The study of music combines the development of affective, cognitive and psychomotor domains in the act of making music. It allows for the expression of emotion and imagination, the intellect and the exploration of values. Music fosters an understanding of continuity and change, and of the connections between different times and cultures. The nature of musical study also allows students to develop their capacity to manage their own learning, engage in problem-solving, work collaboratively and engage in activity that reflects the real world practice of performers, composers and audiences. The study of music fosters knowledge, understanding and skills that contribute to lifelong processes of learning and to the appreciation and enjoyment of music.
Academic music at Sydney Boys High School is very successful. Students in Year 7 study the subject in three periods a cycle. They are purposefully grouped, with identified music students following a compacted curriculum. The focus of the music curriculum is the study of performance, composition and musicology through various topics and genres. Students are accelerated in Year 8, 9 10 and most continue to complete the HSC in Music in Year 11. Concurrently, there is a normal stream of students also studying the mandatory and elective courses. It is pleasing to see so many boys choosing music as a subject. Elective classes are growing each year. Each year, a number of HSC music students receive Encore performance nominations - the highest performance award for music in the HSC. Encore performances take place in the Encore Concert at the Sydney Opera House.
Music Performance Program
The school has a large ensemble program that is based around Concert Bands –Training, Intermediate and Senior, Stage Bands – Junior, Intermediate and Senior, a String program of Training and Senior String Groups and a Symphony Orchestra. There is a strong and growing Choir, Guitar Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble, with more small ensembles planned for the future. The ensembles are vertically structured, so that boys are placed in the appropriate one for their standard of playing.
Students in the Performance Music Program are expected to be learning an instrument, either through tutors at the school or from their own tutor, if they already have one when they start at the school. If a student is starting an instrument in Year 7 he is given the opportunity to use a school instrument for a whole year before being asked to purchase one. If he chooses an instrument of greater value than a tenor saxophone, he is able to keep it for three years at least. We encourage as many boys as possible to become involved in learning an instrument and belong to a school ensemble. Rehearsals for all large ensembles are held before school, starting at 7.30am.
The program is managed by the three Music Staff who also conduct a variety of the ensembles. Specialists are brought in for String groups and Senior Stage Band, as well as for other small groups.
The Music Performance Program is very active and has variety and abundance of activities throughout the year.
An example of the performance opportunities are:
Sydney Boys High publishes the High Notes weekly. These are available in hard copy as well as online. The High Notes keeps parents informed and up-to-date with approaching performances, fund raisers and achievements of our students in music.
Each year, students who have leadership qualities are chosen to represent various ensembles. They must already have been elected to a position of Prefect within the school.
Due to the large Music performance program here at Sydney Boys High, we appreciate the assistance parents give to the school through involvement in music activities (selling tickets, food, coffee etc at concerts, attending the Music Supporters meetings, parking for fundraising, setting up and decorating the Great Hall for dinners and concert nights, contacting other parents). This support is a vital part of the performance program and allows music to continue to flourish in the school community. We would encourage all parents to become involved as it is a great way to meet other parents and contribute to your son’s music experience at High.