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Year 6 Music Academy Solo Performance (Issue 12 2017)

Written on the 17 August 2017

On Tuesday 15 August, the Year 6 Sacred Heart College Music Academy had their inaugural solo performance evening at the Middle School. Each boy in the academy performed a solo piece, as well as several songs together as an ensemble. The majority of boys in the Academy only began learning their instrument at the beginning of the year, so it was a privilege to work with the students to prepare them for this concert, which showcased all the musical skills they have learnt so far. We were also fortunate to have the Studio Ensemble perform as special guests, which showed the students the type of ensemble they can join from next year.

Music is a full brain workout, as when you learn an instrument, your auditory (ears), visual (eyes), and motor (body) cortexes are all firing messages at the same time. Learning a musical instrument doesn't make students 'smarter', rather, it makes learning 'easier' (i.e. it changes a country road to a highway).

The Music Academy is specifically focused on improving executive function skills such as: attention span, problem solving and control of emotional responses, which are important for any career choice, not just being a 'rock star'! Music learning is for everyone and it has benefits for all of us, regardless of future careers or previous experience.

Parents, teachers and students completed a eight question survey at the beginning of the program, and when students responded to the statement 'my mind wandered when I should have been listening', data suggested that only 14% of students identified that they were staying on task all the time, and only 20% were always remembering what someone told them to do.

Great news is that from the first survey to the second survey (which was conducted in Week 6 of Term 2), parents were overall observing their sons being more polite, better listeners, tidier, calmer, and demonstrating an improved ability to concentrate. In fact, based on parent observations, these areas improved by 13% overall for the cohort.

We would like to thank all the instrumental teachers who are part of the Academy program - Mr Dave Longdon, Mr Robin Finlay and Mr Jack Degenheart. Thank you to the music teachers at both campuses who have provided endless advice and support - Mr Dan Ryan, Mr Mike Ellul and Mrs Meagan Kozlowski. Thank you also to the College leadership team who have been incredibly supportive of this new Year 6 initiative.

We look forward to seeing the Academy students perform at many more concerts in the years to come!

Bianca Pittman
Music Academy Director


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