New NESA Accredited Music Courses

3 New NESA Accredited Music Courses at Sydney Rudolf Steiner College

About Our Course Presenter – Adrienne Alexander
Adrienne Alexander
B.Mus.Ed (Merit), A.Mus.A, M.Mus (Mus.Ed), Grad. Dip, M.A.

Adrienne Alexander has been a music educator for over 25 years. She began her undergraduate studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where she graduated with merit in 1995 and later in 1997 completed a Masters Degree in Music Education. Performing as a soloist and in music theater, in 2001 Adrienne moved to Paris where she studied flute and French language, then to London to study flute with a Professor of the Royal Guildhall of Music. She returned to Sydney to commence post-graduate studies in film production at The Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) where she completed both a Graduate Diploma and a Masters Degree in Sound Design and Effects for Film.

After working for several years as a sound designer in the film industry, Adrienne returned to being a full-time music teacher. She currently specialises as a flute tutor, ensemble conductor, choirmaster  and a woodwind examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board.

Since 2013 Adrienne has been working at Lorien Novalis Steiner School where she continues to develop the primary school recorder program and choir. She has become conscious of a gap in musical resources for Steiner Schools and therefore writes most of her own music to represent aspects of the Steiner curriculum and ethos for use in the classroom.

We’re very fortunate to have Adrienne working with us here at Sydney Rudolf Steiner College.

This year, Adrienne Alexander was engaged by the College Education Coordinator, Emilia Salgado to present three NESA accredited courses for the Foundation in Rudolf Steiner Education and Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education cohort. The courses are:

Music in Lower Primary – 4 hour course
Music in Upper Primary – 4 hour course
Music in the Main Lessons – 8 hour course

Q & A with Adrienne Alexander

Recently, I caught up with Adrienne after the last Seminar the College ran at Glenaeon School in October this year. Here’s a summary of our Q & A!

Q: You’ve now developed and presented three NESA music modules for Sydney Rudolf Steiner College: Music in Lower Primary, Music in Upper Primary and Music in the Main Lessons. Our DE02 Foundation and DE03 Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education students got so much out of these workshops, the reviews were outstanding. What can teachers who’ve done these workshops expect to take back into the classroom?
A: Teachers can expect to come away with a clear understanding of the music syllabus requirements in Steiner schools, an idea of how to read and write musical notation, and how to structure music lessons in the classroom. More importantly they will develop their skills in singing and playing recorder, plus have a large set of musical resources to use with children of any age group. 
Q: How many NESA hours do these 3 courses provide?
A: Well, Music for Lower Primary and Music for Upper Primary are 8 hours together, four hours each. Music in the Main Lessons is another 8 hours.

Q: Some teachers have no music awareness at all and are often quite nervous holding a recorder for the first time or reading music. What skill development have you seen in our College students who’ve done your courses?
A: There have been some amazing transformations in the skill development of all of the participants in the courses so far. There have been some who are quite experienced in music, and others who have never played before. Regardless of this, every participant in the course was able to contribute to making music in a group and increase their confidence in their own playing abilities. As most of the music learning in my courses is done by ear, reading music is not a prerequisite. Students can also follow up and practice their skills along with the additional online YouTube clips created for the course.

Q: Coming up with music for the newest course, Music in the Main Lessons, ended up being quite a big task for you. I know you spent days compiling music and then you even wrote your own! Talk about going above and beyond! So, tell us about the new resource you’ve produced…
A: Coming up with enough resources for the Music in the Main Lesson course was a big challenge,
as there seems to be quite a gap in suitable music for the Steiner syllabus. However, the course motivated me to adapt some music specifically for the course, and also create some original music for main lesson topics. Seeing how successful the original pieces were, has also inspired me to complete a full volume of original music for a large variety of main lesson topics. This is well underway and hopefully will be finished by next year.

Q: That’s something to look forward to! How lucky we are that you’ve been inspired to do this. I agree there is a lack of Main Lesson music resources, especially pieces that relate to an Australian context too.

I know, because my students tell me, that many were quite anxious about their music skill level so I know all your preparation is geared to helping them learn quickly and feel empowered. What will a class teacher who might have basic musical training, but plenty of enthusiasm, bring to a classroom?

A: Conveying a love of music rather than perfection in music is what it’s all about. Having fun, making mistakes, learning together with the children is far more valuable than aiming to be note perfect every time.

Q: Have you got a favorite Steiner quote that inspires you every time?
A: “When the human being hears music he has a sense of well-being, because these tones harmonize with what he has experienced in the world of his spiritual home.”

Thank you Adrienne. Having sat in our Adrienne’s NESA workshops this year,  I can concur with the students who wrote sensational reviews of her courses; she’s a gifted educator with a wonderful capacity to make music learning accessible to all – Emilia

Listening to Our Students

Introducing more music training in the Foundations in Rudolf Steiner Education (DE02) course is the result of feedback from our students saying they were often ill prepared as new class teachers to teach music, “We need more music training! We’re often just a little ahead of the class!”. So these new courses aim to address this. Our Foundation students are able to cover all of Adrienne’s courses whilst they study with us – one year, part time with 2 intensives.

Or teachers can attend her NESA accredited courses run at Glenaeon, without being enrolled Foundation students.

Or thirdly, get a group of teachers together and Adrienne can come to you!

For more information about the Foundations in Rudolf Steiner Education or these NESA courses please email the College at: [email protected]