Author Archives: captivatestrings

About captivatestrings

Phil Rooke is a Teacher Educator, specializing in Music Education for the Catholic Education Office - Diocese of Parramatta, authoring & implementing teaching programs and leading music learning across a system of 78 schools in Western Sydney. "I am on a learning journey to find and invent better ways to motivate students and teachers in music making."

Motivation and the Drive to Learn

Originally posted on Learning Strategies for Musical Success:
Why is it that some people achieve so much more than others? This simple question is one of the big concerns for education. Essentially though, it is motivation that underpins people’s choices and…

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Let’s Create – Not Replicate

This year, in our Captivate String Orchestra, we have achieved much in the performance of the Brandenburg Concerto # 3, 1st movement (abridged). This is a significant achievement for a combined string orchestra with mainly upper primary students that have … Continue reading

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What is a String Ensemble? – Building our Music Learning Communities

Right at the start, let me say that this post is not just about string ensembles. It is about how we create collaborative learning communities and how we learn together, students learning to make great music together, supporting each other … Continue reading

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Musical Playground Duty

A very wise and hardworking stage coordinator in one of our primary schools had the idea of getting our excellent team of string teachers to perform in the playground for end of the school day dismissal – playground duty should … Continue reading

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Visualize Your Success: There are no shortcuts to our music learning

I have the great pleasure in leading a team of about 12 classroom and specialist teachers in the String Things Program across 14 Catholic Primary Schools in Western Sydney. In recent weeks, I have had the task of meeting with … Continue reading

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Collaborative Learning in Music – Get With The Team

Welcome to the first post for 2015.  In this post, I would like to examine and explore the reasons that we play music in ensembles. This has in fact been a learning journey for me in my career as a … Continue reading

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St Andrew’s Primary School Christmas Roadshow 2014

The strings program commenced at St Andrew’s Primary School in 2009 and was one of the first classroom strings programs implemented in a Catholic School in the Diocese of Parramatta. Since 2009, all children in year 3 learn a stringed … Continue reading

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2014 Captivate Strings Chamber Concert – St Finbar’s Catholic Church Glenbrook

On Sunday November 9th 2014, our Captivate String Orchestra, Parramatta Marist High Chamber Orchestra and our Captivate Staff Chamber Orchestra performed works by Caccini, Bach, Purcell, Smetana, Dvorak to a very appreciative and sizable audience in the beautiful setting of … Continue reading

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Recognize the Divine in the Everyday: making the most of our learning opportunities

In 2007, acclaimed concert violinist, Joshua Bell attempted a musical/social experiment. Normally you would pay hundreds of dollars to hear Joshua play with the best symphony orchestras in the best concert halls but on this day, he played the Bach … Continue reading

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Reflecting On & Celebrating Our Music Learning – What has worked in 2014?

It’s the first week back of term 4 and already we have had a rehearsal of the Captivate String Orchestra – as usual, the Penrith/Mountains Orchestra on Tuesday at St Mary MacKillop Primary School Penrith and the Blacktown/Kellyville Orchestra at … Continue reading

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