At HRSS students as a class receive a weekly 40 minute
music lesson with one of our two music teachers, Mr Howland and Mrs Barker. The teachers practice
method and the Orff
approach as the core of the music program.
In the junior school students build a solid foundation of music
exploring musical concepts such as beat, pitch and rhythm. They start to read
and write simple stick notation, starting with crotchets (ta) and quavers
(ti-ti). Students learn to sing using Solfa and hand signs starting with sol
In the senior school students are taught a rounded music
program that complements the band and string programs whilst incorporating
practical modern lessons to bring an appreciation and enjoyment to music. Instruments
learnt in the classroom include the ukulele, guitar, mallets and percussion.
The instrumental programs teach students to
read and interpret notation. They are taught to play by ear; perform
individually, as well as in large and small groups. The children learn to
listen to their own music and to the music of others around them. The program
provides many opportunities for students to perfect and perform their chosen
The program is split into two sections covering different
families of instruments and different age groups.
Students in Year 3 and above are given the opportunity to
sign up for the strings program, which is run by Donna Futo. Donna teaches
instruments in the ‘string family’ which include the violin, viola, cello and
double bass. These instruments come in a range of sizes, which allow students
to start in Year 3 and learn right through to Year 6. Lessons occur weekly and
run in groups for 30 minutes.
Students in Year 4 and above who qualify receive lessons
once a week from our band teacher, Alana Russell. Alana teachers orchestral band
instruments such as woodwind (flute, clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone), Brass
(trumpet, euphonium and trombone) and percussion. Instruments in the band
program are physically big and are therefore reserved for students in Years 4
-6. Lessons occur weekly and run in groups for 30 minutes.
Guitar Academy is a structured program that teaches
practical guitar techniques, technical songs and popular chorded songs.
Guitar Academy is centred on the ‘rock school exam’ books
and delivers beginner, intermediate and advanced modules over a three-year
Much like merit badges, students receive unique band badges
for completing certain skills making their achievements something they can wear
proudly on their uniform. Taught by Mr Howland and Mr Travers students attend lessons weekly, which run for 30
minutes in small groups.
At Highland Reserve State School, the Kodali method is our chosen approach to music. Choir is an extension of the skillset acquired during lessons in class time.
In the choir programme, students learn correct breathing technique for singing and how to properly warm-up their vocal chords. Throughout the year students will add a variety of songs to their repertoire and have opportunities to represent Highland Reserve State School at competitions and performances.
Taught by Mrs Morgan and Mrs Barker, students attend a weekly rehearsal which runs during lunchtime.
Drumline refers to the ‘percussion’ section of the band. At
HRSS it will be expected that the Drumline introduce each major event at the
school plus special occasions. Don Want is working with talented students to
advance their musicianship and develop their skills in complex and fun
synchronised performances that test students’ coordination, practice and
commitment. Don is an active
member of the drumming community being an Interstate Drumming Judge. He was
previously the Musical Director of the Coffs Harbour Drumline: see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSI2ZjdHiiE
These lessons run separate from the percussion group taught
by Adam Thomson, although percussion students are encouraged to participate in
both. The school drumline is an excellence program that is in the early stages of
becoming an established team at HRSS. Lessons run before school or at lunchtime.
Not to be confused with Instrumental Band, the Rock Band
program teaches students how to effectively perform in a small 3 to 4 piece
rock band. Songs are modern fun and range in genre from indie, rock to pop. In
this program student learn the ins and outs of how to rehearse, practice, set
up gear and perform as a rock group. This is an excellence program that selects
excelling students from the Instrumental Band program, HRSS Drumline and Guitar
Academy. Students who show exceptional
skill, attendance and enthusiasm are picked to form bands. Rehearsals are run
before school or at lunchtime.