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Think of a real life scenario of the 2003 hit movie School of Rock, and you almost have the right picture of the new Music Rock Band class for Year 9 music at St Peter’s College (except the teachers here are qualified and the classes are structured).

Are you ready to rock? This question has been posed to all Year 9 students who are learning music this semester. This one semester unit of work explores the principles and practices of playing bass guitar, rhythm guitar, drum kit and keyboard in a rock band setting.

Although there is some basic music theory covered in classes, the main learning outcome for this class is for students to experience music through practical application in a rock band setting. The course is designed to be very hands-on so that students engage in music through developing skills on the rock instruments.

In Term 1, students focus on developing core skills and an understanding of each rock instrument. In the first 4 lessons for each class, the students are given a thorough overview of each instrument and then given a chance to play it. Once all the instruments have been introduced, students rotate between keys, guitar, bass and drums each lesson so that they are continually learning the basics of each instrument. In conjunction with rock experts, Jordan Lennon and Marcus Barricelli, who are part of the instrumental staff at Saints, we have developed a specialised rock booklet for the students to work through. Students work individually or collaboratively as they learn and discover new techniques or interesting sounds that they can create as they work through the booklet.

By Term 2 the students will have acquired new technical skills required to play rock instruments and will also have gained an understanding of the function of each instrument within a band. This will allow students to begin applying their newly acquired skills by playing pop and rock music as a band.

The boys have been working exceptionally well and have taken to the Music Rock Band class with enthusiasm. Thus far, this new course has created a positive learning environment for the boys . They have been developing new skills in music that most students haven’t experienced before.

Mr Brad Turner
Music Teacher – Senior School