Sydney Catholic Schools’ Amadeus Music Education Program is one of the biggest, most comprehensive and ambitious investments in quality music education ever undertaken in Sydney’s schools.

This game changing program is being rolled out to 33,000 students across Sydney Catholic Schools’ network of 150 primary and secondary schools.

The Amadeus program provides students in Year 3 to 8 with classroom music lessons, ensemble lessons and small group tuition and will be led by 80 school classroom music teachers and 270 specialist music tutors. These music tutors will bring professional experience from orchestras and ensembles around Australia and the world.

The system wide initiative draws on decades of research that shows learning an instrument and playing in a musical ensemble strengthens neural pathways in the brain and can:

  • significantly improve student academic success in areas including language and mathematical development
  • significantly improve student engagement, short- and long-term memory, attention, self-discipline and coordination
  • improve mindfulness and promote wellbeing in students
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“Music is an important part of life through which we express ourselves as human beings – it brings communities together, creates joy and stimulates the brain and the senses,” Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools, Tony Farley, said.
“We decided that music education should not be a privilege just for those who can afford it.

“The introduction of Amadeus is a great example of how we are applying the scale and collaboration of our educational network to deliver innovative educational programs.

“We are committed to putting our students at the centre of everything we do and with Amadeus, we are not only putting more than 50,000 instruments into the hands of every Year 3 to 8 student, and classroom music lessons from kindergarten, but providing the teaching and support they need to learn and thrive.”

All Year 3 to Year 8 students at Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS) will have access to 52,000 different instruments and the program will be integrated into the normal school curriculum.

Amadeus students undertake instrumental tuition in small groups of five to eight students for 30 minutes per week learning to play on a string, woodwind, or brass instrument. Students will also play their instrument in a string ensemble, orchestra, or concert band (whole of class) for up to one hour per week.

Sydney Catholic Schools' Amadeus Music Education Program student being taught how to play a violin by his music teacherKindergarten to Year 8 students will participate in listening, moving, composition and organising sound and performance (voice, and tuned and untuned percussion) activities.

A differentiated teaching and learning program will complement the instrumental program, including a cross-curricular approach linking dance and drama to music.

As part of this program, all students will be given a string or wind instrument and will be part of a String Ensemble or Concert Band. Once students have completed two years on an instrument, they can apply to transfer to the vocal stream of the program.

Professional musicians will tutor students and nurture their passion and skills to meet musical outcomes for the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and Quality Music Instruction and support students to complete standard graded music exams.

Students will have the chance to perform at school and parish level, at larger inter school events and at Sydney Catholic Schools’ competitions and showcases, including Sydney Catholic Schools’ Performing Arts Festival and Eisteddfod.

The Kindergarten to Year 8 scope of the program means there is a continuum of music education from a student’s primary school to their secondary school. Students can also choose to continue Music as an elective into Year 9 and beyond.

By the beginning of 2024, all 150 SCS schools will be fully implementing the Amadeus Music Education Program.

Schools Offering the Amadeus Music Education Program