Starting a school band?

Kathy Deacon
Director, Centre for Professional Learning

Graham Sattler demonstrates basic conducting principles and gestures

With growing importance being placed on the teaching of music and its place in education, the Centre for Professional Learning (CPL) and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music conducted the course Starting a School Band in a Primary School? The Fundamentals Explained.

Dr Graham Sattler from the Association of NSW Regional Conservatoriums presented the one-day course covering organisational, logistical and practical elements, with hands-on instrumental activities and role play designed to simulate the beginner band experience.

The course commenced with an explanation and discussion of the principles, practicalities and purpose of school bands and their relevance to the curriculum. There was an exploration of the logistical considerations and resources needed to outfit and organise a balanced ensemble.

Participants examined the logistical and resourcing requirements of setting up a band and there was a demonstration of basic conducting principles and gestures. An outline of ensemble learning dynamics was discussed and there was an examination of the differentiated learning opportunities and possibilities within the instrumental ensemble environment.

The primary school teachers, who wished to develop the practical and organisational skills required to start a school band in a school, had the opportunity to play a variety of instruments and participated in practical hands-on band experience.