Why junior@agc is the place to be!
Every week, 6,500 school-aged girls across the country come together to sing. Almost 2,000 of those girls are our junior@agc choristers who choose to participate for the friendships, fun performing arts activities and concerts that all complement their schooling.
This year, the AGC is excited to share our new junior@agc curriculum, designed to deliver a well-rounded and consistent performing arts education to girls across the country. So what does our new junior@agc curriculum involve and why do we believe that junior@agc is “a very good place to start”? Read on to learn more about the junior@agc curriculum from Jo Patos – ASPA Music Education Consultant, and how early exposure to music training can enhance the confidence, social skills, creativity, academic performance and much more in girls.
A curriculum for young minds
For most of our younger choristers, the junior@agc program is their first time participating in an activity outside of kindergarten or school on a regular basis, and first formal foray into a performing arts education. That’s why our junior@agc classes are designed to build a foundation of performing arts skills through fun, play-based activities.
“We may be learning about a particular rhythmic idea but we will be doing that through a game, physicalising things and singing songs while sneaking in little bits of musicianship here and there.” – Jo Patocs, ASPA Music Education Consultant
Compared to the school classroom or in an early learning environment where most children have participated in basic singing and dancing, the junior@agc program offers an opportunity for girls to begin developing their technical skills for performing including their vocal skills, musicianship, drama, dance and movement skills. Week to week there is repetition (after all, practice makes perfect), however no class is ever the same, with the Tutor subtly building on the activities each week to continually develop the skills and knowledge of the group.
“While we might work on the same song for two or three weeks, each time we are doing it slightly differently, and we are building on concepts that we have already put in place.” – Jo Patocs, ASPA Music Education Consultant
An activity to complement school education
Most parents will agree that the early years of school are a big adjustment for their daughter, which is why the junior@agc curriculum has been to designed to cultivate a nurturing environment where girls can develop their social skills and confidence. We understand that maturity levels and school-readiness varies quite significantly in this age group, and have integrated welcome activities and team-building exercises into every class so there’s always the opportunity for interaction.
“Our staff are so aware of making the girls feel confident and happy and safe – it’s our number one priority. We make sure the girls feel settled in class, are having fun, and have a buddy or two that they can go to.” – Jo Patocs, ASPA Music Education Consultant
The girls benefit from having classes on a Saturday morning, rather than at the end of a long school day as they can come in with a clear mind. For any 5-7 year old, an hour can be a long time, so we have carefully structured each class to keep the girls entertained and engaged while maximising their learning capacity.
“We structure the classes to have quite short, targeted activities and capture their attention with something that’s dynamic, fun and meaningful. We then have a change that allows a brain and body break – time to get up, move and resettle to be fresh for the next idea and next activity.” – Jo Patocs, ASPA Music Education Consultant
The ‘hidden’ curriculum
Alongside an enriching musical education, our junior@agc choristers also benefit from our ‘hidden’ curriculum that helps develop their resilience, confidence, public speaking skills, social skills, teamwork, presentation skills, focus and more. Parents are only present for the final five minutes of class (aside from Demonstration Classes) which allows the girls to become less self-conscious and find comfort with a regular group of peers.
“When there’s not a whole lot of unknown parents watching, there’s no longer an audience, so they tend to settle in and really throw themselves into the activities without being self-conscious.”- Jo Patocs, ASPA Music Education Consultant
We also have seen firsthand what the research suggests – that children who undertake music training have better verbal memory, second language pronunciation accuracy, reading ability, reasoning skills, auditory, and motor skills. By starting their music training early as a junior@agc, we ensure the girls have head-start on their academic journey.
“Musically the foundation years are so important. These base concepts and building blocks of music are so vital to their future years.” – Jo Patocs, ASPA Music Education Consultant
Try a class at junior@agc
Discover more about junior@agc by experiencing the curriculum in action at a free class! Register now for our February Open Day or come along to a class in Term 1.