Music has a long tradition of excellence at Meriden, and forms an essential part of each student’s education. The school has a thriving Music department which aims to foster a love of music in every student and develop the skills of talented young musicians.
Music in the Classroom
Music is taught by specialist teachers as a classroom subject to all students from Pre-K to Year 8, and as an elective subject from Year 9 to Year 12. HSC students may choose to study the Music 1, Music 2 or Music Extension courses. From time to time, visiting musicians conduct performances, workshops and master classes for various Music classes and ensembles.
Higher School Certificate Results in Music
Meriden's Music students regularly achieve outstanding results in the HSC, with the majority of students achieving a result in the top band. Meriden students are consistently named in the HSC Honours List for Music and nominated for their performances or compositions to appear in the ENCORE Concert held at the Sydney Opera House.
Junior School Music Enrichment for Years 5 and 6
As a result of the strong tradition in music at Meriden and the high number of musically-talented girls at the school, a specialist Music program exists in the Junior School. From Year 5, this program takes the form of specialised, streamed Music classes which, by virtue of the girls’ existing knowledge and the focus of the class, provide opportunity for the development of advanced musical concepts and shared experiences. This program also offers master classes with expert mentors, performance opportunities and involvement in a full school orchestra.
Junior School Instrumental Program
The Junior School instrumental program is an integral part of classroom Music lessons, facilitating advanced coverage of the prescribed Music curriculum. The current instrumental programs include the Year 3 strings program (violin, viola, cello and double bass) and the Year 5 woodwind/brass program (flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone and tuba).
The cocurricular program at Meriden offers a large number of performing ensembles aimed at every level of ability.
Junior School Ensembles
Years 3 – 4 Choir
All those who enjoy singing, Years 3–4.
Years 5 – 6 Choir
All those who enjoy singing, Years 5–6.
Students who have received private string lessons for at least one year, Years 2–6.
Intermediate to advanced string players, Grade 3 AMEB and above, Years 4–6.
All woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grade 1 AMEB and above, Years 3–6.
All string, woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grade 3 AMEB and above. This ensemble is available to girls from Years 5–12.
Senior School Music Ensembles
All those who enjoy singing, Years 7–12.
Advanced or more experienced choral singers, Years 7–8.
Advanced or more experienced choral singers, Years 9–12.
Senior Concert Band
Advanced woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grade 5 AMEB and above, Years 7–12.
Advanced brass, saxophone, bass and percussion players, Grade 5 AMEB and above, Years 7–12.
Advanced string, woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grades 5–6 AMEB and above, Years 7–12.
Senior Chamber Strings
Advanced string players, Grade 6 AMEB and above, Years 7–12.
Symphonic Wind Ensemble
All woodwind, brass and percussion players, Grade 3 AMEB and above, Years 7–12.
Advanced players in trios, quartets and quintets, Grades 5–6 AMEB and above.
Instrumental combinations vary according to the musicians who are at the required level each year. Combinations may include:
- string trio, quartet, quintet
- woodwind trio, quartet, quintet
- brass quartet, quintet
- piano trio
Contemporary Christian music, vocals, piano, guitar, bass, drums and lead instruments, Years 7–12.
Rock music, vocals, piano, guitar, bass, drums and lead instruments, Years 7–12.
Music Excursions, Tours and Camps
Senior School students studying Music as an elective subject regularly attend performances by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Opera Australia, Musica Viva and other major groups. The concerts chosen for our Music students are linked to various aspects of Music courses being studied in class. Most importantly, these concerts provide an invaluable opportunity to see and hear Australia’s finest musicians perform live.
The annual Meriden Music Camp is held over three days at a venue with excellent facilities on the outskirts of the Sydney metropolitan area. All members of performing ensembles in the Senior School attend this camp, which provides an enjoyable time of intensive rehearsals away from the distractions of the normal school week. During Music Camp, Meriden’s orchestras, bands and choirs have an opportunity to improve their performance standards, sometimes with a visiting conductor.
Senior Music ensembles undertake tours from time to time. These tours may be overseas, interstate or in regional NSW. In addition to showcasing the ensembles, the tours provide our Music students with experience in this essential aspect of the life of the performing musician.
Music at Meriden enjoys a reputation for excellence in both ensemble and individual performance. School assemblies, community events, combined schools’ festivals and our own series of Twilight Concerts, Ensembles Concerts and Amadeus Recitals, provide Meriden girls with many opportunities to perform to both small and large audiences. Meriden ensembles represent the School in eisteddfods, festivals and competitions.
The Amadeus program caters for those students from Years 5–12 who are involved with music at a high level in and out of School. The program is designed to support a commitment to music, oversee each student’s musical development, monitor and guide her academic schooling and provide exciting performance opportunities.
The objectives of the program are:
- to provide additional support to Music students to help them to manage their studies and assessments when they have pressing musical commitments outside the School;
- to seek opportunities for Music students to further their performance skills and confidence;
- to provide a special pastoral group which meets at least once per fortnight under the guidance of a member of the Music staff;
- to provide the girls with priority of music lesson times through the Meriden Music Academy;
- to give the students the option of reducing the number of electives undertaken in Years 8 to 10 in order to free up time for music lessons, rehearsals or music practice.
Meriden Music Academy
Private tuition is available through the Meriden Music Academy in all instruments, voice, theory, musicianship and speech and drama. Lessons are taught by qualified specialist teachers during the school day, after school and on Saturday.
Music Festivals and Concerts
Each year, the Houses in the Senior School prepare choral items for the House Music Festival and instrumental items for pastoral showcases. These items are usually chosen by the Music Prefect and senior students in each House, who also conduct the rehearsals and performances by their respective Houses.
Whole-school Music festivals and concerts are often a feature of the Meriden school calendar.
Musicals are an important part of the whole school community and aim to foster a holistic approach to the Performing Arts subjects at Meriden. Both the Junior and Senior Schools regularly perform musicals and productions. The quality of the shows and standard of performance is excellent, showcasing singing, drama and dancing along with visual effects, costumes and lighting. Musical Theatre is offered as an elective to students in Year 8, allowing the students to learn the techniques involved in singing, acting, choreography and staging.