Community Music Project/School Highlight
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Published: 08-Jun-2021

Community Music Project/School Highlight

With St Benedict’s being an all-boys school, the focus of class music is for the boys to experience music and to practically play instruments. An effective and enjoyable way of doing just that has been to make use of our marimbas. It is the perfect way to differentiate between the boy’s different skill levels: the boys that do not have as much rhythm playing basic crotchet notes, while the boys that are more skilled, usually playing the melody parts.


 

With St Benedict’s being an all-boys school, the focus of class music is for the boys to experience music and to practically play instruments. An effective and enjoyable way of doing just that has been to make use of our marimbas. It is the perfect way to differentiate between the boy’s different skill levels: the boys that do not have as much rhythm playing basic crotchet notes, while the boys that are more skilled, usually playing the melody parts.

The boys are so passionate about the marimbas; they are in the classroom at break times practising their parts and, if they were allowed before and after school, they would be there too. The popularity for marimbas has grown so much. We have four different marimba bands as part of the cultural clubs after school. We have two grade 4 & 5 bands, and two grade 6 & 7 bands. These bands are so in demand that we have to audition the boys, and there are always more boys eager and enthusiastic to participate.

Any ensemble is an amazing way for children to learn to play as a cohesive ‘team’, just as they would in any sport. They learn to listen to each other, when to play softer and louder, as well as helping each other when they are struggling. One of the wonderful elements of playing marimbas is that the children do not have to have any prior experience with music and they do not need to play an instrument to know how to play; it is something everyone can do.

We even had a staff marimba band at one stage! The staff absolutely loved playing, found it very therapeutic and it contributed to the ‘wellness of their week. It is certainly proof that no one is too young or old to learn how to play marimbas.

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