T) Music Program stream consists of students who were successful in the selection process for a G&T Music Program place. These students receive individual instrumental tuition and are involved in performing ensembles and the classroom music program.
  • The General Music (GM) Program stream is for students who either did not wish to apply for G&T Music Program or their application was unsuccessful. They must have been learning in the SIM program in their primary school and live within the catchment for Churchlands Senior High School. These students are still required to undergo an audition and interview before placement.

Course outline

Ensembles

Ensemble performance is an integral part of the Churchlands music experience, and the performing ensembles include choirs, concert bands, orchestras, chamber groups, guitar ensembles and jazz bands. To enter any level of the music program students must complete tests and auditions. Those who win a place in the program undertake an intensive well-rounded course that is both practical and theoretical.

Classroom study

In the classroom the course is designed to enhance the skills and knowledge that students acquire as a part of their instrumental studies. Furthermore, students hone their aural, theoretical and analysis skills in the context of music literacy, composition and improvisation. The introduction of concepts is done in a carefully sequenced and systematic format so that the students are continually building on prior knowledge. Musicianship is a practically based course, in which the students learn songs, games and dances which are embedded with the theoretical and analytical material that is required for teaching and learning purposes at each stage. The music making within the course relies heavily on singing as this is the most accessible and equitable ‘instrument’ we have available to us on a daily basis. The use of the Kodály based solfa system, hand signs and rhythm syllables are at the core of the curriculum.

Course expectations

Time commitment

Involvement in the program necessitates a sizeable time commitment, but the program is structured so that it is possible for students to maintain balanced lives at home and at school. Apart from music classes and instrumental lessons in school time, students will typically be involved in a weekly choir rehearsal and one or two weekly instrumental ensemble rehearsals. These may be before or after school, or on Saturday morning.

Behaviour

Working hard as part of a disciplined team, the students perform music in a wide range of styles, make rewarding friendships, travel, and contribute to the community. The program has a reputation, in Western Australia and beyond, for excellence in performance and music studies.

The standard of behaviour of students studying music at this school is high and must remain so. Misbehaviour can result in removal from the Music Program.

Standard of work

Students must have a strong work ethic to enter the music program. Our G&T guidelines require students to maintain satisfactory progress in all subject areas. Should a student experience difficulty with any part of the program, the following course of action may be taken. The parent/guardian will be advised that the student is experiencing difficulty with a particular part of the program. If the student fails a component of the course after progress has been monitored, a notice of probation will be forwarded to the parent/guardian. If the student does not demonstrate improvement in the period stipulated, the student will be offered a position in the general music program, if a G&T student, or removed from the program, if a General Music student.

Performances

A number of compulsory performance commitments occur throughout the school year and the dates for these are provided in advance. Students must remain at the concert venue for the duration of each performance unless a parent/guardian has provided a signed note to the contrary or is able to collect them in person. Students should be picked up no later than 20 minutes after the conclusion of rehearsals and concerts. The School is not obliged to provide supervision of students beyond this time.