To complement our 1:1 instrumental / vocal lessons, ensemble sessions are held each term on a fortnightly basis. We encourage all students – regardless of musicianship level - to join one of our ensembles, each taught by one of the Open Music Academy staff members. The sessions will help all students to develop their skills to the next level in a fun, supportive environment and give them an opportunity to work on their group skills as well as their individual 1:1.
Extra Performance Activities
- Ensemble sessions
In this group the junior string students in the Open Music Academy are invited to come together in regular ensemble sessions, in which they will learn the fundamentals of string ensemble playing. There will be a focus on key string skills such as intonation, bow strokes and tone production as well as general musicianship skills such as aural awareness, rhythmic precision and communication in a group. This ensemble session will help all students to develop their skills to the next level in a fun, supportive environment.
Junior Wind / Brass Ensemble
In this group the junior wind / brass students in the Open Music Academy are invited to come together in regular ensemble sessions, in which they will learn the fundamentals of wind / brass playing. There will be a focus on key skills such as intonation and tone production as well as general musicianship skills such as aural awareness, rhythmic precision and communication in a group. This ensemble session will help all students to develop their skills to the next level in a fun, supportive environment.
Advanced Wind and Brass Ensemble
This group covers essential elements of brass and wind ensemble performance at an intermediate to advanced level. Students will cover a range of repertoire and will learn how to blend their sound, perfect group breathing techniques, harmonise and develop secure group intonation, and broaden their stylistic awareness.
In these sessions, all Open Music Academy students are invited to join together in a choir, led by highly experienced vocal teacher Sara Lambert. Singing is a crucial foundation skill for all musicians- it develops aural awareness, listening skills, security of intonation and a sense of phrasing. Through these sessions all students will develop a new level of confidence and positivity in their singing skills, as well as improving their general musicianship and ensemble skills.
This choir, directed by vocal superstar Desiree Frahn, will extend and develop your vocal skills in a fun and supportive environment. Students will develop their sight reading skills, improve their intonation and listening skills, learn how to blend their voices and work on breathing techniques. A range of repertoire will be covered across a variety of styles.
An opportunity for guitar students to come together in a small ensemble to develop group listening skills, rhythmic precision, blending of sound and enjoy the special tone world of group guitar repertoire. Led by Caleb Lavery- Brook, the group will cover a broad range of repertoire from pop through flamenco to classical.
Jazz/ Pop Ensemble
This group is suitable for students who would like to come together in informal jam sessions to workshop charts together, improving ensemble skills and rhythmic awareness. These sessions will be held in the percussion studio, with students learning to listen to each other, follow direction, play from lead sheets and explore their creativity.
Chamber Music Groups
This activity is for intermediate and advanced students who would like to play together in small chamber groups, which will be offered coaching during the ensemble sessions on Saturdays. Playing chamber music is an excellent way to improve musicianship, listening and leadership skills, as well as being great fun. Please note that while we will make every effort to find a suitable group for all interested students, it may not be possible to place every student in a chamber group immediately as we will be matching students by age and level as well as instruments.
This group is suitable for intermediate to advanced piano students and will cover a broad range of keyboard skills including basic improvising, playing by ear, transposing, score reading, sight reading and reading figured bass. This session also offers an opportunity for piano students to come together as a group and discuss performance and technique skills.
Saturday mornings, 10:00 - 10.45am and 10:45 - 11.30am, Percussion Studio (Madley Building – Basement)
Available to students aged 7 – 11, these sessions focus on developing strong rhythm skills through percussion and movement, and will also work on preparing repertoire for performance. While these sessions use percussion instruments they are open to students of all instruments, including voice. Students will improve their reading and counting skills, develop a strong sense of pulse and accurate subdivision of the beat. They will also develop fundamental ensemble skills such as following parts, following the conductor and blending with a group
These sessions will be delivered by Amanda Grigg, Head of Brass & Percussion - Elder Conservatorium of Music.
Term 1 Saturday 16 February Saturday 2 March Saturday 16 March Saturday 30 March Term 2 Saturday 18 May Saturday 1 June Saturday 15 June Saturday 29 June Term 3 Saturday 3 August Saturday 17 August Saturday 7 September Saturday 21 September Term 4 Saturday 19 October Saturday 2 November Saturday 23 November Saturday 7 December
All Open Music Academy students are invited to perform in front of their family, friends, teachers and peers on a world-class stage. Performance experience is an invaluable component of musical education and confidence building, and during these concerts, students get the opportunity to showcase their hard work they have put in during the term.
Mid-year concert: Sunday 30 June, Madley Rehearsal Studio
End of year concert: Sunday 1 December, Elder Hall
- Creative music making sessions
These sessions will be available to all levels of musicians in the Centre for Young Musicians. Students will access their creativity, moving away from conventional music notation, supported by creative workshop leaders with experience in Australia and the United Kingdom. Through the creative music making sessions, students will find that their musical confidence, communication skills and listening skills are all improved, supporting the development of their overall general musicianship.
- Chamber music days
Students will form into small ensembles and groups, developing their listening, communication and ensemble skills. These sessions will be supervised by some of Australia’s most experienced chamber musicians, giving students the chance to learn the secrets of small group music making from experts in the field.
- Technique booster
In these workshops all students will have their technical skills boosted and extended. Lead teachers from the Elder Conservatorium of Music will give their expert advice on specific technical challenges relevant to their instruments. Advanced students will be invited to share their learning with younger members of the Centre for Young Musicians, acting as ‘practice buddies’ and establishing a positive peer mentorship.
- Side by side rehearsals
Intermediate and Advanced Open Music Academy musicians will be given the opportunity to play side by side with Elder Conservatorium of Music students in rehearsals with the Elder Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra or Elder Conservatorium Wind Orchestra. There will be additional opportunities for Beginner level students to link with these ensembles, to broaden their horizons and interact with the next generation of South Australia’s professional musicians.
- Performance skill workshops
Students will be given expert advice and coaching in performance presentation, tone production, the secrets of a successful audition and how to communicate with an audience. The workshops will be led by core Elder Conservatorium of Music staff, as well as visiting guest artists.