Music Matters

French World Music Incursion

Excited chattering filled the air as students from Years 7 and 8 gathered in the CM Wood Centre on Wednesday 11 March for the French World Music Incursion.

The high-pitched, melodious whistle of a woodwind instrument reverberated through the room as we all chanted “Bonjour Philippe!” Philippe, who was our guest presenter for the incursion, walked onto the stage and down the stairs, while playing a wooden instrument that resembled an oboe. Philippe told us that the instrument was a traditional French wind instrument called a ‘bombarde’. He also introduced us to the accordion, and played some French folk songs with lively rhythms. Throughout the incursion, the atmosphere was vibrant and interactive, and everyone wholeheartedly participated in the performances. Some students volunteered to play tambourines while the rest kept the beat by clapping along.

We sang along to some French songs, such as ‘An Dro Retournée’ which was enjoyed by all, even though we struggled to keep up with the fast-paced actions. ‘Alouette’ was a favourite among many – the song is a French children’s nursery rhyme which some of us recognised from countless French lessons in the Junior School.

Personally, the highlight of the incursion was the folk dances. We danced to many French folk songs from all over France. We danced to a number of jigs, such as ‘La Bastringue’, a piece originating from the French colonies in Canada. The minute the song began, we were all transported to a different place, feeling as though we were surrounded by snow-capped trees and mountains, as if we were  dancing jovially around a camp-fire; the only things missing were probably the traditional costumes.

Everyone is very grateful for Philippe’s visit to Tintern and we’d like to thank him for introducing us to cultural French music. The opportunity proved to be very enriching, rewarding and fun for all the students. Thank you to the teachers and staff for organising this enjoyable experience.

We all learnt a lot from this performance and look forward to more events like this one in the future!

Anika Mulemane, Year 8


Senior Music Ensembles to start up again in Term 2

Term 2 is upon us and all of the Music Staff are greatly missing the happy smiles of our student musicians and the sound of bands and orchestras and choirs making music along our corridors. Well, there’s only one way to fix that!

Whilst ‘rehearsing’ our ensembles in the usual way would not be super easy in an online platform, there’s more than one way to peel a banana, as they say. So, this week, ensemble leaders are contacting some groups to trial some ‘gatherings’ of our groups to explore ways we can continue to share time together and learn pieces and songs. We have at the back of our minds that, when we do finally return to our onsite learning, we will be bursting with the need to perform. Individual music lessons are continuing at a pace this week, which is wonderful. But if we let our communal voices and instruments languish, they will get rusty and our technique will go out the window! There may be some opportunities for small concert events through Teams, but we have our fingers crossed that our big events in Term 3 (Annual Concert, Jazz Night) and smaller concerts (wind, brass, voice, percussion and strings) will go ahead ‘live’. The Annual Concert program (7 August) might be a little thinner than usual, and not quite as well-cooked, but what better way to celebrate our return to our Music School than to perform on stage all together!

In the meantime, we are dabbling with some “virtual” performance concepts also, so keep your eyes and ears posted for news of an offering or two in that area during Term 2 (presuming we stay learning in an online setting throughout the term)! Again, many fingers and toes crossed and much gnashing of teeth and speedy learning of unfamiliar online software is taking place in the hope that we can bring this to fruition.

Thank you for your ongoing support of your young musicians and the endeavours of our Music staff to continue their music education. I hope you are enjoying the opportunity to perhaps observe some music lessons in process and appreciating the care, patience, commitment and dedication of our Music team. Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind (and) flight to the imagination (Plato) and we are honoured to be able to continue to bring these opportunities to your children.

Setting up for Music lessons at home

Please remind (or help) your young musicians (Junior and lower Middle School; we presume seniors have their act together!) to be prepared for their music lessons at home each week. They should:

  • have their instrument set up before the scheduled start time of the lesson and their music waiting on their music stand*
  • have their device (iPad) connected to a charging cable and positioned so that the music teacher can see the child’s face and hands (for instrumentalists) and the child can see the screen easily. Try not to have the device facing a window, as the student will become a silhouette.
  • have a pencil to mark notes on their music during the lesson.
  • ensure the lesson can take place in a quiet place where interruptions will be minimal.

* If you don’t have a music stand, please consider buying one at your earliest convenience. They cost around $20 – $25 and are vital for good posture and ease of reading music.



Term Dates