Music at Marshland School
My name is Heather Libeau-Dow- I am the music specialist at Marshland School. After teaching primary classes and raising three children, I specialised in primary music for several years, directing children’s choirs, teaching at CSM and delivering school music programmes. This was followed by eleven years lecturing in Music Curriculum and Professional Studies at the University of Canterbury College of Education.
During this time I completed Post-Graduate studies through the University of Waikato in a German musical approach called Orff-Schulwerk, which led to me a Summer School in Salzburg at the Orff Institute (Sound of Music territory). This inspiring experience influenced me to leave my university position, and return to teaching children. Currently I teach in two schools, teach singing privately, and do short-term contracts with the university- a balanced workload.
Friday is my favourite day because I spend it making music with the wonderful children at Marshland School. Junior, Middle and Senior classes are rotated every few weeks, demonstrating their musical development at the end-of term Celebration assemblies. Choir is for Years 5-8 between 11.30-12.30 and they are rehearsing to perform at the World Vision Kids for Kids concert at the Air Force Museum in October.
The most popular class activity is using the Boomwhackers; a set of tuned plastic pipes that are used to teach active listening, conducting technique, as well as an understanding of pitch, beat and rhythm. All classes are actively engaged in creative music-making, reinforcing musical literacy.
My role is to identify and nurture musical talent, and many children already demonstrate ability in this area. Research shows that music has the potential to enhance reading and maths ability; develop discipline; interpersonal skills, self-confidence and self-expression. The best by- product is the joy experienced as we make music together!