Caulfield Grammar School’s Music Program seeks to establish and nurture a lifelong love of music in our students through performing, listening to music and appreciating the therapeutic value of music in their everyday lives. Music plays such an important role in our School and our everyday lives – for its intrinsic value and its immeasurable capacity to act on the mind, heart, spirit and soul of humanity. The benefits of playing music are varied and dynamic.
Few schools can match the breadth of learning experiences provided at Caulfield Grammar School and each year we witness dedicated students and specialist staff bring their passion and skills from the classroom to the stage. Students are given the opportunity to perform on campus and in incredible concert venues around Melbourne throughout the year.
Our annual stage productions for Junior School (Years 5–6), Middle School (Years 7–9) and Senior School (Years 10–12) are held at our exceptional Creative and Performing Arts Centres at Wheelers Hill and Caulfield campuses. When it comes to concerts and drama productions, there are as many opportunities to be involved backstage or in the pit orchestra as there are on the stage itself. Our productions and ensembles are rigorous and focused, fun and inclusive.
Students at each year level from Early Learning to Year 6 participate in weekly class music lessons. Our music program is based on a developmental approach to learning where singing is the fundamental vehicle for all areas of musical development – to build knowledge and awareness of the elements of music, reading and writing music, creating and performing together. Students are engaged in a variety of musical experiences incorporating voice, listening activities, movement, and classroom percussion instruments.
As an extension of the classroom program, students are invited to participate in a variety of music ensembles and choirs that rehearse before and after school. These ensembles further develop students’ musicianship skills and instill a love of music. Throughout the year students are given many opportunities to perform on campus, in chapels and assemblies, campus concerts and soirees, as well as in wonderful concert venues around Melbourne.
Private instrumental and voice lessons are available and taught by specialist teaching staff during the school day.
Year 2 Strings Program
To complement the class music program, all Year 2 students are involved in a comprehensive and engaging Strings Program that gives them the opportunity to learn the violin, viola, cello or double bass in an enjoyable, interactive group setting. During their twice weekly 30-minute classes students learn the basic skills required for playing a repertoire of pieces, culminating in a showcase concert for families and friends at the end of the semester. Listening, modelling and constant repetition reinforce the skills learned.
The content of the Year 2 String Program is drawn largely from the Suzuki Method (see below) and is supplemented by our own experience in a variety of similar programs and as specialist instrumental music teachers. At the end of the program, students are encouraged to continue studying their instrument through private individual lessons.
Year 5 Program
All Year 5 students are engaged in a vibrant instrumental program lead by a team of specialist music teachers. This program gives students the opportunity to learn woodwind, brass or percussion instruments in an engaging, interactive small-group setting. Students participate in one 30-minute small group lesson per week on their chosen instrument.
This program provides students with many great opportunities to further develop their musical literacy, performance and self-management skills. Throughout the year, students look forward to ensemble experiences when classes combine as a Year 5 Band.
Caulfield Grammar School is one of only a handful of Victorian schools to have a Suzuki Program, based on a method developed by the Japanese violinist and pedagogue Shin’ichi Suzuki in the mid-20th century. We have over 160 students across our three metropolitan campuses enrolled in the Suzuki Program.
With the Suzuki method, parents play a vital role. Each lesson in our Junior Schools is attended not only by the student and instrumental teacher but also by a parent. When learning to play a musical instrument, especially when students can start as early as three years of age, it is important that parents are able to assist and support their child to achieve positive and effective home practice by assuming the role of ‘teacher’ when at home.
To further support the individual learning that happens during the individual weekly lesson, Suzuki Violin, Viola and Cello students from pre-Prep to Year 6 attend a mass group lesson each week. In this fun cross-age learning environment, students learn from listening to others, observing others, and collectively striving to play with the best sound quality possible.
Secondary School Music
Music is a universal language that embodies one of the highest forms of creativity. Curriculum music in the Secondary School (Years 7–12) aims to engage and inspire students to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. As students progress, they will develop a critical engagement with music, allowing them to compose, and to listen with discrimination to the best in the musical canon.
Year 7 Music Program
The Year 7 Music Program forms a part of the Year 7 curriculum. The program provides students with an opportunity to experience and play a new musical instrument or develop their singing skills. Students attend music classes with the aim of developing their musicianship and performance skills, as well as understanding music theory. Students who are already having lessons on an instrument are highly encouraged to continue on this instrument rather than take up something new. These students will be invited to audition for the Year 7 Performance Class.
Private Music Tuition
Private instrumental, vocal and technical production tuition is offered at Caulfield Grammar School by specialist teaching staff for the following:
Music Technical Production*
Drum Kit & Percussion
*Available at Caulfield Campus only ^Available at Wheelers Hill and Caulfield Campuses
All students who enrol in instrumental tuition at Caulfield Grammar School are encouraged to be a member of an ensemble. Playing in an ensemble gives unique performance opportunities to young musicians and develops a range of skills only found in a large musical team.
Ensembles are formed around student ability rather than age and encourage wonderful social interaction between students of all ages.The School offers a range of performance groups for instrumentalists and singers from beginners to auditioned advanced ensembles. The Ensembles program takes place out of class time – before or after school or at lunchtimes.
Across the School every year, our musicians are given remarkable opportunities to broaden their performance experience and promote themselves in the wider community. The Scholars’ Showcase Concert is an annual celebration of superb solo performances by our talented music scholars. This concert is reflective of the high standard of solo performance at Caulfield Grammar School and is a highlight of our concert calendar. The venue for this annual event alternates between on-campus and stunning venues across Melbourne’s CBD.
Interstate and international tours give our students the opportunity to experience the world as musicians, perform in some of the most famous concert halls and churches in the world, and participate in international music festivals. These inspiring experiences are ones that our young musicians will cherish forever.
Regional and interstate tours are organised every year. The ‘Generations in Jazz’ (GIJ) Festival in Mount Gambier, South Australia, is one of our regular tours and provides our students with access to one of Australia’s most prestigious festival/competition of Vocal Jazz and Stage Band music for Secondary students.