Learning Areas > Music
About the Learning Area
'Real art is one of the most powerful forces in the rise of mankind, and he who renders it accessible to as many people as possible is a benefactor of humanity.' Zoltan Kodály
In the primary years, students are introduced to Music through singing, games, dances, stories, word play, mathematical relationships, instrumental exploration, drama and listening activities. Music is an important vehicle for self-expression and provides an opportunity to socialise through shared musical experience. The Music program at Donvale is purposefully designed to engage students’ imagination and to develop their creativity and performance skills. Although it is a broad-based eclectic program, the foundations of the program are supported by the teaching philosophies and methodologies of Orff and Kodály.
Throughout their primary school years, students have a rich hands on experience studying a wide range of instruments. Their earliest experiences begin with the voice and tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments. Year 2 students learn the recorder. In Year 3, students have the opportunity to learn an orchestral string instrument. They rehearse and have tuition in small groups, and as a year level they join a repertoire class and increase their skill level. Students can further advance by joining the training orchestra, Fiddlesticks. In Year 5, students are introduced to band instruments — a choice of woodwind, brass and percussion is offered. Students are guided by instrumental specialists, working in both small tutorial groups and as a band.
Students receive a comprehensive choral experience through involvement in Donvale’s five choirs. Students learn valuable skills in part work, vocal technique, performance, musicianship and teamwork. Each choir offers challenges appropriate to student’s age, interests and skill level. The five choirs include three curriculum-based choirs that encompass all students from Prep to Year 6. These feed into the auditioned Chamber Choir and Musique du Coeur. These auditioned choirs provide extension work for enthusiastic singers in the upper primary years.
Instrumental ensembles rehearse weekly in preparation for various concert performances throughout the year, both within the school setting and in the wider community. They are regularly involved in the Melbourne Schools Band and Strings Festivals, IPSHAA Music Festival and in local eisteddfods.
Beginner brass, woodwind and percussion students can elect to be part of Mini Band, which provides students with a pathway into Donvale’s concert band, Bandit. Donvale has three string groups — the Fiddlesticks orchestra gives beginner string students an opportunity to experience playing in an orchestral setting, Sfzorando orchestra caters for the intermediate player, whilst Wire on Fire is ideal for the advanced string student wishing further extension work in a chamber group setting. Donvale also runs a guitar/mandolin ensemble.
Instrumental tuition is available to students at Donvale. Sessions run during School hours with professional instrumental tutors.
Instruments offered include:
- Orchestral brass (trumpet, French horn, trombone, tuba).
- Orchestral strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass).
- Fretted instruments (mandolin, bass guitar and guitar).
- Orchestral Woodwind (bassoon, oboe, saxophone, clarinet, flute).
All students from Prep to Year 6 at Donvale participate in the biennial and fully staged musical. Students tell a story through music, drama and dance. With guidance from Music teachers, dance and drama consultants, specialist staff and classroom teachers, students gain confidence and improve their skill base, further refining their work. At Donvale, the musical is a whole community event and celebration.