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Music

Music at Kavanagh is a respected and valued part of the curriculum.

We have a very well-resourced department and students are taught to use music software and a range of instruments from Year 7. Students are able to choose from three different modules during Years 7 to 9.

Option A

This course is focussed on developing skills in live performance and sound engineering. It involves learning instrumental and/or vocal skills and building on existing skills in vocals, keyboard, guitars (acoustic, electric and bass) and drums, culminating in solo and group performances of students' own compositions and covers.  

Option B

This course is focussed on developing skills in computer-based composition and recording. It involves developing instrumental and/or vocal skills and developing or building upon on existing recording and production skills including remixing the school song, developing compositional skills in producing music for games and film, and computer-based music using an online Digital Audio Workstation.

Option C

This course is designed to explore the different styles and contexts in which music is performed from rock and roll and reggae, to waiata and western art music. You will explore key music genres through group performance on instruments, composition (instrumental or computer generated) and research.

Within the programme during these years, all students at the school are introduced to the elements of music and through these are taught how to perform, compose and how to listen to music. Within the classroom, students are taught theory (notation, signs and symbols) and aural (listening and analysing) and these skills are applied holistically within the units of study. Students are taught keyboard skills, introduced to guitar, drums and bass guitar and given the opportunity to play string and brass instruments. There is a keen focus on using technology to develop compositional skills utilising our school's BYOD policy. People who have come to Kavanagh with musical skills are encouraged to develop these with extension work and are encouraged to bring their own instruments into the classroom to use. In addition, singing is a big part of music at Kavanagh College and is an integral part of the music lessons.

Kavanagh has an excellent Itinerant Music Teacher Programme where students are able to have free tuition on woodwind, brass or string instruments and the school has a number of instruments that can be hired. Our instrumental teachers are well-respected teachers and performers within their fields and we are lucky to have them working within the school.

Music in Year 10

The Year 10 option is a one year course developing all aspects of music and those students who have shown appropriate aptitude have the opportunity to gain Level 1 credits in performance.

At all stages, students explore composing, performing and appreciating music.

In Years 9 and 10 the optional music programme develops the initial skills developed in the previous years in performance and composition. The compositional demands are increased and refined to the students' own strengths and students are encouraged to take part in national composition and performance competitions such as the Caritas 'Sing out 4 Justice' competition, the Robbie Rocks Songwriting Competition, the NZ Chamber Music Competition, the SmokeFree RockQuest, NZ Music Month's 'Hook Line and Singalong' songwriting competition. These tasks are completed within class time. When students reach Year 10 Music, some students with the practical skills are asked to focus on preparing for the end of year performances in which they will gain Level 1 performance credits.

Kavanagh has excellent music resources and these are available to students of all year groups and ensembles are encouraged to get together at intervals and lunchtimes.

Welcome to Senior Music

Music at Kavanagh is a thriving and exciting area. Music is a subject developing the creative and social elements at which all students can achieve, whilst remaining a thoroughly academic subject with standards being offered that can gain students literacy credits.

At a senior level students explore areas of study in performing, composing and analysing music and the context in which it is created. At Level 3 the course is tailored to the individual, focusing on what the learner's strengths are and what they are proposing to do once they leave Kavanagh. All students who are thinking of taking any music or performing arts papers at a tertiary level are tutored to take the Harmony and Tonality exam.

We have a history of students taking Music Scholarship and there is a robust and successful tutorial system in place for this liaising with phenomenal professors from the Otago University Music Department.

Senior Music students are encouraged to be practitioners outside of school, taking up the wide range of performance and composition options available to them in the Dunedin music and performing arts scene.

Students have access to free instrumental lessons within school time and a wide range of extra-curricular activities to take part in at all levels.

All art constantly aspires towards the condition of Music.
Walter Pater