Music

Over the past few years, The Essington School Darwin has built a strong foundation in music learning and appreciation. Music is valued at the school as a rich source of expression, inspiration and pleasure for all students. It is well accepted that music is of great value to children, not only providing the opportunity of personal satisfaction in making music, but also the positive effect on learning in other areas.

In conjunction with other curriculum areas, music education has the following effects:

  • assists cognitive development and coordination
  • assists growth of self-esteem
  • provides opportunities for social interaction and cooperative learning
  • provides for enjoyment, relaxation and emotional response
  • leads to the exploration of other arts disciplines as well as other cultures
  • encourages self discipline
  • provides resources for creativity
  • enhances other curriculum areas

Our major goal in Music us the development of the individual child's skill, sensitivity and imagination in music.

Classroom music is part of the primary curriculum program for all students with interest and extension groups as needed. These weekly music classes foster an understanding and love of music in those information, formative early years.

Since the young child is rapidly developing physically, cognitively and creatively, emphasis is placed on all aspects of music through the use of Singing, Listening, Playing and Moving.

Aspects of music covered in the program include:

beat and rhythm
dynamics
tempo
form
harmony
graphic and formal notation
history
timbre
pitch

Specialist teachers are employed on a sessional basis to teach piano, keyboard, violin, guitar and recorder.

Our School Band

Music lessons are available on a one to one basis or in small groups during the school day or after school.

Students are encouraged to sit for instrumental exams and to take part in the annual North Australian Eisteddfod. Opportunities to perform at various recitals and concerts are also provided.

Singing/Chorale at Essington

The Essington School Darwin provides opportunities for students to undertake singing lessons on a one to one basis or in small groups.

A number of choirs from Year 1 to Year 10 are conducted during the school day. These choirs have been highly acclaimed and achieved excellent results at the annual North Australian Eisteddfod in May.

Our choirs are often requested to perform at community events, shopping centres and other public places.

In our singing/chorale program we aim to:

  • provide an environment where singing is seen to be an intrinsically worthwhile experience
  • equip each child with vocal and choral skills
  • expose students to a variety of vocal and choral styles and traditions
  • encourage students to achieve a performance level appropriate to their potential

Innovative Music Programs

The Essington School Darwin is proud of its innovative programs and desire to respond to student interest and needs. In recent years the School has taken part in the Darwin Festival Parade as a culmination of a specialist musician in residence program. The Parade has enabled students to showcase the art and music skills they have acquired during the year. The School has also conducted and innovative boys music and performance program for several years. Known as Boys Business, our boys have performed as many school and community functions including national conferences on boys education.

Speech

In addition to our music program, speech is catered for in individual lessons. Each year several classes participate in the speech section of the North Australian Eisteddfod.

Music Extension Lessons

Music is valued at the school as a rich source of expression, inspiration and pleasure for all students.

In 1999 the School set as its goal to develop outstanding programs within the school by setting up a number of Centres of Excellence. Music was the schools first Centre of Excellence initiated in 2000 and since then students, teachers and parents have worked hard to develop an outstanding music education program and to provide facilities for the program.

It is well accepted that music is of great value to children, not only providing the opportunity of personal satisfaction in making music, but also the positive effect on learning in other areas.

The Importance of a Good Music Education:

In conjunction with other curriculum areas, music education has the following effects:

  • assists cognitive development and coordination
  • assists growth of self-esteem
  • provides opportunities for social interaction and cooperative learning
  • provides for enjoyment, relaxation and emotional response
  • leads to the exploration of other arts disciplines as well as other cultures
  • encourages self discipline
  • provides resources for creativity
  • enhances other curriculum areas.

Our major goal in Music is the development of the individual child's skill, sensitivity and imagination in music.

Essington - A 'Top 20' Music School:

In 2005 our Music School was recognised as one of the 'Top 20 Exemplary Music Schools in Australia', by the National Taskforce reviewing Music Education in Australia.

In 2004 the Federal Minister for Education, Science and Training, Hon. Brendan Nelson, set up a Taskforce to review Music Education in Australian Schools. The Taskforce reviewed 500 schools and identified 20 schools as 'schools of exemplary practice'. In Term 2, 2005, two representatives from the Taskforce visited our school and interviewed teachers, students, parents, the Principal, and observed numerous classes in action. We were very pleased with their positive and enthusiastic response to our music education programs.

We were very pleased to be identified as one of these 'top 20' schools.

Classroom Music:

Classroom music is part of the primary curriculum program for all students. Specialist music teachers are used to teach these classes. Additional interest and extension groups are formed as needed. These weekly music classes take place in our Music Centre and foster an understanding and love of music in those formative years.

Aspects of music covered in the program include beat and rhythm, history, dynamics, timbre, tempo, pitch, form, harmony, graphic and formal notation in a creative and musically exciting way.

