Mr David Perry
The Music Program for Preps to Year 4 at Watsonia North Primary School is a developmental program incorporating the Kodaly and Orff-Schulwerk Philosophies. Zoltan Kodaly was a Hungarian composer and educator who revolutionised music education in Hungary, and whose ideas are now used in many countries world wide. The German composer Carl Orff and his colleague Gunild Keetman developed the Orff-Schulwerk approach in the years following World War II. The Kodaly method uses folk songs and classical compositions that target the natural qualities of children’s voices, and work towards an understanding of written pitch and rhythmic notation. Orff-Schulwerk uses movement, chant, singing, ostinato and body percussion, with the aim of including all children in composition and performance activities incorporating melodic and non-melodic percussion, recorder, singing and dancing.
The aims of the program are:
- To enjoy singing, develop pitch accuracy, and to develop confidence to sing alone through the use of an extensive repertoire
- To develop aural skills
- To develop musical memory
- To develop part-singing skills
- To learn to read and write music notation
- To improvise and compose music
- To learn recorder in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6
- To incorporate tuned and untuned percussion instruments
- To appreciate various styles of quality music and their composers
The Year 5 & 6 Program is based on the UK program Musical Futures, in which students have input into preparing and performing a song of their choice. Instruments such as drumkit, electric guitar and bass, keyboards, xylophones and recorders (amongst others) are combined with vocals, and students rehearse their song on a weekly basis. Students also continue recorder as a teaching instrument to learn about music theory and other musical elements, and music technology is used to compose and mix music.
Movement skills, incorporating drama and dance activities, are taught in all year levels, culminating in a bi-annual production in Term 3 for students in Years 3 to 6.
Two choirs are offered for students in Years 3 to 6. Intermediate Choir is an open choir for students in Years 3 and 4, and rehearses on Tuesdays from 2.40-3.30pm. In term 1, all students in Years 3 and 4 participate in choir rehearsals. In term 2, these children can elect to continue in Intermediate Choir. Some lunchtime or out-of-school-time rehearsals may also be required and advance note will be given for these. This choir is directed by Mr David Perry and is an excellent introduction for children to the world of choral singing. There will be performances and some competitions outside the school, both during school time and after hours – notices will be given for these well in advance.
The second choir, Senior Choir, is an open choir for students in Years 5 and 6, and rehearses on Tuesdays from 1.50-2.40pm. Some lunchtime or out-of-school-time rehearsals may also be required and advance note will be given for these. This choir is directed by Mr David Perry and Mr Brian Fitzgerald, and covers more challenging repertoire. There will be performances and some competitions outside the school, both during school time and after hours – notices will be given for these well in advance.
An auditioned choir for students in Years 4, 5 and 6 was started last year. This choir is called the Descant Choir and rehearses one lunchtime per week. All students in Descant Choir are required to participate in either Intermediate or Senior Choir.
Please consider very carefully your child’s involvement in choir, particularly that:
- As a free activity (aside from some costs for transport/tickets/uniform), it compares extremely well with commercial children’s choirs, whose fees can be over $1000 per year;
- Ongoing research shows that singing in a choir, along with other musical activities, can be very beneficial to the developing brain;
- As a school based activity, our intention is that it should complement and nourish all other music activities at the school.
Instrumental Music Program
At Watsonia North Primary School we offer Piano with Angela Mosca, Keyboard & Modern Piano/Organ with David Dobell, Flute with Tony Barnden, Violin with Blythe Robinson, Guitar with Rowan Lucas, Gunar Ulrich and Michael MacManus, Saxophone/Clarinet with Brian Fitzgerald and Drums with Noel Tenny. Please follow the link for more information our Instrumental Music Program.
- Year level concerts and productions (final dates to be confirmed) will be held for the following year levels:
- Years 1 and 2 production (“odd” years)
- Years 3 to 6 production (“even” years)
- Years 3 to 6 concerts (“odd” years)
- Prep end-of-year concert
- Café Instrumental Concerts will be held for Prep to Year 5 students.
- The Performing Arts Concert in November (date and venue to be confirmed)
How you can help
- Ensure your Year 3-6 child has a ‘descant’ recorder each week for music lessons.
- Listen and encourage your child to sing the known song repertoire.
- If learning an instrument, please encourage your child to practise daily and ensure your child comes to school prepared with music and instrument on lesson day.
- If your child is in one of the school’s choirs, please ensure your child attends all performances and rehearsals and brings their Music folder and drink bottle to rehearsals.
- Encourage your child to “stick with it” and not give up – whether it is choir, their instrument, or their part in the production.