The Special Interest Music Centre (SIMC) provides a model of excellence in music education in South Australia. It provides a valuable contribution to the profile of music in the education system and has played a significant role in the development of music curricula in the state. In particular it has contributed to the raising of musical standards in student performance. The SIMC at Marryatville High School was established in 1976.
In Years 8 to 10, areas of study for Special Interest Music students include Theory, Aural, Composition and Arrangement, Concert Practice, Solo and Ensemble Performance, Choir, Score Reading and Listening, History, Analysis, Early Music, Music Pathways and Music Technology.
The Senior Music Program offers students a broad and comprehensive musical education. Four music subjects are offered as part of Stage I and all eight music options are offered in Stage 2 of the SACE . The school provides pathways to music studies at tertiary level. The Senior curriculum is also available to General Music students who satisfy subject pre-requisites.
A unique feature of the SIMC is the opportunity to provide students with access to over 20 high level musical ensembles. Participation in these ensembles is an integral part of the Special Interest Program and is an expectation of every Special Interest student. Year 8 students are required to participate in the Junior Choir and one other large ensemble.
Marryatville High School has four orchestras; School Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Studio Strings and the Junior Orchestra. The School Orchestra has travelled to Japan and Europe, and undertaken many regional and national tours.
Marryatville High School has a strong band program at junior and senior level. The development of ensemble skills is nurtured through the classroom program in Years 8 to 10, as well as after hours as a co-curricular activity. The school has a Senior and Junior Concert Band, and opportunities for small woodwind, brass and percussion ensembles.
Through the Jazz program, the Big Bands have had success in local and national competitions, including the Generations in Jazz National Stageband Awards associated with James Morrison. The school currently has three Big Bands. Big Band I has toured England, USA and Canada.
As singing is the most important part of a child’s musical development, it is an integral part of the music program at Marryatville High School. Every music student sings in a class choir. Students may also choose to participate in co-curricular ensembles; Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Junior Choir, Boys’ Choir, Girls’ Choir and the Pops Vocal Ensemble.
Our extra curricular ensembles include many smaller groups such as; Double Bass Ensemble, Flute Ensemble, Baroque Ensemble, Senior and Junior Recorder Ensembles, Senior and Junior Guitar Ensembles, Percussion Ensemble, Jazz combos, instrumental trios and quartets and other ensembles, dependant on student needs.
All music students at Marryatville High School have the opportunity to access small group instrumental lessons through the Instrumental Music Service of the Department for Education (DFE). Tuition in specialist instruments is provided by the Special Interest Music Centre (eg harpsichord, tuba, viol, etc). Special Interest Music students are encouraged to learn a second instrument and also gain basic keyboard skills. Advanced students are encouraged to access tuition with private instrumental teachers.
Expertise is available in the highly specialised area of composition. Students may access contemporary music technology through the music computer laboratory and recording studio. Classes in improvisation are offered as part of the instrument tuition program.