The music program at Duncraig Senior High School is a part of the Department of Education’s music program. Specialist instrumental tutors and hire instruments are provided to schools through Instrumental Music Schools Services (IMSS), which is a part of the W.A. Department of Education.
Students studying band instruments such as flute, clarinet, trumpet, trombone and guitar are offered beginner places in Year 5 or Year 6 at government primary schools and may continue into high school.
Students entering Year 7 may apply for a beginner place for instruments such as trombone, saxophone or percussion.
Lessons are supplied free of charge to successful applicants provided they are also enrolled in a class music unit and an ensemble.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is my child’s obligation to the music program?
Students who are accepted into the music program are expected to remain in the program at least until the end of Year 8, attend all classes and instrumental lessons, practice their instrument on a regular basis, attend all ensemble rehearsals and performances and do their best at all times.
Can my child leave the program at any time?
No. Students who have accepted a place are making a commitment to stay in the music program until the end of Year 8. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the program is based around the school’s bands and ensembles and places are offered based on the type and number of instruments needed in each group to achieve a balance. When students leave it is usually not possible to move another student into their place. This can lead to imbalance in the ensemble. Secondly, it may be that a student has been offered a place to the exclusion of another applicant, and it is expected that they will see out their obligation at least until the end of Year 8.
Can my child change instruments?
Under most circumstances, no. As previously stated, the balance of the ensembles dictates the number and type of instrumental places on offer. On occasion, students may be asked if they would like to move to a closely related instrument that is in short supply, for example; flute or clarinet to saxophone, or trumpet to tuba. The decision to offer a change is made on a case by case basis.
What costs are involved?
Students pay a small fee for class and ensemble music to cover equipment purchase and replacement and maintenance as well as covering the cost of sheet music and consumables.
There is also a uniform that each student must purchase. Students are expected to purchase their own instrument in their second year of learning.
Euphonium, horn, and tuba may be hired until the end of Year 12. There are several excursions throughout the year including the Concert Band and Guitar festivals at no cost to the students. There are costs to students for any camps or excursions including tours.
How are lessons timetabled?
Instrumental lessons are held during class time. Students’ names are placed on a rotating roster and their lessons are at different times of the same day each week. This is done to avoid students missing the same class each time. Students in Year 11 and Year 12 usually have their lessons before or after school or during recess and lunchtime to avoid missing classes. It is the students’ responsibility to make sure they catch-up on any work missed when attending instrumental lessons.
How much practice should my child be doing?
As a rough guide, students who are beginners should be practicing around 15 minutes a day, increasing to 30 minutes by six months. As they develop their repertoire and learn more challenging skills, this time will increase. For further information, please check the front section of the IMSS practice journal.
School Ensemble and Performance Opportunities:
This is the school’s premier performance group and includes students from Year 9 to Year 12.
The Senior Band performs at several events throughout the year including school assemblies, the WA Concert Band Festival, and the annual Winter and Gala Concerts.
The Junior Band provides beginning instrumental students with the opportunity to rehearse and perform in a large ensemble. The band performs at the WA Concert Band Festival, the Winter and Gala Concerts, and at school assemblies.
Senior and Junior Guitar Ensembles
All classical guitar students rehearse and perform in these ensembles, which perform at the WA Guitar Ensemble Festival, the annual Winter, Spring and Gala Concerts, and school assemblies.
Other ensembles include Jazz Band, contemporary band and choir. The choir is open to all students at DSHS.
All students enrolled in the class music unit are allocated a core ensemble but may play in others if they wish.
For more information regarding Instrumental Music Schools Services, please refer to the IMSS website.