Table of contents and short extract appear below. The full handbook is available on Learning Point.
The purpose of this booklet is to provide a guide for parents and students to instrumental music at Scotch College. The Music School at Scotch is large and quite complex, and it is hoped that this guide to the workings of the Music School will help parents and students derive full benefit from the Music School.
The benefits of learning a musical instrument are many. They include the development of fine motor co-ordination, superb aural training, and the development of a sense of discrimination. In addition, the art of learning to read music and transfer the symbols on the printed page into the physical act of playing is very beneficial for the intellectual development of the child. As the student progresses, he will develop a greater sense of aesthetic and cultural appreciation. Other benefits include the social involvement of making music with others, the development of self-discipline required to practice, enhanced self-esteem, and appreciation of music at a far higher level than could ever be learnt or experienced just from passive listening.
Playing a musical instrument can be a lifelong source of enjoyment. While relatively few students decide to make a full-time living from professional performing, many continue to play (or sing) at university and later in community orchestras, choral societies, and play chamber music with friends. In addition, the music one experiences at school includes some of the great classics, and the appreciation and insight experienced from performing this music remains with the student to permanently enhance his quality of life.
While it is perfectly sensible to learn a musical instrument outside school if one has access to a good teacher, there are many additional benefits that come from learning within the system of Scotch College. These include:
The correct time to start learning an instrument will vary from child to child. With regard to very young children, the instrument is a major consideration in itself. Some instruments require the hands to be a certain size and others can be simply too heavy for a young child to hold. However, the piano can be started at a very early age as can the violin and 'cello. Violins and 'cellos come in different sizes so that the instrument can be matched to the child and replaced with a larger one as the child grows. An important consideration is whether or not the child has the necessary maturity to commence learning, and in many cases the parent will have an instinct for this. Students do not normally commence lessons on Woodwind and Brass instruments until year four in the Junior School, but piano and stringed instruments may be started earlier.
Students entering the college at year seven may start learning any instrument immediately, although it is advisable to discuss the choice of instrument with the Director of Music.
Tuition in all orchestral instruments as well as piano, guitar (classical, electric and bass), organ, computer music, singing and bagpipes is offered at Scotch. The choice of instrument needs careful consideration. Probably the best guide is the sound of the instrument which the student likes most. After all, the student will spend many years listening to the sound of that instrument. However, the popularity of an instrument should also be considered as instrumental balance within ensembles must be maintained. For example, there is little sense in having two hundred students learning the saxophone if there are no students of the trombone or clarinet, as the resultant imbalance in the ensembles would limit the performance repertoire, thus all the students would have a sadly reduced musical experience. Instruments traditionally under-subscribed include the French Horn, Oboe and Bassoon. Instruments which are over popular include the saxophone and trumpet. Strings (aside from the guitar) are in a particularly enviable position in that orchestras require plenty of them, and the range of music which can be played spans many centuries. Talking to the Director of Music can be helpful in ensuring that your son learns an instrument which is likely to be in demand as your son progresses. This will result in faster progress into ensembles, and the chance to play music at a higher level a little earlier. A further consideration is the age of the student, and discussion with the Director of Music is strongly advised.
Scotch College: ABN 86 852 826 445 ACN 005 650 395 CRICOS 00624A (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students)