Kids at the Con

Kids at the Con


The Kids at the Con program is designed to help children between the ages of 3 and 10 engage with the exciting world of music. Structured classes are presented in a challenging but non-competitive environment which encourages the development of artistic expression and creativity.

Based on both the Orff-Schulwerk approach and the Kodaly method, students will be introduced to music using singing, imitation, movement, playing tuned and un-tuned percussion instruments, improvisation, story-telling and guided listening activities.

Students in the Red and Orange classes will learn basic musical concepts such as pitch and rhythm, helping them prepare for formal musical tuition. Older students in the Yellow, Green and Blue classes, who may already be learning an instrument, will be able to consolidate and build on their instrumental learning.

All classes take place in the Conservatorium’s historical Macquarie Street buildings on Saturdays and Wednesdays.

Students enrol for 7 weeks (a term) of teaching. Each level is completed in approximately 28 weeks but is dependent on the child’s progress. The class teachers will make recommendations at the end of every second term as to whether a child should stay in that class or move to a new class. This recommendation is based on the students' progress in the class.

Please refer to the 'How to Enrol' page for details of how to enrol your child.

Class descriptions

Generally the most appropriate class for a new student will be based on the child’s age, their ability to concentrate, and their previous musical experience. A child with no previous musical experience should join the class where their age is at the lower end of the range listed for that class. If a child has some musical experience and a good level of concentration for their age, then we recommend they start with the higher level.

Red: 3 to 4 year olds
In the Red class, children focus on basic musical elements through exploring music with differentiation in pitch, beat and tempo. Motor skills are also improved using musical games. This class is perfect for preschoolers and parents/guardians are encouraged to attend.

Orange: 4 to 5 year olds
Building on foundational elements developed in the Red class, children are introduced to the first 5 solfa notes (doh-soh). Activities for group interaction are also encouraged as well as some exploration into improvisation. Our Orange class has a slightly faster pace than the Red class and begins to investigate rhythmic notation. As parents/guardians do not join in the class, it also encourages independent music-making.

Yellow: 5 to 6 year olds
In the Yellow class, children continue to experience beat, pitch, tempo, dynamics and structure through playing, singing and moving. Simple notation is introduced and rhythmic and aural elements become more complex. Ensemble work is explored in more detail. Working with different parts in both singing and on instruments contributes to a wider understanding of how music comes together. Our Yellow class is suited to children who have already started school, and who can read simple letters, numbers and words.

Green: 6 to 7 year olds
In the Green class, children continue to experience the elements of music through singing, moving and playing. Conventional music notation is introduced including rhythm, bass and treble clef. Ensemble work broadens to 3–4 parts and aural training also reflects this with more difficult solfege and learning of songs in more than 1 part. Many of the participants in this level have already begun individual instrumental lessons but this is not a prerequisite.

Blue: 7 to 10 year olds
In the Blue class, conventional and graphic notation are explored and a broader range of rhythmic and pitch concepts are used. Building on solfege of previous levels, more challenging ensemble and aural activities are presented. The participants in this level bring a diversity of musical experiences to class but share equally in experiencing and making music.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you offer trial classes?

We do not offer trial classes for Kids at the Con programs. At the end of Term 2, an Open Day is held for prospective students to come and observe an existing class. At the end of Term 4, everyone is welcome to attend our Gala Concert where students will present items and activities that they have learnt. Information on registering to attend Open Day or the Gala Concert will be available closer to the date. Please join our mailing list to be notified.

Can I join a waiting list?

Due to the popularity of the program, we do not offer waiting lists. All enrolment occurs on a first-come, first-served basis via our website on specific enrolment dates. For more information, please refer to our 'How to Enrol' page.

Do I need to attend the class with my child?

Parents/guardians of students in the Red class are encouraged to remain in the classroom with their child. For all other classes, parents/guardians may not remain in the classroom unless express permission is given by the class teacher. Permission will only be given in extenuating circumstances.

In general, children under 12 years of age are to be accompanied by a parent/guardian who must remain on-site at the Conservatorium whilst the child is on the premises.

Are there any discounts available?

A 15% discount is available for children of Sydney University students and staff and Friends of The Con. This discount may not be combined with any other discounts. Please call the Open Academy office on 9351 1400 to register your student/staff details before enrolling online. For Sydney University students, proof of concession status will be required.

We do not offer discounts for siblings booking together.

Can I take photos or videos of my child?

Photography, video and or audio recording of any Open Academy class or performance is prohibited.

What if I cannot attend a class?

Please notify the Open Academy in advance of absences, by e-mailing con.openacademy@sydney.edu.au. We are not able to make up lessons missed by students. If the teacher is unable to hold a lesson, it will be rescheduled to another date. For details of our cancellation policy, please see our Terms & Conditions.