Girraween Primary School
Girraween Primary School is a rural school, 40 km from Darwin and has 379 students from Preschool to Year 6. All students participate in music programs with a specialist and also in classroom programs. Programs are coordinated by a musically trained teacher and a musician. Amongst the classroom teachers we have 2 other musically trained teachers. There has been a whole school music program running at Girraween for 7 of the school’s 10 year history.
The whole student population has access to music programs. Through specialist programs students:
- Participate in Chord reading – playing tuned instruments to songs and singing along. (e.g. xylophones, boom whackers)
- Play untuned percussion instruments to accompany songs and practice beat and simple rhythms with and without visual cards (Kodaly; ta, ti-ti)
- Engage in Music from around the world, also linked with dance & drama. e.g Musica Viva –preliminary lessons were taught across the school to maximise the learning from the performance by FADA.
- Explore musical terms and symbols. e.g Early childhood students: volume, pitch and tempo are represented by pictures the students can relate to. Volume = lion & mouse, Pitch = giraffe & worm, Tempo = rabbit & tortoise. Students can refer to the charts when singing songs and vary the volume when a selected student is trying to find the key (played like hot & cold). Students roll a pictorial dice and sing songs matching the pictorial representation.
- Read music notation and practice in fun ways e.g. Staff games = creating a staff (5 lines on the floor) and jumping from note to note; Music baseball = students read the note or rhythm and move to the next base.
- Are immersed in songs linked to literature & other curriculum areas: eg The Fox (with Hattie and the Fox). Oats and Beans and Barley linked to Field Day
- Practice articulation through songs, rhyme and raps: Tippy Tongue stuff (speech, sound formation, understanding articulation) Tongue twisters
Students also have the opportunity to elect to participate in :
- BEAT this year consists of 44 students in year 5/6 including many boys. 2010=35, 2009 = 33.
- Every year 4 student elected to participate in the junior choir.
- Instrumental lessons (guitar, woodwind & brass) provided from the NT School of Music.
The engagement and inclusive nature of our programs have led to a community of children with the confidence to perform in a range of ways. We have:
- Two annual whole school musical performances where each classroom teacher supported by the music specialists perform for the community.
- Classes and the Choirs perform at the Palmerston Festival
- Both choirs Sang at Humpty Doo Christmas Carols
- Classes performed at the Wildlife Park
- Selected choir students Sang Christmas Carols at the ABC studio
- Participated in Music Count Me In, Making Music. Being Well and BEAT performances
- Regular choir spots at assembly with different children chosen to sing solo parts
- Students performed original songs at Assembly
- Drum Beat group culmination performance at Assembly.
- A music hut in the Early Childhood area for playing and experimenting with sound and instruments.
We have elected music captains who organise lunch time music activities for other students e.g. musical freeze, musical bob, sing-a-long and dance.
Teachers explore ways that music can be used to support all teaching programs:
- Classical music is played in several classes as students work on handwriting, this is a symbol for quiet, focused work
- Another class has quiet eating time with music playing
- Songs to teach maths and literacy concepts are taught across the school
- Drama, dance and music are combined in performances that demonstrate classroom learning at our school assemblies.
Impact & Engagement:
The success of our music program is in the participation and enjoyment of students, the willingness of all staff to get involved and attendance and support of parents.
- To further develop our sense of community and to bring the social and community impact of music to the audience, students take a lead role at special events. e.g. A child and her father sang Waltzing Matilda at the Anzac day service. At the Remembrance Day service two classes surrounded the audience and sang, ‘I was only 19’.
- ‘Drum beat’ classes work on self esteem through music with selected students. This assists some marginalised students including students with disabilities, behaviour issues, extreme shyness.
- Our Red Faces event originated from requests by children to perform at assemblies. Students from age 5-12 are all willing and able to sing or play instruments solo or in small groups to an audience.
- Parents attend assemblies, drive their children to community events and assist with costuming and practice.
The positive impact of our music programs are measured in the following ways:
- participation in choirs and instrumental lessons,
- selection in singronicity choir,
- students entering community talent quests
- monitoring assessment data on cetool
- participation in class and performances.
- Red Faces performances
- The students at our school are generally open and confident and this can be attributed to the inclusion of the music program in our overall values based vision for the school.
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