St Joseph’s Primary School Red Cliffs offers a comprehensive music and performing arts specialist program. It is developmentally appropriate, with our Junior Unit predominately learning musical concepts such as beat, rhythm, pitch, texture through singing games and by playing the marimba (large xylophone instruments) and other untuned percussion. The method of teaching employed is strongly influenced by the Kodaly and Orff pedagogy, which maybe compared to learning your mother language – you learn to speak the language first in small segments and then build up the complexity and questioning around how you use the language as you become more competent.
As students move into Senior school they are extended by learning more complex rhythms, layering of parts both vocally and with percussion instruments. The instruments we use with senior students are primarily the African djembes, our class set of marimbas, recorders and ukuleles. Students begin to develop their understanding of written music and use a variety of methods to compose their own pieces.
A significant feature of the our senior performing arts program is that of Music Technology. Students learn a range of skills both in the performing arts and technology to create projects that can be shared with the wider school community. We use apps such as ‘GarageBand’ to make original compositions, ‘iMovie’ and ‘Puppet Pals’ to make short films.
The music program is designed to allow students to develop their ability to perform and create music but also to express themselves through music and performance. Singing, music and public speaking and the sharing of this through performance and digital technologies are an integral part of our school music program. Performances at school and parish masses, as well as regular fortnightly music items at our school assemblies mean that music is a core part of the way we celebrate learning at St Joseph’s.
Performing for our local community is core to our music program, our Junior and Senior Choir very successfully perform annually at the Mildura Eisteddfod and our Grade 5/6 Marimba Band and choirs perform at events such as Grandparents Day, at our local Kindergarten and Jacaranda Village nursing home as well as our involvement annually at the Red Cliffs ANZAC Day service and Carols by Candlelight. At St Joseph’s we believe experience in the music and the performing arts is essential to allowing all children to fulfil their potential.
We congratulate our Marimba Band who managed to squeeze in a very impromtu recording of their two contrasting pieces for the Eisteddfod just before we went into lockdown. Their entry will be submitted to the Mildura Eisteddfod Congratulations students, on working very hard to perform these challenging and lovely pieces!
Naomi Kennedy – Principal