A major refurbishment of the Music Centre at Matthew Flinders Anglican College on the Sunshine Coast is complete, giving its student musicians top quality facilities to support and nurture their passion for music.
The College has a vibrant music program which in 2021 from June to October saw more than 600 of its student musicians from the Primary and Secondary Schools perform across five major concerts to audiences totalling 1700 guests.
Flinders Director of Music, Mr Nick Campbell said, “Our student musicians and staff were delighted to be performing to live audiences in 2021, especially after our 2020 performance program was disrupted due to the pandemic.
“We still chose to live stream our Flinders concerts as the silver lining from the pandemic is that we appreciate there are many family members, friends and music appreciators who are also keen to experience our concerts from the comfort of their homes,” Nick said.
“We had guests registering for the live stream and also watching the Vimeo showcases at a later date online, whether they were local here on the Sunshine Coast, or based around the country, or even signing in from across the globe.”
There is a Vimeo showcase of all Flinders music concerts available at this link: https://vimeo.com/manage/showcases/8150276
Music Centre Upgrade
Students at Flinders have enjoyed settling into and utilising the newly refurbished Music Centre through Terms 3 and 4 in 2021.
What began as an effort to update the music curriculum teaching spaces at the College in early 2021, grew into a complete project to refurbish the Secondary Music Department.
Nick Campbell said, “The modernised space not only provides our students and staff with a more attractive and aspirational music hub to explore their passion for music, but is also a more functional space to support music learning and performance.
“Students now have more rehearsal and performing spaces, as well as access to new digital technology equipment that will enhance their music lessons and help to develop their practice,” he said.
“Storage is also an impressive feature of the refurbished Flinders Music Centre, and helps to free up floor space in our teaching rooms and performance spaces.
“Students and staff are thrilled to be able to enjoy a more modern, polished and high-tech teaching, learning and performance experience.”
Key Upgrades to the Flinders Music Centre
New Music Reception
The music office was reconfigured to provide a dedicated reception area for the Music Department, which allows students, staff and parents to access the Music Centre via the lower foyer of the Performance Centre. In addition to this, the entry to the lower foyer from the car park was updated to provide a steel and glass roof covering of the steps as well as the Music Department signage.
The lower foyer has been updated with new carpet and brighter lighting, which upgrades it for use as an additional rehearsal and performance space.
This has modernised the music facility and enhanced the visual placement of the Music Department as part of the Flinders Performance Centre. In addition, parents and visitors report to the Music Department Reception, rather than directly entering the teaching and learning spaces.
Music Teaching Classrooms
Significant work was undertaken to improve the soundproofing of the teaching spaces. This alone has enhanced the teaching and learning as students can focus on the music being played in one room without sound interference from other rooms.
The classrooms also have increased storage spaces and modern new furniture and fittings.
New sound and visual projection systems in the Music Centre provide state-of-the-art equipment for students and staff to use. This includes tech features such as airplay, HDMI and Bluetooth functionality.
Two classrooms have been modified to accommodate a glass-enclosed Keyboard Lab. This enables each of the 14 student keyboard consoles to be connected to the teacher’s keyboard station via the Korg GEC5 interface system. This system represents the most advanced technology for group keyboard tuition, and enables the teacher interface to facilitate group work, solo work and lecture mode. Student and teacher communication takes place via the headphone and microphone headset.
This space has also become a third teaching space for a small elective music class.
Teaching studio rooms
All nine of the smaller one-on-one studio teaching rooms have been rebuilt to create usable and soundproof teaching spaces. This involved significant wall and ceiling treatment as well as double-glazed windows and doors.
Storage is important in a bustling Music Centre like that at Flinders. The storage upgrades enable a smoother and more professional rehearsal and performance experience for students using the Performance Centre.
The Music Centre has also been expanded to accommodate an additional 44 student instrument lockers. These lockers now house instruments such as the sets of classroom guitars and djembes as well as the double bases.
What’s more, the area at the back of the Performance Centre consisted of four small teaching studios. This area has been modified to accommodate a drum teaching room as well as a percussion storage area. As percussion equipment needs to be removed from the stage at the end of each rehearsal, there is now a storage area located close to the main stage. This makes it easier for percussion equipment to be removed from the stage at the end of each rehearsal and performance.
To learn more about the Flinders Music Program, visit here.