Music and the Arts



At Highland Reserve State School students as a class receive a weekly 40 minute music lesson with one of our two music teachers, Mr Howland or Mrs Barker. The teachers practice the Kodaly method and the Orff approach as the core of the music program.

In the junior school students build a solid foundation of music exploring concepts such as beat, pitch and rhythm. They start to read and write simple stick notation, such as crotchets (ta) and quavers (ti-ti). Students learn to sing using Solfege and hand signs starting with sol and mi.

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 instrument. Recruitment for Strings and Band usually starts in term 4 for commencement in the following year.

The program is split into two sections covering different families of instruments and different age groups.


Students in Years 3 - 6 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. 

For all Highland Reserve strings enquires please contact Donna Futo


Students in Year 4 – 6 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. 

For all Highland Reserve band enquires please contact Alana Russell


Guitar Academy is a lunch time club for years 5 - 6 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 two-year period. 

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 Matt Howland students attend lessons weekly, which run for 30 minutes in lunch breaks. 

For all Guitar Academy enquires please contact Matt Howland


At Highland Reserve State School, the Kodaly 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 Barker, Mrs Teese and Mrs Morgan, students attend a weekly rehearsal which runs during lunchtime. 

For all choir enquires please contact Juliette Barker


The drumline is a drum school that teaches complex rudiments, stick juggling and coordinated drum salutes to be played on snare and quints drums. Lessons are taught by Don Want from the Gold Coast Drumline, Don is an active member of the drumming community being an Interstate Drumming Judge.

These lessons run separate from the percussion group taught by Alana Russell, although percussion students are encouraged to participate in both. Open for students in grades 5 & 6 to join, lessons run before school or at lunchtime. 

For all drumline enquires please contact Matt Howland


Rock School is an auditioned based excellence program that teaches students how to perform in a 3 to 6 piece rock band with emphasis on skill, attendance and enthusiasm. Available in grades 5 & 6, students may audition with vocals, guitar, bass, drums or keyboard. In this program students learn the ins and outs of how to rehearse, practise, set up gear and perform as a rock group. Songs are modern and range in genre from indie, rock to pop.

Rehearsals are run before school or at lunchtime. 

For all Rock School enquires please contact Matt Howland


Last reviewed 04 June 2021
Last updated 03 February 2021