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The Music Curriculum

To perform solo or be part of a band, orchestra or ensemble is exciting, but it requires persistence and lots of practise. While studying music, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve success and the real rewards of hard work.

Music is an academic subject with its own special body of knowledge, skills and unique ways of knowing and thinking.  The music program at Port Douglas State School is designed to cultivate a love and appreciation for music while building upon children’s musical knowledge through a structured, well defined and logical sequence.  Musical concepts are learned through singing, composing, moving, listening and playing percussion instruments within a supportive learning environment. 

Throughout your child’s musical journey, they will learn to read notes on the staff to perform songs on the recorder, compose pieces for chime bars using tonic solfa, identify musical elements from a variety of musical suites, play as part of a ‘Jellybeans’ percussion ensemble and experience a drum circle. 

Port Douglas State School aims to deliver a high quality music education which enables a lifelong participation in, and enjoyment of music, one of life’s simplest pleasures. 

Port’s Got Talent

Once a year students are given the opportunity to identify their personal talents and prepare an act to perform at the ‘Port’s Got Talent’ show.  The talent show aims to motivate students to create, rehearse and refine an act based around their chosen skill or talent, either as a solo performer or collaboratively within an ensemble.  The audition process and the talent show also provide an arena for students to perform in front of a crowd and to receive encouraging and positive feedback. 

In the past excited members of the audience have been treated to a variety of acts including gymnastics, dance, music, singing, comedy and also those of a magical kind.  Each act must attend an audition with Miss Scanlan who will then decide upon the acts to go forwards into the Grand Finale.  Acts must be well practised and contain appropriate material (content or song choice) in order to go onto the finals.   

Participation certificates are awarded to all students who audition to Port’s Got Talent, with the winning act within each category receiving a medallion.

Categories for the 2016 Port’s Got Talent show are:

  1. Music

  2. Dance

  3. Singing

  4. Other Talents (i.e. magic/comedy/gymnastics/card tricks)

Port's Got Talent will be held during week 10 of term 3.

African Drumming

This year we were excited to have the support from the P&C to purchase some Djembe's (a tradition drum of the Mandingue people of West Africa) to begin a drumming program at the school. On Thursday at first lunch, interested students  share the joy of playing the Djembe, while learning self-awareness, listening skills, coordination, cooperation and patience. 


Ukulele Orchestra

A small group of enthusiastic musicians have come together to form Port Douglas State Schools very first Ukulele Orchestra. During lunchtime practises students explore correct playing techniques, ensemble awareness and most importantly experience the joy of singing and playing with others.  Students learn to sing and strum traditional songs and songs written especially for the purpose of teaching ukulele.  

Instrumental Music

Lessons are conducted during school time and are generally half an hour long.  These lessons are taught in groups of 3-6 students.  Students must see their instructor if they cannot attend a lesson.

Ensembles (i.e. Concert Band) are part of the instrumental program.  As soon as the instructor feels your child is ready they will become a member of an ensemble.  This is usually not before six months of tuition.

Progress on any instrument is dependent on regular practice.  Practice should be regarded as homework and is often best done along with student’s other set homework.  Students are expected to practice 20-30 minutes at least 5 times a week.

Your child’s success will depend on support at home and the encouragement you can give.

The school owned instruments are there to provide an inexpensive way to find out if your child is going to enjoy playing a particular instrument.  Priority is given to beginner students.  Loan periods are usually one year but this is often extended for the more expensive instruments.

Acceptance into the program is on the basis of a minimum of one year and may continue through to the end of high school.  The student may withdraw from the program by request in writing by the parent or guardian.  Tuition may also be discontinued by the principal in consultation with the instructor if:

1.    The student is chronically absent from lessons or ensemble rehearsals.

2.    The student is not able to take part in ensemble practice.

3.    The student makes little effort to practice or work at the instrument.

4.    The student is unsuited to the instrument or shows little aptitude.  This may be a case of change of instrument being recommended.

5.    A system of three warnings is in place to notify students of any problems.

Mouthpieces and reeds should never be shared by different students.  This assists in preventing the spread of infectious diseases.

Please complete Expression of Interest:  Instrumental Music (PDF, 148KB) and return to office.

Instrumental Music Fees

Donations comprise of two parts, the first of which is an amount everyone contributes for the purchase of schools instruments, music and accessories.  This enables the school to keep updating equipment and music scores.  The second is only asked of people using school owned instruments.  These funds go towards maintenance and servicing the instrument when your child’s loan period is complete. If all fees are not received before the second semester the student will no longer be able to continue the program. Arrangements need to be made with the school office if the deadline cannot be met.


​Resource Fee ​Instrument Hire
​Musical Instrument ​$50.00 ​$90.00
​Drums ​$50.00 ​$10.00


Parents are invited to contact the instructor to discuss questions, concerns, progress and other issues relating to your child’s participation in the program by arranging an interview through the school office.