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 Music at Saint Mary's

Diversity and Quality

With a wide range of curricular and co-curricular programs on offer, Music is a central part of everyday school life at Saint Mary's.
Classroom Music is offered as a core subject of the Prep to Year 8 curriculum, and an

elective from Year 9 to Year 12. This encourages the development of skills and depth of understanding of music in its many forms. Senior students with advanced performance abilities have the option to enrol in Music Extension (a QCAA subject), or many elect to undertake the Creative Arts Subject Area Specification (SAS), which presents a Vocational Education option for interested students.
 
Our String Immersion Program gives all Year 3 and Year 4 students weekly lessons with an experienced Strings teacher for the period of one year. This program is unique to our College, and allows all of the students in the Year 3 and Year 4 class to experience the challenge of learning a string instrument. There is no additional cost to families, and instruments are provided by the College.
 
Our Studio Music Tuition Program offers quality tuition by specialist teachers, enabling young musicians to explore their talents and interests. Saint Mary's choice of co-curricular tuition options is the largest of any school in the South Burnett region.
 
Ensembles give students the opportunity to share their skills with other students, and the broader community. At Saint Mary's, ensemble options are flexible and student-centred, offering a variety of performance opportunities throughout the year.
 
This information contains a brief overview of the Studio Music Tuition Program and Ensemble options available to Saint Mary's students.
 

Studio Music Tuition

Saint Mary's Catholic College aims to provide a positive learning experience, which cultivates a life-long interest in music. To achieve this outcome, a student needs a strong support network involving parents, tutors, and the College team.
 
The role of the Parent is to...
  • Provide an instrument that is in good playable order, music books and equipment as needed
  • Organise a quiet place away from distractions for their child to practice, with a music stand and a CD player/MP3 player
  • Communicate any developments with the Tutor or Music Coordinator
  • Ensure fees are paid on time
  • Encourage their child to play for family and friends
  • Support regular home practice
  • Encourage, encourage, encourage!
The role of the Student is to...
  • Practice (5-7 sessions per week)
  • Follow the tutor's instructions
  • Care for his/her instrument and equipment
  • Attend lessons on time, and notify his/her parents and tutors of any approaching disruptions (e.g. in-class assessment)
  • Understand that learning new skills takes time, patience, and persistence. Never give up!
The role of the Tutor is to...
  • Provide well-planned and sequenced tuition, of a high quality
  • Prepare the student for performances and/or music exams
  • Communicate any developments with parents or Music Coordinator
  • Ensure fees are invoiced regularly and professionally
  • Be punctual and professional
  • Maintain a strong skill set through regular professional development.
The role of the College is to...
  • Oversee the tuition process
  • Provide well-maintained facilities conducive to professional studio teaching
  • Provide solo and ensemble performance opportunities for the student (fees may be involved)
  • Encourage regular communication between tutors and parents, and resolve any issues in a timely manner
  • Notify tutors of any events which may impact on lesson arrangements (e.g. College Sports Carnivals).
"Music can change the world because it can change people" ~ Bono

Tuition Options

Students have the opportunity to learn an instrument, singing, or music theory, either in an individual or group lesson. At Saint Mary's, tuition is available in the following:
  • Strings - violin, viola, cello, or double bass.
  • Guitar - acoustic, electric, bass.
  • Woodwind - Flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, or baritone saxophone.
  • Brass - trumpet, cornet, horn, trombone, baritone, euphonium, or tuba.
  • Percussion - drum kit, snare drum, or glockenspiel.
  • Piano
  • Voice (singing)
  • Music Theory

Equipment

Each tutor will provide a list of equipment that will be required by the student prior to the commencement of lessons, and a College Practice Diary. The Diary records music to be practised and is a useful Parent-Tutor communication tool.
 
All students will require a tutor book, a music stand, and a pencil.
 
Instrument-specific equipment may include:
  • Strings - Rosin, plus a soft cleaning cloth
  • Flutes - A cleaning rod and cloth, plus a silver polishing cloth
  • Winds - 4 x 1 1/2 reeds and a reed holder, plus a pull-through cleaner
  • Brass - "Al Class" brand valve oil, slide cream, cleaning cloth (Trombones only - small water spray bottle)
  • Percussion - One pair of drumsticks (matching). a rubber practice pad (if no drum kit is available at home)
  • Voice - Water bottle
  • Music Theory - 2 x pencils, sharpener, Theory Tutor book and/or home internet access for online theory exercises
Please confirm your child's specific needs with your tutor prior to the commencement of lessons.

Ensembles

Orchestra - Orchestra rehearses throughout the year on a weekly basis. This ensemble performs at important College events, community celebrations, and competitions.
 
Rock Bands -  The College supports students with a passion for contemporary music. By negotiation, students are able to form bands that rehearse on a regular basis.
 
Junior Ensembles - These small ensembles cater for younger students with developing skills on their principal instrument, as well as students opting for the challenge of a 'second-study' instrument. These are informal groups that generally rehearse for specific performances.
 
Junior and Senior Choirs - A variety of singing groups are available for Primary and Secondary students. Our choirs perform for various events, and travel to major centres for combined school activities.
 
For all ensembles, consistent attendance at rehearsals and performances is vital for students to reap the benefits of the activity. Involvement in ensembles encourages students to explore the Benedictine values of responsibility (Be Responsible) and effort (Be My Best). 

Fees

Payment Procedure  Each tutor will issue one invoice each term for payment of fees, which is payable by the end of Week 4. Overwhelmingly, parents have indicated that this is the most straight-forward method for payment, and helps to prevent confusion due to part-payments. However, should a parent be unable to pay the term fees in their entirety, a payment plan can be discussed with the Tutor.
 
Should fees remain unpaid by the negotiated time, lessons will be discontinued until payment is made. 
 
Missed Lessons All absences without 24 hours' notice will require payment. Notice can take the form of a phone call, email, written note (signed by parent), or text message. This enables the Tutor to make alternative arrangements, rather than waiting for a student who does not arrive.
 
Absences that occur because of school activities (Sports Carnivals, Art Excursions etc.) will be credited to the follow term's account.
 
Parents and students should be mindful of any forthcoming clashes to avoid missed lessons and forfeited payments.
 
Should a student be absent from a lesson without notice, the Tutor will notify the parent to ensure the parent is aware that the lesson was missed.
 
Some tutors may choose to invoice families for only nine weeks each term, allowing for one absence. Should the student be present for ten lessons, there is no extra charge to the family. This practice is employed at the discretion of the tutor.
 
Extended Lessons Should a student be absent from school for an extended period of time due to illness, travel or other family commitments, the arrangements for invoicing alterations should be made directly with the Tutor in advance of the absence where possible.
 
Termination of Lessons Learning a musical instrument can be full of highs and lows, and it is important that consideration be given to the termination of lessons for this reason. Many adults look back on their decision to stop learning an instrument with regret, and although it seemed that lessons were somewhat arduous, they wish they had "soldiered on".
 
For this reason, parents are encouraged to discuss the discontinuation of lessons with the Music Coordinator prior to making a final decision, as there may be options available that could encourage the student to continue their studies. At no stage should a student attempt to negotiate withdrawal from lessons directly with the Tutor. If a parent chooses to discontinue lessons during the term, the remaining fees for that term will be forfeited.

Forms for Instrumental Hire