Mount Carmel College, Tasmania

Mount Carmel College is a P-10 Catholic school that is Co-Ed from P-2 and a Girls School from Years 3-10. All students study Music until Year 8, at which point students can choose to continue studying Music in Years 9 and 10. Enrolments in Elective Music courses have risen sharply since the introduction of Musical Futures inspired activities in the Secondary Music course.

For a large part of their time in Year 6-10 Music, students direct their music-making by choosing groups, pieces, instruments and rehearsal/performance schedules. Guidelines for individual projects range from ‘no limits’ to ‘unfamiliar music’ to ‘technically challenging music’ and are completed as a  whole-class, in small groups or individually. Individual and group goal setting plays a vital role in the music-making process at the College and students take their cues from a range of resources developed by Musical Futures and Secondary Music Teacher, Dave McNamara when setting their goals. Students have individual iPads which opens up the resources of the Internet to assist them in their music learning, as well as providing options to document their learning and actually see the progress that they make from lesson to lesson.

A range of instrumental lessons are offered at the school, with a strong take-up of piano, guitar and voice lessons feeding effectively into practical Musical Futures style lessons.  Students who take individual lessons tend to become leaders in the music-making process, however, all students have the opportunity to make good quality music in class time with the assistance of teachers, two multi-instrumentalist Music Assistants, extra guidance at lunchtime and an open invitation to request ‘how-to’ videos using their iPads to assist with practice at home.  The College also runs an un-auditioned Secondary Choir, a auditioned Chamber Choir and a College Orchestra.

Our vision is to provide students with experiences that promote the fact that music-making is not purely the domain of ‘musically-gifted’ people but is an activity that everyone can do, and do well, regardless of age and experience. We believe that, given the time and resources to succeed, all students can feel the benefits of participation in music-making and can take this philosophy forward into their post-school years.