• Individuality, diversity, excellence

    Individuality, diversity, excellence

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Instrumental music

There is a long tradition of excellence in music making at the school which boasts one of the premier music programs in Victoria.

Lesson Logistics

Lessons occur weekly, and are given in small groups, except for VCE students and very advanced students who receive individual tuition where possible. Each instrumental music teacher prepares a timetable, whereby students come to lessons on a withdrawal basis (from their regular classes). The lesson time is different each week so that students don’t miss the same class more than a few times each term. It is the responsibility of the student to find out what class work has been missed, and to catch up with any homework and tests.

Practice and Lessons

In the instrumental music lessons, students learn music reading skills, specific techniques as appropriate to their instrument, practice skills, occupational health and safety issues related to playing the instrument and a variety of skills in musical interpretation. Students are required to do regular daily practice (as recommended by their teacher) in order to make progress. Parents are encouraged to support their children by providing a quiet regular practice space and by encouraging them to establish regular practice routines. It is also important that the child’s instrument is in good working order.

Instrument Enrolment and Re-enrolment

Students already at UHS complete an enrolment/re-enrolment form by the end of October. As a contract is entered into upon enrolment in the Instrumental Music program, the fulfillment of that contract is considered when accepting or rejecting a re-enrolment. Students then are offered a place which can be accepted by making full payment of the Music Charge. Students can not begin or resume lessons until payment of the Music Charge is made, or alternative arrangements are made with the Business Manager.

The Instrumental Music program

Based on an orchestral program with tuition in the following instruments:
Strings: violin, viola, cello, double bass.
Woodwind: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone.
Brass: trumpet, trombone, french horn, tuba.
Percussion: all tuned and un-tuned orchestral percussion
Classical voice
Classical guitar

Instrumental Music Teachers

Sixteen teachers attend the school each week for varying amounts of time. Many of our experienced teachers are themselves professional musicians and thus offer much expertise and inspiration to our students. Most of them conduct one or more of the ensembles.

Ensemble Program

At The University High School the Music program is based around the performing ensembles. Students take lessons in order to perform in a huge variety of orchestral, choral, band, and jazz ensembles and gain much benefit from participating in shared music making. They engage in and learn significant musical and social skills including; cooperation, leadership, discipline, responsibility, blending and contrasting and working within given parameters. It is a requirement of all students who learn an instrument at UHS to participate in the ensemble program by being active performing members of at least one major ensemble at school. This involves their weekly attendance to rehearsals as well as performing with the ensemble.

The Ensembles

UHS offers a wide variety of music ensembles from orchestral and band, to choral and jazz. The numbers of students in the ensembles ranges from 4–80, and the levels range from beginner to advanced. The ensemble program is co-curricular with most of the groups rehearsing at lunch time or after school. From year to year there may be some variation in the ensembles offered.

All ensembles perform at the Mid Year Concert in May, and at the End of Year Concert in October.
Ensembles include: Senior Orchestra, Intermediate Orchestra, Intermediate Strings, Junior Strings, Training Strings, Senior Concert Band, Intermediate Band, Junior Band, Novice Band, Senior Choir, Chamber Choir, Junior Choir, Flute Ensembles, Saxophone Ensemble, Clarinet Ensemble, Guitar Ensembles, Stage Band, Jazz Ensemble, Junior Jazz Band and Funk Band.

New Students

Selecting an Instrument

Selection of an instrument can sometimes be a difficult process. We try to make it easier by doing some initial musical aptitude testing for new Year 7 students, and advising parents about what the most appropriate instrument might be for their child. At the same time we need to make sure that there is a balance of instruments in the program, so many factors are taken into consideration when an offer of tuition on an instrument is made.

Instrument Purchasing and Hire

Whilst a limited number of orchestral instruments taught at UHS are available for hire through the school, we do encourage students to purchase their own instruments as it amounts to huge savings to families in the long run. Most musical instruments, if kept in good order, don’t lose much value over the period of a few years (some even increase in value). The better the quality of instrument purchased initially, the better the value will be if you ever need to sell it.