Waimea Primary School provides the opportunity for selected Year 5 and 6 students to participate in an extra musical activity. Students can learn either the trombone, trumpet or a variety of percussive instruments. Throughout the year they learn to develop skills on their chosen instrument and how to read music notation. The selection process involves an aural test component where students listen and compare short rhythms and melodic phrases to determine whether the two samples are the same or different. The test goes for 45 minutes so it is also a test of a student’s concentration. The students who are successfully selected are given an instrument to use for the year and are recommended to practise at home to develop the skills that they are taught in their weekly lesson further.
Waimea Heights Primary School students join up with other students from other schools to make up the Waratah Band (formerly known as the Southern Band) – the Year 6 band of approximately 80 students. Both year groups rehearse for many ‘mini’ concerts throughout the year with the finale at the end of November at the MyState Bank Arena (formerly, the Derwent Entertainment Centre). At this concert there are four year 6 bands performing, 1 large year 5 combined band with approximately 350 students (which includes Waimea Heights students), and the combined primary schools’ choir.
This highly rewarding and fun program is important for the student’s development with not only their musical skills, but indirectly has proven benefits with other academic areas.
Benefits with coordination, goal setting and a sense of pride from achieving these goals, relaxation, self-discipline, building socials skills and resilience whilst working with others, following instructions, and developing reading skills and memory development are also important.
Being a two-year program, we ask that if students who are knowingly going to leave the school at the end of year 5 to opt out of this program and allow other students to have this chance to participate.