Music. What does it mean? How does it reflect, reference, and affect our human condition as people and as social beings?
We are incredibly fortunate to have Natalie Hillier the Owner/Director of Life Centre Music School and Early Learning to Grade 2 Music Teacher at our Junior Campus. She brings with her 30 years of experience as a music teacher, pianist and accompanist and a deeper commitment to the educational principles of ethnomusicology and the Kodály Approach.
Natalie’s teaching career began with a Teacher’s Associate Diploma from the Australian Music Examinations Board, A Teacher’s Licentiate Diploma from Trinity College of Music in London and most recently a Bachelor of Education from the University of Tasmania. During her Bachelor of Education at UTAS, Ms Hillier was admitted to the Dean’s Roll of Excellence for 2010 academic results and gained membership to the Golden Key International Honour Society, which is only offered to the top 15% of the UTAS academic achievers.
Natalie’s goal is to provide a music programme that will enhance childhood development and instil a lifelong love of music. Whilst at Trinity College in London, Natalie had the opportunity to work with Cecilia Vajda, a world-renowned Kodály exponent. The Kodály Approach focuses on a belief that every person has a musical aptitude and that musical education should begin as early as possible, with singing being the foundation of all education.
Ethnomusicology centres around concepts on understanding who we are and how it helps us to make sense of the world and people around us. Launceston Grammar is an International Baccalaureate school and the Primary Years Programme creates children who are caring active participants in a lifelong journey of learning.
Spending time in Ms Hillier’s classroom it is easy to see the impact on her young students with one of them confidently requesting in the middle of a musical game that they do an ostinato next. Huddled down in the centre, another student awaits his turn to try and work out which of his friends is singing to him, their voice is the only clue. As the Preps arrive, it is clear that this is a space where the children feel confident in their abilities, comfortable using musical terms and are keen to lift up their voices and sing.