Home' Capricornus Quarterly : October 2013 Contents 15
Nola Smith below right
BA Hons (UQ), in English Literature, History, Ancient History and Literary
Criticism; Associate of Speech and Drama, Australia (Peta Hornema n -Wren,
1992) AMusA, Singing (Dr Scott Harrison/Anne Gralow, 1998)
Mrs Smith, who joined RGS last year, teaches at School and in her private studio.
With a specialty in classical singing, Nola works with singers so they become
flexible enough to sing multiple styles of music with safety and enjoyment.
Greatest musical accomplishment ever? I am particularly proud of
achieving my AMusA within months of the birth of my eldest son.
Worst musical moment ever? It was the 1996 production of “Pirates of
Penzance”, with Yeppoon Choral Society. I was singing Mabel, and 22 weeks
pregnant, when I went into early labour on opening night. My daughter was born
prematurely two days later, and lived for ten minutes. The mid-week performance
had to be cancelled.... I made the decision to still sing [and] I was overwhelmed
by the tremendous support shown to me. The final performance was sold
out, with standing room only. I shall always remember that with gratitude.
What are you thoughts about music in an education setting? Music has
such a positive effect on all other areas of learning. It encourages concentration,
it has been proven to be beneficial to brain development, but most of all, it is fun.
What’s on your iPod? An mix from Mezzo Soprano Cecilia Bartoli to Enya.
What’s on your personal music agenda? Ideally, I would love
to study for the Licentiate Diploma in Music, Australia (LMusA). I
never want to stop learning more and more about singing.
Music is what Mathematics sounds like. The underlying structure of
music is all about pat tern, complexity, rules and formulae. I think that
fractal patterns, with their beauty, complexity and infinite variety, all
based on a simple equation, is a visual representation of music.
Diploma of Teaching (Secondary - Music)
– Brisbane College of Advanced Education
(1982); Bachelor of Education – Central
Queensland University (1992)
Mrs Hite started at RGS this year
teaching Piano to students from
Year 1 to Year 12, having worked at
Bundaberg and Glenmore State High
Schools. Rhonda has also taught
Drama, Dance and Media Studies
Best thing done, musically?
Overall, it would be seeing my
students succeed. But as a
beginner it was winning the Nora
Baird trophy (Bach Piano solo)
in my first year of learning.
Worst musical moment? I
was playing a piano solo at the
eisteddfod from memory when
I hit a wrong note. It cost me
first place (I came second).
What type of music student were
you? As a piano student, I loved to
practise and play when I wanted to
school music student, I struggled with
aural perception and sight reading
but loved the theory and history.
Why is it important to you
that children be exposed,
educationally, to music? Music
occurs in our lives every day
even if we don’t realise it. Being
part of a child’s education allows
for a better appreciation and
broadens their knowledge base.
If I weren’t a music teacher I
would be a forensic scientist or
detective. I love those type of shows
and books – trying to solve the cases.
Music is like another world. It
has its own language, which is a
universal one, and takes you places
you never thought possible.
Bachelor of Education Primary (Music), CQU
Mrs Williams majored in voice at
uni, joing RGS in 2004 as the Year 3
classroom teacher. Returning from
maternity leave in 2010, Elisa took
up the position of Primary Music
Teacher. She previously taught
Year 6 at Bouldercombe Primary
State School. Heavily involved with
both RGS Primary and Secondary
Musicals, Elisa also tutors privately.
“As a Primary teacher I find many
ways that help young children
associate with music. I do a lot of
Physical Education linked activities
to help them understand concepts
in music. Hula hoops and bouncy
balls are a great resource in music!
We are very lucky that we have
a School that has such strong
support for its music program.”
accomplishment ever? It has to be
winning my first ever choir section
at the Eisteddfod as a conductor.
In 2003 my Bouldercombe Years
4-7 Choir won the Novelty Choir
section at the Eisteddfod singing
the song One from a Chorus
Line. I was very excited.
Worst musical moment ever?
Falling up the stairs at the
RGS Music Festival years ago
in front of a full audience.
If I weren’t a music teacher I
would be an interior decorator.
What are you listening to now?
Sing on through Tomorrow written by
a local Composer Matthew Robinson.
Music is like an escape from
reality. It’s only limitations are
the ones you put on it.
Helen Williams above left
RGS 1989, : Bachelor of Arts( Music), QUT; Graduate Diploma of Education (Secondary)
Multi-instrumental music teacher, Mackay Christian College
The one thing that excited Helen
Williams most about boarding at
RGS was that she would be able
to learn a musical instrument.
“I had always loved music and drove
my family mad with the recorder,”
says the veteran music teacher
who began learning the saxophone
in Year 8 and started taking formal
piano lessons in Year 9. She was
Captain of Music, was presented
with Honour Colours for Music and
received the Chudleigh Prize for
Outstanding Achievement in Music.
“One of the highlights for me
was when the school Stage
Band was the support act for
James Morrison in 1988.”
A student who would practice
every evening (to get out of prep)
Helen believes that children should
have opportunities to experience
the joy of making music.
“Music education offers students
an avenue for creativity and self-
expression, a pathway to succeed. I
often ask students to use words to
describe the feeling of the music,
or to describe the colours they can
hear in a piece. At times I get them
to move or dance to the piece they
are learning while they sing.”
To teach music is to
touch a life forever
More than a dozen Music Teachers and Instructors work in the School’s Music
Department. We catch up with some of them and two RGS Past Students who teach
Music and talk with them about their thoughts on their profession and their students
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