What is music education at Orana?
One person may say that it is about pentatonic recorders in Class 1. Another person might experience it as a high powered recital exam in Class 11. Someone else enjoys the public performances. A Class 3 child sees an older student play and longs to be able to do the same. Another person is interviewed by a Class 8 student investigating the question “What is music?”
In reality Music at Orana is all these things and more. In Steiner education systems music education is linked to the developmental level of the student. All students sing and play instruments beginning with pentatonic recorders and classroom percussion instruments and progressing to full ensemble, orchestral and choral experience. It is recognised that the requirements of music tuition change as the students grow and learn.
Orana Steiner School delivers an innovative and integrated Music Education Programme to the students from Kindergarten to Class 12. Through the parallel systems of ‘Music Everyday’, ‘Music Craft’ and ‘Music Performance’ all students have opportunity to develop their own potential within a context and atmosphere of whole school engagement with music.
‘Music Everyday’ functions in Primary School. Class teachers, with the support of music specialists, regularly sing and play instruments with their classes. Repertoire often consists of music appropriate to seasonal festivals and topics being studied in literacy, numeracy, history, geography and science classes. Classroom orchestras promote social bonds and extend students’ practical experience.
‘Music Craft’ classes occur in both Primary and High School and are delivered by specialist music staff. They deepen student skill and awareness in how music is constructed at a theoretical level. Composition, improvisation, music history, research and analysis are undertaken at levels appropriate to the student’s development. In early years this includes pre-reading Kodaly and Orff inspired exercises.
Music IT and investigation into culturally determined aspects of music are included as the child progresses through the school.
‘Music Performance’ incorporates ensemble classes, choirs, voluntary orchestras and bands, string programme tuition and optional individual instrumental lessons with expert teachers. Many performance opportunities are offered, ranging from solo studio concerts to the series of public Twilight Concerts and the amazing Gala Concerts. Performance is for everyone, not just a selected few. In performances students test their skills and confidence in a very different and often confronting way. Performances are also opportunities for the community to come together in varying configurations to celebrate and enjoy the essence of a creative education.
Music education gives students the tools to be creative thinkers and active artists at their chosen level in their future lives. It is a vehicle for social interaction and can build strong minds and bodies and lighten hearts.
Music at Orana: Maia Harrison
Orana music teacher Maia Harrison discusses teaching Music at Orana Steiner School.