27 November 2017

Music Department

During the recent Round Square Conference three Scotch College ensembles performed featured music items. The Senior String Quartet featured Charlie Thomas on Didgeridoo and the Senior Jazz Ensemble Rhythm section with Nicholas Clarnette (Year 11, Alexander) on Tenor Saxophone all performed with exceptional musicianship during the opening ceremony. For the closing ceremony the Scotch Youth Voices sang a rousing rendition of "The Twist" which was enthusiastically received by the audience with all delegates in the auditorium spontaneously dancing throughout the performance, congratulations to all involved with these performances.

The following day the Scotch Youth Voices toured to Fairbridge Festival and were invited to perform on the main stage at the festival. This is a credit to the level of performance they have achieved under the leadership of their musical director Ms Jennifer Sullivan.

Guest lecturer Mr Michael Griffin's presentation to music students and staff last term made a lasting impression on staff and students. Previous Thistle articles have mentioned information shared during this session including: great practice contains the right balance between quality and quantity; it is important for students to play at a speed where they can avoid mistakes and repetition enables the brain to make strong connections (myelin) and enables us to automate processes.

Michael Griffin referred to repetition as an important practice tool that can be approached in three ways: Blocked repetition is great for beginners (practice three passages in three large blocks) playing a specific practice task until it is mastered. Spaced repetition can be useful for more advanced students (break blocks into many smaller segments, ie. play A for four minutes, B for three, A for three, C for four, B for five, A for three, C for six, A for two minutes etc.) and thus learning with repetition over a longer time period. Variable repetition is great for developing the facility to play passages in any context (playing a chunk of music at different speeds, volumes, with different articulations or rhythms, play it from memory, by ear or play it without the instrument). On our quest to help boys learn what it takes to achieve excellence these approaches to practicing difficult passages will promote myelin and help them to automate the process of playing music.

Important Dates:

Autumn Term

Week 2, Monday 2 May, FOSM meeting, 7.00pm Senior Music Department

Week 4, Thursday 19 May, WAYJO Schools' Concert, Dickinson Centre

Week 6, Tuesday 31 May, Vocal Showcase, 6.30pm Dickinson Centre

Week 7, Wednesday 8 June, Junior and Middle School Autumn Concert, 6.00pm Dickinson Centre

Week 9, Wednesday 22 June, John Morrison (Drummer/Band Leader) and Jacki Cooper (Vocals) visiting artists

Week 9, Friday 24 June, Music Department Jazz Night, 7.30pm Dickinson Centre

Contact Details

The Instrumental Programme is administered by the Senior School Music Department and all queries should be directed to the Music Administrator, Julia Robinson (9383 6841) music@scotch.wa.edu.au

Alternately, please contact Mr Tim Simpson, Acting Head of Music, via email TMSimpson@scotch.wa.edu.au or phone 9383 6824.

If you wish to become more involved in supporting the Music Department, please contact FOSM@scotch.wa.edu.au.

Mr Tim Simpson

Acting Head of Music