Developed in Ballarat by violin teacher, Sarah Walters, the Watermusic Method simplifies and enables the integration of music reading, string music playing and theoretical understanding. The Year 2 String students at Ballarat Clarendon College are participating in the very first school pilot project for this new way of learning.
The Watermusic Project brings music reading, string playing and theory together from the beginning. By removing the separation between these elements, the engagement, understanding and ease of playing for students is dramatically increased.
You might see pictures of eels, scenes from the ocean, estuaries, rivers and other aquatic wildlife on the students’ learning materials and on the ‘Eel Wall’ in the Junior School music room. The Watermusic Method uses the mutable eel shape which can be oriented and moved to be the unifying concept that brings understanding of the fingerboard to the stave. It uses lots of non-competitive games and hands-on learning materials, such as blocks and cards.
The real-life story of the Australian Shortfin Eel is a truly incredible one. It is also a local one. Eels travel all the way from Kirks Reservoir to the Coral Sea and their young then grow and make their way all the way back to Kirks Reservoir. The rich imagery that life in the open sea, estuarine and inland waterways and the associated animal, plant and bird life creates, lends itself perfectly to a music learning journey that is exciting, powerful and engaging.
Clarendon values innovative teaching methods that are supported by robust research. By participating in this pilot project, students are encouraged to be the best they can be in order to develop the skills, competencies and capacities to follow their heart’s desire.