The quiet corridors Music School corridors are no more and the empty practise rooms and auditorium are slowly but surely coming back to life. The Kingswood Music School is officially open for business once more!

Most of us can remember a teacher or mentor who has inspired us in some way to become who we are today, or made an impact on our lives. But we never faced a time when we could not be without a teacher – when we could only reach them through a screen. 

The Kingswood Music School faced a particularly complex reality with the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, music teachers facing uniquely distinct challenges due to the nature of their task.

“If they struggle with a rhythm, especially the younger ones, I show them by writing it down on manuscript paper with the counting underneath, take a photo and send via Whatsapp. Next time they usually get it right! Or I take a video with my tablet precariously balanced on the side of the keyboard and leaning against the metronome so that they can see and also hear the rhythm.”

Mrs Smith, Piano

Yet, even in the face of the challenges, both teachers and pupils forged on with determination and laughter, and music continued to lift the spirits of many in the Kingswood family.

With the start of Term 3, our Music School is alive again with the sound of music (pun, not necessarily intended) and we are so happy to be able see our pupils face-to-face again.

Tonara Studio

To meet the challenge of online learning and music the Music School made use of the Tonara Practise app over lockdown.

An all-in-one practice platform, the app was a wonderful addition to the toolkit of online learning. Enjoying practising is an important step to ensure that musicians continue to learn and improve, and not only does the app encourage this (pupils “earn points the more they practice and can climb the, the more assignments they complete the more stickers they unlock!”) but it also helped teachers create assignments and track progress. 

The Challenge

Based on the on-app Tonara leaderboard, pupils were challenged to join the fun and make a competition of it.  Eighteen brass students embraced the Tonara challenge over lockdown.

Pupils were rewarded with points when they completed their assignments and, in order to stay on top, it was necessary to sustain consistent practice throughout the challenge.

Director of Music, Ms Coleman, also joined in to increase the stakes and add an incentive to try and gain more points than the teacher! Daniella, Khanya, Eva and Stuart all managed to achieve this. 

Twelve of Mrs Brand’s woodwind pupils participated in the Challenge. Four pupils stood out like shining stars – Alyssa achieved top spot with Zoe, Nepo and Caitlen following close behind.Congratulations to these dedicated musicians! 

Summer Term Winners:

Victor won the competition with a commendable 19 stars, Peter John obtained 16 stars and Jaden Laing and Awande Venkile shared third place with 11 stars each. 

Winter Term Winners:

Victor Le Du accumulated the most stars with 29 stars. Eva Vassiliou came second with 25 stars and Isabelle Obermeyer third with 20 stars.

We look forward to the Spring Term ahead and all the music it will bring…

“Students can turn the process of practicing on their instrument into a far more engaging and interactive experience than simply practicing alone. Tonara listens to you play and tracks progress over time to celebrate milestones and successes. Badges, points and more game-like rewards add another element of fun…Teachers can manage all of their students and their assignments, interact with each student, and motivate them with game-like rewards and encouragement.”