Early Childhood:

All students from Preschool through to Year 2 are taught a general music program where students learn the building blocks of music: ie: rhythm, melody, harmony, form and expression. They learn movement and dance, speaking and singing, playing instruments, musical games, listening, music reading, notating and creating music and learning to be a good team player. The children also learn about music of other cultures, and great music from European culture.

Year 3 Music:

In Year 3 all students have the opportunity to learn violin, cello or viola in small groups as their weekly classroom music program. Students who wish to may continue through Year 4 and 5 as an option instead of general music class. Private string lessons are also available. Strings students are encouraged to take part in the Junior string Ensemble and the Senior String Ensemble.

General Music Years 4 and 5:

General Music in Years 4 and 5 continues to build on the skills learnt in both strings and Early Childhood in general music. There is a continued emphasis on music from various cultures, as well as singing and musical literacy. Students also enjoy moving and dancing, playing instruments, interpreting and creating music, and musical games.

Instrumental Music Lessons:

The Essington School Darwin conducts an extensive program of instrumental music classes on an individual or small group basis. We believe we have the largest number of students studying instruments in the Northern Territory. Given the size of our school, this is an outstanding endorsement of the importance of music at our School. Students from Transition onwards have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument to suit their age and ability.

All lessons are conducted in the School's Music Centre or Music Tutor Rooms at the school. Lessons are conducted during the day or after school. Specialist teachers attend the school to teach piano, violin, guitar, recorder, percussion, woodwind and brass instruments. Instruments are available for hire through the School or privately.

Band and Ensemble Groups:

The school supports a number of ensemble groups. Most instrumental students join together at times to form our school band.

Ensemble groups are available as under:

  • Junior String Ensemble - Primary: This program is open to all students who have been learning viola or cello as part of the junior string class music program in Year 3 and have continued in Years 4 and 5, The class is for those students who wish to play as part of an ensemble and is held after school for 45 minutes once a week.
  • Angklung Orchestra - Primary: The Angklung Orchestra is for students who learn how to play angklung as part of the Year 5 'Studies of Asia' program. Students perform at various community, multicultural events and special occasions throughout the year.
  • Senior String Ensemble Primary and Middle School: This program is for students who have been learning a string instrument for more than 1 year and are at a minimum Grade 2 AMEB standard. the class is held at lunchtime once a week.
  • Woodwind Ensemble - Middle School: This program is for intermediate woodwind students who learn a woodwind instrument at school and enjoying playing music as part of an ensemble. This class is held for 45 minutes after school once a week.
  • Theory/Musicianship - Primary and Middle School: This program is for students who want to study theory of music and musicianship. This course is designed to be useful equally to examination students AMEB and for students who wish to become better musicians as they learn about how music is organised and written. The class is held for 45 minutes after school once a week.

Students are encouraged to sit for instrumental and theory exams and to take part in the annual North Australian Eisteddfod. Opportunities to perform at various school recitals and concerts is also provided, with music items being an integral part of our weekly Assembly.


NATIONAL REVIEW OF SCHOOL MUSIC EDUCATION

Essington recognised for its ‘outstanding’ music education programs

In 2005 the Australian Government funded the University of Western Australia to complete a National Review of Music Education. In early 2006 their report was released. The Essington School Darwin was identified as one of twenty two ‘outstanding’ music education programs in Australia. Two Northern Territory schools were indentified and The Essington School Darwin was the only primary and secondary (middle) school to be identified.

What the National Review Report said about our Music Education program

“the music programme (only five years old) attempts to offer a wide variety of performance experiences. The school has a culture of affirmation about music and there are music symbols everywhere attesting to this”.

“The school seeks out the best teachers and invites them to teach at the school.”“In addition to educating students about music the school strongly supports music education for parents of students and the professional development of its music teachers”

“There is no doubt that the implementation of a music programme has been highly successful at TESD”.“One of the major success factors (for being highly successful) is that the principal and music coordinator both have a strong vision for music education at TESD and are highly creative in finding means to achieve their goals. Both the principal and the music coordinator are passionate about the value of music making in children’s lives and have a strong working partnership to make ‘music live at Essington’”.

“The entire school community from the top down (Principal, teaching staff, students and parents) positions music as something to be valued. The high status, profile and worth of music are well supported by TESD’s value-added approach to the curriculum, which allows for music to be nurtured, developed and expanded”.“The School is constantly looking to and learning from the experiences of other schools nationally and internationally to source ways and means to develop their music programme”.

“TESD is an excellent example of a school which, over the past five years, has built a music education programme from nothing”“TESD is also an example of a school which is concerned with the music education of the entire community in which it is situated – the students, parents and the broader community of Darwin – and actively works to make music education accessible and enjoyable to all three”