Class 8 Music 

Theme Transitions “What I carry into the world has consequences”

Students are transitioning into the world where change is inevitable. They are changing the way they think, learn and even the way they see the world. Breaking music into its essential elements brings structure to the chaos and beauty of music and helps to transition students into practical knowledge that will help provide a foundation for their ability to read music, make music and explore sound arts. Making sense of music is a challenging concept and it challenges students to move beyond their comfort zone into a whole new world of possibilities.

Physically their bodies are adjusting to puberty and through the learning of an instrument they can gain control of their co-ordination and reform the kinesthetic motion that often can be left clumsy or changed somehow within their spurts of growth.

Individual identity is emerging and finding their own interests within music is an exciting time. 

Vocally students are often still finding confidence within their own sound. This transition can be the hardest to overcome through their time in Upper School. 

As students grow in confidence they hone their vocal and instrumental skills through whole class and group music making towards performance based outcomes, transitioning them into music makers and appreciators of a variety of instruments and styles of music.

Class 9 Music 

Theme – Polarity  “The drama of the world around me inspires strength  within myself”

Music in class 9 is centered around fostering students towards gaining inspiration from a deepening understanding of music works, practical music making and the formation of their own musical identity.

Students learn to compare contrasting genres through analysis of musical scores, and exposure to dramatic musical elements within focused listening to a series of set works. This fosters a heightened ability to describe musical features and re-create within a performance discipline, while extending the tonal palate upon which they can draw for inspiration.

Choral works, Classical, Romantic and Neo-Classical genres offer a deepening emotive connection to dramatic works and a stronger emphasis on comparative models.

Students gain an insight into their own growing musical tastes throughout the course and develop towards instrumentally replicating the tonal qualities they select for performance. This harbours its own challenges while students develop their own technical competency of their chosen instrument, while learning to combine the dramatic elements and their interpretation of the selected material.

By the end of the year students will have gained confidence within their growing skills towards taking the next step towards SSC performance and genre studies.

Class 10 Music 

Theme – Balance  “Transformations are created in the balance between opposites”

Music in class 10 is centered on performance and devising products based on a creative process. Building on the foundation music skills in previous years, level 1 SSC challenges students abilities to bring in balance the skills of devising, interpreting, describing and communicating musical ideas. The major challenges for students are to find a balance between their artistic visions, growing abilities to conceptualize, and their ability to re-create or form these ideas into a finished product and performances.

Students select pieces of music to demonstrate a growing proficiency on their chosen instrument. They are challenged to bring into balance the musical elements within their chosen work towards a realized performance. This takes dedication throughout the rehearsal process to listen and identify musical elements that will enhance their performance, while fostering their ability to devise and construct instrumental parts both individually and as a group that will effectively replicate their chosen work.

Class 11 Music 

Theme – Analysis  “I seek the hidden laws of the world and of life”

Core Music in class 11 is centered on furthering performance skills and analysis of contrasting genres. Through seeking an understanding behind the themes and features of music genres a deeper understanding of truth is gained. Social, historical and cultural contexts of their chosen works are explored which then places the set works in context within the wider world. Students examine the drive behind the creation of their chosen works and the artistic influences which heightens the response and connection to their chosen work. Students then work towards recreating a selection of these works building on their heightened understanding of the context of the piece. This process precedes the further transformation of a deeper connection to the work, and encourages passion and empathy within the performance discipline.

Elective Music in class 11 focusses on the study of artist models towards re-creating musical elements in performance and composition. Reflective practice is also enhanced through a sustained rehearsal period for the students to then engage in processes to enrich their performance delivery. Their composition portfolio forms the beginnings of creative expression, using their analysis of musical components essential in creating effective pieces. This provides the basis for future direction within their ongoing sense of self as emerging artists.

Class 12 Music 

Theme – “Synthesis”

Core Music in Class 12 is centered on finding the inner voice. Singing and group music making undergoes a final transformation where the students then share their own unique voice through making a solo vocal presentation at the Festival of Song. This displays a number of challenges to harness the inner-self in a deepened form of self-expression.  Students learn to overcome performance anxiety, self-doubt, outward perceptions and to harness their confidence in themselves as unique individuals. Their song choice often represents a deeper link to their sense of self and is a fantastic opportunity to give perspective to their transition into the outer world.

