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MSO Classroom is an exclusive opportunity for Government school students as part of the Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series, supported by the Victorian Government. MSO Cybec Assistant Conductor Nicholas Bochner and specialist co-presenters deliver rich and stimulating content through live, interactive sessions. Students will be inspired by in-depth and interactive discussion, illustrated by world quality, pre-recorded MSO performances.

Interactive webinars encompass multiple learning areas. See individual session descriptions below for further details.

Register now to reserve your place! Attendees will be contacted with links to join in advance of sessions. Resources will be available for download before each session.

MSO Classroom is supported by the Department of Education & Training Victoria.

Term 1, 2021

MSO Online Classroom 1

Curriculum Concert

19 March 2021 at 10am
Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Centre Southbank
Free for Victorian Challenge and Enrichment Series students


Nicholas Bochner conductor / presenter
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra


Sculthorpe Earth Cry
Haydn Symphony No.94

Dive into the music of two ground-breaking composers. Guided by MSO Cybec Assistant Conductor Nicholas Bochner, you’ll explore two works: Haydn’s Symphony No.94 and Sculthorpe’s Earth Cry. Discover why Haydn is known as the ‘Father’ of the Symphony and learn how Sculthorpe was inspired by indigenous music and music-makers, to create a unique Australian sound.

This special concert format is ideal for curious students evolving their understanding of compositional technique and developing their analytical vocabulary.

Term 2, 2021

MSO Online Classroom 2

Interactive Webinar

Rescheduled - date to be confirmed

Dealing with the Devil’s Interval Intervals and Interventions in Bernstein and Shakespeare

Join Nicholas Bochner and special guests, Dr Rose Michael and Associate Professor Jess Wilkinson from RMIT’s School of Media and Communication. Their lively discussion will uncover the legendary genius of Leonard Bernstein through his stunning Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.

Explore a Romeo and Juliet like no other. Engage with classic themes and motifs in a contemporary context.

Students will:

  • Hear detailed insights about the tritone, its historical use and Bernstein’s application of ‘the devil’s interval’ in the Symphonic Dances
  • Explore common conceptions of ‘high’ art and ‘popular’ culture via discussions of West Side Story
  • Learn how to use (misuse and abuse) musical and literary inheritance via practical exercises based on Bernstein, Shakespeare, and the world today

Along with the live discussion, students will have access to a downloadable resource that will guide them to independently produce a creative outcome.

Suitable for: High-ability Music and English secondary students from Government schools

Term 3, 2021

MSO Online Classroom 3

Interactive Webinar

13 September 2021, 11.30am–1pm OR 1.30–3pm

Music, truth telling and our cultural inheritance

Resources sheet for download

This very special event brings together acclaimed Yorta Yorta soprano, Artistic Director of Short Black Opera and MSO’s 2020 Composer in Residence, Deborah Cheetham AO, and cellist/conductor Nicholas Bochner, as they explore the cultural themes and music in Deborah’s moving and powerful work, Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace, premiered by the MSO in 2019.

Students will hear about and discuss:

  • Mapping our shared history
  • Decolonisation: the challenges, the rewards and your role in the process
  • Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace – and discuss the broader role of music in society
  • The importance and impact of First Nations languages in revival

Suitable for: Students from Government schools in Years 7-10 and VCE Music students

“It is my hope that this requiem will help the spirits of those who fell to find a lasting peace and that we, their descendants, might find our way to deeper understanding of the legacy of these battles. Eumeralla, a war requiem for peace will break the silence of so many decades and serve to amplify the importance of our nation’s shared history.”

– Deborah Cheetham AO

Watch webinar

Term 4, 2021

MSO Online Classroom 4

Interactive Webinar

11 October 2021, 1.30-3pm OR 4.30–6pm

VCE Exam Preparation

Downloadable Resources
10 Day Ear Expansion - Exam Prep Activity
Mood Matrix - Exam Prep Activity

Macro Micro Macro - Exam Prep Activity

Music Performance Analysis - Past Exam Questions

Style and Composition - Past Exam Questions

Students join Nicholas Bochner in a timely in-depth conversation with VCE Music Specialist James Le Fevre (Head of Music, Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School) with guidance in preparing for and succeeding in all areas of upcoming Music exams.

The repertoire for study during the session is Peter Sculthorpe’s Earth Cry, as played by the MSO during the Curriculum Concert in March, as well as Deborah Cheetham’s Dutala and Carl Vine’s Microsymphony, providing the perfect illustrations for VCE exam preparation in this practical workshop.

Students will:

  • Hear detailed insights from the experienced musician and teacher perspective
  • See recent MSO footage to support discussion
  • Be guided through practical examples focusing on all facets of VCE Music, including Performance, Music Investigation as well as Style and Composition.

Suitable for: High-ability VCE Music students from Government schools

Watch webinar

Classroom 5

Interactive Webinar

8 November 2021, 11.30am-1pm OR 1.30–3pm

Truth, propaganda or aspiration? Frontier narratives in Copland and Graham’s Appalachian Spring

Downloadable Resources
Music Activity: Simple Gifts Arrangement

Music Activity: The Movement and Sounds of Around Us
English Activity: Writing (About) Australia

English Activity: Writing About Art

Join Nicholas Bochner and special guest Jessica Wilkinson from RMIT’s School of Media and Communication. Their lively discussion of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring, the Martha Graham ballet for which it was composed, and the variety of historical, literary and musical sources that inspired them, will provide students with ideas and techniques to develop their own unique compositions via text and/or musical score.

Students will:

  • Explore how Copland and Graham configure place and time through their respective contributions in Appalachian Spring
  • Discuss and interrogate the relationship between art (music, dance, literature) and the development of a national mythology
  • Examine the compositional techniques Copland employs to create his iconic “American sound”
  • Learn how to draw from existing literary and musical texts to inspire new creative works.

Along with the live discussion, students will have access to a downloadable resource that will guide them to independently produce a creative outcome.

Suitable for: High-ability Music, Dance, English and History secondary students from Government schools.

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