Music

Our Performing Arts Music Stream is an industry-based program beginning in Kindergarten through to Year 12. Our program is unique in Australia. Our highly qualified and passionate staff draw upon many years of experience as practising musicians.

Our Performing Arts Music Stream is an extensive offering that is additional to the more general Academic Music subject, which forms part of most schools’ academic curricula.

Our Performing Arts Music Stream is an ensemble and performance-based program, with a focus on preparing students to perform at the highest possible standard whilst learning about the Music Industry and what it takes to be a professional musician.

This is achieved through a focus on live performance opportunities, from set up to pack down, and through consistency of performance practice.

Students receive up to 10 hours of training and all during the course of a normal school day, while continuing to work towards their HSC, in an inclusive, safe, and supportive environment that they enjoy coming to every day.

We also offer the Academic Music syllabus to all students.

What you will learn

This holistic and engaging stream begins with introducing the fundamentals in

  • music theory
  • the study and execution of different genres and styles
  • performance techniques, and
  • composition styles and techniques.

We build upon these fundamentals by

  • nurturing each student’s natural creativity
  • providing opportunities to explore and experiment with different instruments and styles
  • teaching technique and in the junior school, overseeing their music practice
  • helping students to discover their unique brand of artistry, and
  • giving students pre-professional and real-world performance opportunities from time to time.

Performance opportunities

At The McDonald College, we offer a variety of performance opportunities to our students to help prepare them for real-world careers in their area of focus.

  • Showcase performances during the year
  • High Performance Week
  • Open Days, formal functions, and assemblies
  • External gigs from time to time, and
  • Various internal and external competitions and eisteddfods

In addition to the theoretical and technical skills to prepare students for tertiary study and a pathway to a career in music / entertainment, students will also develop vital and transferrable ‘soft skills’ such as

  • discipline
  • leadership
  • active listening
  • strong recall and memorisation
  • non-verbal social skills
  • collaboration and teamwork
  • confidence
  • being an appreciative audience.

Program structure

Kindergarten – Year 6

All students in primary school take classes in Academic Music.

Kindergarten participates in a 30-minute weekly Music lesson called ‘Storytelling through sound and song.’

Years 1 – 2 learn the violin as part of a group Music lesson (one hour per week).

All K – 2 students participate in a weekly Infants Choir rehearsal.

Students in Years 3 – 6 continue their instrumental learning journey for one hour per week as directed by our dedicated Primary Music Teacher. Instruments on offer include

  • violin
  • flute
  • trumpet
  • clarinet
  • saxophone
  • acoustic guitar, and
  • percussion

They also participate in a 30-minute weekly Choir rehearsal.

Years 7 – 12 

Students in Secondary school may choose to specialise in our Performing Arts Music Stream. They work together across Year Levels as a team towards common performance-based goals.

All Secondary students receive up to 10 hours of additional specialised training per week.

All Secondary students across the school have an Elective day. On this day students can choose from

Industry mentoring

Industry Day sees industry professionals invited to mentor the students. This provides real-world experiences, and specialist workshops centred around professional and practical advice and training.

Australian Institute of Music (AIM)

The Australian Institute of Music is Australia’s largest tertiary music institution. AIM tutors host workshops with our Senior Music students from time to time and our students may be offered the opportunity to perform at AIM venues in a professionally-produced showcase format.

This provides a way for our students to understand and work towards expectations, should they be interested in exploring tertiary education options in music, after they graduate.

Possible career paths

Our Music students graduate with a raft of options – regardless of whether they decide to pursue tertiary study in music (or alternate programs), a career in the industry, or choose to work in an altogether different field.

Alumni successes

  • Luke Davidson and Isabella Manfredi (The Preatures)
  • Meg Mac

Private tuition

We offer Private Tuition in Music – both instrumental and vocal training. These lessons are provided by staff who are selected from a pool of music industry professionals.

Get in touch with our Registrar

02 9752 0507 | registrar@mcdonald.nsw.edu.au