Elective Music in Class 12 focusses on a deepened study of artist models towards re-creating musical elements in performance and composition. Refined performance techniques are explored and brought into focus with the stylistic integrity of the students own musical identity fusing with their ability to create and interpret music at an advanced level. This provides the platform for their final transition into their formed identity as a musician, for tertiary study and beyond.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities:

Smoke Free Rock Quest saw each of our 4 entries awarded for their Song writing and musicianship: Peter Mitchell winning the Lowdown Best Song Award ($100 cash prize), Jessica Howard winning the MAINZ Musicianship Award and the chance to apply for the MAINZ Scholarship Award. Greater Than III (Sunny Schaller, Louis Tobin, Timothy Mitchel and Finn Swan) went through to experience their first time in the Regional Finals, taking out the APRA Lyrics Award for their progressive rock piece. Angel Hutchinson was the overall winner of the Duo/Solo section and is celebrating her selection through the next round in preparation for the National Finals qualifying round where she is creating a 15min video to showcase her Song writing and performing. For our students to have had such success is highly rewarding for their ongoing progression into the industry. I am very excited for them and as a music teacher to be able to see all the dedication they are showing to their craft be celebrated so fully at industry standard is the best reward of all!

BIG SING saw our Upper School Chorale build towards our first competition. I always remember the first groups fondly and was very proud of each of our student’s contribution to this new experience. It is fantastic to be able to celebrate new styles of music and embrace the challenge of the BIG SING and put our choir on the map. We had a standing ovation at the Gala concert where soloist Noah Watson shared his stunning boy soprano voice with us for “Hine, e Hine”. I look forward to next year with our choir to harness our acapella group singing, emergence into waiata and choral music.

The Chamber Ensemble Competition saw our first school group entry with Peter and Timothy Mitchell, Finn Van Leuven, and William Taylor. They had an amicable performance and I’m looking forward to supporting their emergence with further performances to support their growth. With such talented individuals amongst them they have an amazing amount of potential for their recent work. They will also be performing at the Tawa Over 60’s luncheon in August and at as a part of our community festivals. Timothy Mitchell also played in another chamber group with Sophie Lew, who were awarded 2nd place and offered the opportunity to perform at the regional finals as guest performers in Whanganui.

Jazz Combo is bringing some gorgeous new sounds to Raphael House: riffs, breaks, gliss and scat, solos, syncopation and sophisticated harmony. The newly formed RH Jazz Combo, is getting into the swing with Trad standards and Latin rhythms, preparing for the NZ School of Music Jazz Festival. We rehearse once a week on Friday lunchtimes, with extra rehearsals to prepare for special events. We will be attending workshops on improvisation and jazz technique as part of the jazz festival. Bands and small combos come from all over New Zealand to perform, some hoping for a trophy, but mostly just for fun. Raphael House Jazz Combo is performing four pieces: Girl from Ipanema (Latin style), I’m In the Mood for Love (Ballad style), On the Sunny Side of the Street (Swing style) and ‘I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter (Swing Style).During 2014, we will have lots of work to do, preparing our twenty minute set and building up our repertoire. We will be playing out in the community, in school and busking during term four. We have a keen core of trumpet, alto saxophone, vocal, bass and drums, but more players and singers would be very welcome to try their talents as the next Art Tatum, Django Rheinhart, Bessie Smith, Coleman Hawkins, Dizzie Gillespie or Louis Armstrong.

Song writing and Performance: extending our music students as they emerge into the industry is a large focus of our extra-curricular program. Our students perform in the wider community at events including Petone Carnival and compete nationally in events like Play It Strange and local competitions through Acoustic Routes and Zeal. This experience provide a much needed foundation of what it is like in the music industry and also fosters a strong connection with events managers and gives insight into potential pathways for our young performers.

School-wide Instrumental Music Tuition and the teachers available:

Our Instrumental Music Programme fosters Individual and groups lessons in Strings, Wind, Singing, Piano, and Guitar from our team of enthusiastic and experienced tutors. Individual lessons are $27.00, shared lessons are $18.00, and group lessons are $12.00. For further information and enrolments please email:

Alison Eldredge – Class 3 Strings
Emerald Rose Clark – Drums and guitar
Kate Sanders O’Connor – Piano
Megan Corby – Singing
Ian Ridgewell – Brass