Downlands has a long established history of excellence in Music education. The College is justifiably proud of its musicians as they are a dedicated, passionate and gifted group of students. They are generous with their talents and have gained an excellent reputation within their community.

The Music Program has a strong influence throughout the College and all students from Years 7 to 12 are encouraged to get involved in one of the many College ensembles. 

Our history of excellence in music is reflected in the various achievements of our students and Past Students. Downlands musicians successfully participate in public performance within the community, the Toowoomba Eisteddfod, Queensland Catholic Music Festival, national and international tours, camps, Queensland Conservatorium State Honours Ensemble Program, other competitions as well as playing a vital role in the performing and liturgical life of the College.

From Nashville to Broadway, Covent Garden and beyond, past Downlanders can be found performing on the international stage. The Music Program at Downlands prepares our students for a lifelong love of music and equips them with the skills and confidence to pursue a professional career in music. The connection our Past Students have with Downlands often sees them return to the College in order to mentor and give back to the current generation of young Downlands musicians.

Academic Music 

Music is taught as part of the compulsory Performing Arts unit to all Year 7 students and is then offered as an elective through to Year 12. In the Middle School, there are many units offered to cater for a wide range of experience and tastes in music.

In the Senior School, Music is offered through two subjects, Senior Music and Senior Music Extension. In all units, students will be challenged to compose, play and analyse different music and to become familiar with music technology. Downlands regularly produces some of the strongest results for Year 12 students studying Music and Music Extension.

Music Technology

There is a wealth of music technology resources available to the students who are involved in Music at Downlands. Capitalising on the Digital Downlands program, Music students have access to hardware and software resources to turn their laptop into a professional, mobile recording studio. These mobile studios allow our students to compose, record and produce both solo and collaborative covers and original works.

In addition, the students have access to the latest and most innovative Music Technology software titles including Sibelius, Pro Tools, Mixcraft, Guitar Pro, Auralia Cloud Edition, Noteflight and more. We also have specially equipped silent rehearsals stations which allow students to perform and rehearse together using headphones and audio processing technology.

Music Tuition

Downlands offers an extensive Music Tuition program for all students from Years 7 to 12, under the leadership of qualified, private tutors appointed by the College. Our tutors provide lessons from beginner to advanced performance standards and develop an individualised, tailored study program each year for their students.

Students can elect to prepare and sit AMEB performance exams, perform in solo, duet or trio sections of the Toowoomba Eisteddfod or prepare for individual performances at College events or for assessment.

The College offers Music Tuition on the following instruments:

·         Brass (French Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Baritone or Tuba)

·         Woodwind (Flute, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone or Baritone Saxophone)

·         Piano (Classical or Contemporary)

·         Guitar (Acoustic, Electric or Bass)

·         Drum Kit & Percussion

·         Voice (Male & Female Voice)

·         Strings (Violin, Viola, Cello or Double Bass)

In 2016, the following Music Tutors will be teaching lessons at Downlands College:

·         Mrs Lauren Crighton – Flute

·         Mr Ian Dixon – Drums & Percussion

·         Mr Malcolm Gaydon – Upper & Lower Brass

·         Mr Craig Gibbens – Guitar

·         Mr Joseph Goodman – Clarinet, Saxophone & Piano

·         Miss Kaitlyn Orange – Vocal Tutor (Female Voice)

·         Mr Sebastian Maclaine – Vocal Tutor (Male Voice)

·         Mr Wee Wong – Upper & Lower Strings 

Lesson Costs & Minimum Commitment

Lessons may occur individually or in groups of two, subject to the approval of the Music Tutor. Lessons may occur weekly or fortnightly. Lessons are billed individually by each private tutor and are not placed on school accounts. Lesson costs are set at the start of each academic year and follow the official rate set by the Music Teachers Association of Queensland. In 2016, the cost will be $34.00 per 30 minute lesson.

Students starting to learn an instrument for the first time are strongly encourage to make a minimum commitment of six months learning the instrument (one semester). The minimum commitment for all other students is one term. Withdrawal from lessons can only occur at the end of a term, with notice provided in writing.

Lesson Times and Venue

At Downlands, Music Tutors provide weekly 30 minute lessons as the standard arrangement for all students. Lessons occur during the school day and at a set day and time each week.

The students are not placed at a disadvantage by leaving class for lessons each week as the College’s rotating academic timetable ensures the students do not miss the same lesson each week. In addition, as each period is 60 minutes long, students attending Music Tuition lessons will not miss the whole lesson and will still make contact with their classroom teacher before or after their Music Tuition lesson.

Instrument Hire Program

Downlands operates an Instrument Hire Program where students are able to hire a College-owned instrument for the year. The College has a stock of most woodwind, brass and string instruments and provides all of the large percussion instruments required for students.

The instrument hire fee is charged per semester to a family’s fee account and covers the ongoing repair, servicing and maintenance of the instruments. At the start of each new hire, the instruments come freshly serviced and stocked with all consumables required. The College will service the instruments at regular intervals or prior to the start of new hire. Students are responsible for the supply of consumables once the initial allocation runs out.

Further information regarding the Instrument Hire Program and the associated fees for 2016 can be found in the Arts Handbook or by contacting the College via music@downlands.qld.edu.au

Enrolling for Lessons

Lessons generally commence at the start of each academic term, where there is a place available with the Music Tutor. Some students may be able to commence part way through the term, should a vacancy arise.

In order to enrol for lessons, please complete our online Music Tuition Enrolment Form.