At Milford School we really value music education and it is an integral part of our school culture. We encourage all children to be actively involved in the arts, not only as a creative outlet but to develop their learning and social development.
We are very fortunate to have a full time music specialist, Mrs Eugenie Middleton, who is passionate about providing positive learning experiences for every child and to nurture their musical abilities.
There are three components to the Milford School music programme:
- Classroom music lessons
- Music groups
- Itinerant music lessons
Classroom Music Lessons
Every class has music lessons for 45 minutes per week with music specialist, Eugenie Middleton. In these lessons, the children are immersed in a holistic learning experience, which incorporates a mixture of singing, music games, rhythm and body percussion, movement, dance, drama and instrumental playing.
All lessons are linked to the school wide inquiry theme so that the learning is done in a meaningful context and can be linked into to the learning in the classroom.
Throughout their time at school, all students would have experienced playing a wide range of un-tuned percussion instruments, ukulele, marimba and xylophone, recorder, boom whackers and stomping tubes.
At Milford School there are an abundance of music groups for the children to be involved in. These music groups encourage the children to enhance their learning and to explore different musical genres in a fun, focussed learning environment. Many of the groups represent the school in festivals and concerts throughout the year.
Music groups available are:
Year 2 Recorder – a beginner recorder group that teaches basic recorder playing skills, rhythm and note reading.
Year 3 Recorder – an extension recorder group for children who learnt recorder in Year 2. The children continue to develop skills of playing together, learning new notes and basic note reading.
Year 4-6 Recorder – this group is an ensemble group, with children who are skilled at playing the descant recorder and now learn to play the alto and tenor recorders in a small group.
Year 3 -6 Ukulele Group – a mixed ability ukulele group that rehearses throughout the year to perform in the New Zealand Ukulele Festival.
Year 5 and 6 Xylophone Group – an extension group for senior children. This has about 40 members and rehearses hard all year to represent the school in two main concerts: the Auckland Marimba Festival and to perform with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra in their annual children’s concert held at the Bruce Mason Center.
Rock band – This celebrates the skills learnt in our itinerant programme – providing opportunities for children who learn guitar at school. The rock band play together once a week on songs they choose, working towards playing in assemblies throughout the year. Groups often continue to play together and develop skills at Intermediate School.
Whole School Orchestra – This is one of the children’s favourite groups. The music is arranged by Eugenie Middleton to specifically cater for the huge range of abilities and instruments the children are learning to play. This is a wonderful opportunity for the children to develop skills of following a conductor, playing as part of an ensemble and reading basic music in a relaxed, nurturing environment.
Year 4-6 Chamber Choir – This smaller choir works towards special events that arise annually. In 2017, a small group from this choir will be performing in the Town Hall and Bruce Mason Center for Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra in April. Later in the year, the full choir will represent the school in the APPA Music Festival in the Town Hall. At the end of the year, the choir will perform with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra as part of the annual Christmas by the Lake Concert.
Year 4 – 6 Kids for Kids Choir – This is an all comers choir who rehearse hard all year to perform in the Bruce Mason Center at the Kids for Kids Concert. This is an exciting concert with guest singers – Jackie Clarke and Nathan King.
Kapa Haka is an integral part of the Milford School culture. It is a great opportunity for our students to learn about, express and showcase Māori heritage and culture through song and dance. Our group gathers together once a week for 45 minutes to learn about many aspects of Māori traditions, culture and language. Traditional greeting and action songs are learned along with a school haka. Currently we have more than 100 Year 4, 5 and 6 children from many different cultures participating in this group. Each year we perform at the Onepoto Cultural Festival, as well as sharing with our community at other opportunities.
To find out more, check out the Kapa Haka site.
Itinerant Music Lessons
We are very fortunate at Milford School that we have itinerant music teachers who come into school and give private piano, violin, guitar and flute lessons throughout the year. Parents pay for this individual tuition and if you are interested in this, information is available at the office.
At Milford School, we encourage the children to develop creatively through dance. In classroom music, the younger children participant in many dance activities, purposefully chosen to develop fine and gross motor skills, co-ordination and balance. In the middle and senior school, children create their own dances in response to a variety of stimuli including Maori Myth and Legends and action words.
In addition to this, there are two lunchtime dance groups available for the children to join.
Year 3 and 4 Dance Group
This is an audition group that rehearse once a week during their lunchtimes. They learn choreographed pieces and perform at sharing assemblies in front of the school throughout the year and at the Christmas Festival of Song at the end of the year.
Year 5 and 6 Dance Group
This is an audition group of children, who build on the skills they learnt in Year 3 and 4. Bi-annually they are invited to perform with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra at the Bruce Mason Center for their proms concert. They have also been selected for and represented the school in the National Jump Jam Finals. They perform throughout the year in sharing assemblies, during school productions and at the end of year Christmas Festival of Song.
Milford School integrate drama into their inquiry learning experiences, encouraging the children to become confident at performing in front of an audience. Bi-annually, the school proudly present two amazing productions – one for the Junior School and one for the Senior School. In these productions, we encourage all children to perform on stage, include all the music groups and dance groups. It is an outstanding showcase of the talent learnt at Milford School.
To view the trailer of the 2016 Senior Production click on the link: Road to Rio . The Password is Rio
To view the trailer of the 2016 Junior Production click on the Pirates vs Mermaids. The password is Pirates