Music

Welcome to the Music Program at Halifax West High School. The program is under the direction of Mr. David Burtt

Music 10B  Instrumental Band – Academic

Music 10B Band is designed for students who already play a concert band instrument. Students enrolled in this course typically start learning a band instrument in either grade six or seven and have continued to play in a concert band throughout their junior high years.
Students will be expected to attend Concert Band rehearsals Wednesday mornings from 8 – 9 a.m. and several performances throughout the year. These rehearsals and performances are considered co-curricular and thus are counted toward a student’s final mark. In addition to studying music repertoire, students will also be given instruction in theory, history and composition as part of their coursework.
This course is offered all year long and is paired with Grade 10 English on alternate days.

Music 10 Exploring Music – Academic

Music 10 Explore Music is designed for students who have not played a traditional band instrument in junior high. Please note, students who played in junior high band may not register for this course.
Students will explore, compose, and perform different types of music from around the world. This is not music appreciation. Students will be expected to participate, practice and perform music. Topics will include: world drumming, keyboarding, popular music of the 20th (and 21st) century, jazz music and the development of Rock ‘n Roll.

Music 11B Instrumental Band – Academic

Music 11B Band is designed to continue to develop and expand upon performance and interpretation skills, and further explore the function and role of music in society. Students continue to develop technique through the preparation of scales and studies, and explore their artistry through the preparation of solos.Students also study music theory up to and including basic triads, rhythmic and melodic dictation, music history and utilize music technology to create basic compositions. Students will be expected to attend Concert Band rehearsals Wednesday mornings from 8-9 a.m. as well as several performances throughout the year. These rehearsals and performances are considered co-curricular and thus are counted toward a student’s final mark.

This course is offered all year long and is non-semester.

Music 12S Beginner Guitar – Academic

This course is designed for students who have absolutely no experience on guitar but would like to learn to play the instrument. All aspects of guitar playing will be explored including TAB, chord reading, note reading, as well as aspects of theory, history, and composition. Students must acquire their own acoustic guitar for the course. Students must have permission from the instructor to register for this course.

Music Vocals 11 – Academic

Choral and theoretical portions of the course are continuations of material covered at the first level (see Music Vocal 10). This course is divided into three sections: theory, history and performance; the emphasis of the course will be on performance. The theory portion of this course will cover interval inversions, note reading, identifying musical terms as well as sight-reading using Solfeg and ear training experience.
The history portion will emphasize the Romantic era. All students will be required to participate in all class performances; some of which will be outside of the school day. Students are required to learn their parts and sing in small groups. The repertoire for this course will incorporate all musical styles, which are Classical, Modern (Popular music), R&B, Jazz and Broadway. A strong emphasis in this course will be on part singing and working towards solo singing. Music Vocal 11 is offered over the whole year, every second day.

Music 12B Instrumental Band – Academic

This course is designed to continue to develop and expand upon performance and interpretation skills, and further explore the function and role of music in society. Students continue to develop technique through the preparation of scales and studies, and explore their artistry through the preparation of solos. Students also study music theory up to and including basic triads, rhythmic and melodic dictation, music history and utilize music technology to create basic compositions. Students will be expected to attend Concert Band rehearsals Wednesday mornings from 8 – 9 a.m. as well as several performances throughout the year. These rehearsals and performances are considered co-curricular and thus are counted toward a student’s final mark.

Performance Opportunities at Halifax West

In addition to the regular courses offered at Halifax West students may elect to join one of the many performing ensemble that meet regularly outside of class time. The concert band, jazz band, string ensemble, and concert choir are all regular ensembles that meet on a weekly basis and are open to all students. There are also smaller student led ensembles (such as flute choir and percussion ensemble) that change from year to year depending on student interest and ability.”

Other Options for Music at the West

In addition to the above offerings, students may audition for all-city ensembles. These are offered at the All-City Music Centre, housed at the Quinpool Education Centre, Halifax. Students wishing to take part in any All-City ensembles must also belong to their school ensembles, if available. The following ensembles are offered subject to the availability of teaching staff. Please call 902 421-6700 for further information.

  • Soundtrax (SATB choir)
  • Halifax West High School Strings
  • Youth Honour Choir
  • Senior Improvisation Class
  • Senior Jazz Band
  • Halifax Schools’ Symphony Orchestra
  • Intermediate Jazz Band