High Notes, Vol 16 No 36, November 13 2015
Orientation Day 2015
Year 11 Reports
Student Award Scheme
Music Awards Assembly
"Special guest Paul Pang (SHS2006), members of the Music Committee, staff and students, welcome to our 10th annual Music Awards Assembly. This morning’s assembly is an occasion to recognise and acknowledge the accomplishments of our performance music program participants. It was in Mr Pang’s graduating year when we first held a special assembly to honour the accomplishments of our performance music students. Back then, our acceleration program was only just producing more senior students who not only studied Music 2 and extension at the HSC in greater numbers, but also continued on playing in school ensembles even in their final year. Their participation as performers and role models has had a lasting influence on the quality and depth of the performance music program at High. I remember distinctly the passion with which Paul infused his piano playing at assemblies and how it engaged the audience in a shared appreciation of the joy of music.
"Musical performances are integral to many assemblies, formal occasions and special events that define and build school culture. Musical performance is vertically integrated and access to ensembles is based on merit. It is a uniting activity and it provides opportunities for students to perform for an audience, which is one important reason why people learn to play instruments. The prospect of instant feedback in response to something we do is always motivating for performers.
"Musical performance showcases the talents of our students to the wider community. Our Marching Band has built up a strong reputation at Anzac Day marches. Our periodic tours are legendary. Performance music is a major co-curricular activity at High. Your programs indicate the depth and breadth of musical performance opportunities at High.
"Neuroscience is discovering many beneficial effects from music programs. Children with a year of music classes had higher empathy scores and decoded emotional information better than the control group without any music teaching. Musicians can detect sadness and fear better than non-musicians when listening to utterances in a language unknown to them. Singing communally releases dopamine, cortisol and oxytocin – the ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain. Even when faced with surgery, those who listened to music were less stressed than those given a stress depressant drug. So, performing or listening to music has mental health benefits for students.
"Our programs cannot function without the strenuous involvement of our staff. I want to thank the Music teachers, Ms Miller, Ms Lim and Ms Kim, as well as our professional tutors, for the time they have devoted to training ensembles for performance. Thank you to Ms Graul for her regular administrative support and to the resurrected music committee. I hope we can restore direction in our use of parking proceeds to provide big instruments, sheet music and support for public performances for our students.
"High has produced many good musicians and the purpose of the assembly is about honouring those
current students who are upholding that fine tradition. I congratulate those boys being
acknowledged today and urge them to continue their efforts in musical training and performance.
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