Welcome to DS Music
Home of the ONLY Secondary Music Education Resources you need!
In these very unsettling times, my overwhelming concern is for students completing their final year of subjects and/or school. The world has suddenly turned upside down for everyone, yet you are still in the middle of what must feel like a movie set, trying to complete your final year of secondary school.
This is to reassure you that I have your backs! If there is anything at all I can do to help ease your way through the labyrinth that is VCE Music Performance – Music Language or whatever it is that your state/country call the music language part of your senior music curriculum then please let me know and I will do my best to help!
Stay safe, stay in touch and keep making beautiful music!
- All the planning & preparation is done for you!
- Comprehensive music education resources for Years 7-12
- Student & teacher books, eBooks, online resources
- 100s of engaging activities, lesson plans, videos, CDs/mp3 (audio) files
- Sequential, developmental music literacy program from beginner to Year 12 and above
- Teacher support and professional development
- Suitable for all music programs and class types
- Based on Kodály pedagogy – fully adapted for the Australian secondary music classroom
- Extremely affordable – booklist for your classes!
Musicianship & Aural Training for the Secondary School is a uniquely comprehensive set of music education resources for teaching music literacy, musicianship, theory and aural skills for Years 7 to 12. Using many of the great tools and concepts from a Kodály music education program plus other teaching and learning techniques developed over years in secondary music classrooms around Australia, Deb has created a system of music education suitable for any secondary music classroom regardless of teacher and student background, prior music education (if any) and socioeconomic situation.
Our resources are designed to teach your students the music language and literacy in a rich, sequential, developmental and engaging way, using music education tools such as movable do solfa, rhythm (time) names and many other innovative techniques.
We’ve taken the stress out of planning, with all the work done for you.
With 100s of activities, games, worksheets, lesson plans, assessment tasks and audio files, you can concentrate on delivering your program and engaging your students in the language of music while knowing that you are teaching a fully sequential, skills based music education program.
Suitable and adaptable for all class types and abilities
The student and teacher books are easy to use, can be adapted to any classroom music program, and include material suitable for all class types and abilities. In addition to the workbooks, students have access to online listening activities, videos and practice exams.
Our free resources and online courses provide a rich source of flexible learning opportunities
We also offer a huge range of FREE resources along with online courses such as our Introductory 10 Weeks of Solfa and VMPC (VCE Musicianship Preparation Course). Year 11 and 12/VCE students, and their teachers, can complete these courses in their own time or within their class program.
We’re here to support you and your students
We provide teachers with ongoing support and advice in using the books and we offer school visits, music teacher professional development and workshops for music students and teachers.
I have used Deborah Smith's Musicianship & Aural Training for the Secondary School Level 1 and 2 books for many years, recently introducing the Level 1 books to my Year 6 Advanced Music students. I use Deb's books in all my classes from Yr 6 - 12. I greatly value the fact that this is a scaffolded and sequential program that develops music literacy and aural skills that will take my students from absolute beginner skills to VCE Music readiness. It develops the necessary vocabulary and skill for all students to really succeed in whatever their chosen field of music study or enjoyment. The format of the books is clear and easy to follow.
All theses resources tie in perfectly to the Kodály Music Education Teacher Training Secondary Level 1 course I undertook in 2021. With Deb as the lecturer, this Kodály course was structured and easy to follow, breaking the content down into manageable sections. Undertaking the Kodály course seamlessly tied together the theoretical knowledge and familiarity I have with her published books to the skills necessary to use them to their full potential in my classroom. For the first time this year, I felt that my students got the full Kodály experience in my classroom, and that was thanks to the skills I honed, and the guidance I received, during the Kodály course with Deb.
I thoroughly recommend using Deb's resources and undertaking any of her workshops/courses, for your own growth as a musician, and to get the very best from the Level 1 and 2 books that so many of us under-utilise in our classrooms. Everyone should be singing every day!
Kerry Trounson, Classroom Music Teacher, Southern Cross Grammar, VIC
I’ve had the pleasure of developing an ongoing relationship with DSMusic over many years now. I work as a senior music teacher at St Francis Xavier College, Beaconsfield and run the program for 10, 11 and 12 Music. The resources provided present a unique way to build musical literacy in my students and once I understood the underlying concepts, I discovered a methodology that has developed the foundations of my pedagogy.
The resources available through DSMusic are very comprehensive and, if used well, will equip a classroom teacher with the resources to develop curriculum, lessons and musical experiences that allow students to engage with the language of music in a meaningful manner. Deborah herself is a very generous educator and has consistently strived to ensure that my senior students have access to resources they need. I regularly take my VCE students to her workshops as they find her energy and passion infectious and her lectures help give a greater context to this distinct pedagogy.
For teachers who wish to teach music literacy, I can think of no greater pool of resources. The textbooks provide easy lessons that incorporate a clear progression of literacy with tips and resources to engage a wide variety of skills within the classroom. Songs, games and canons which not only allow to differentiate for a wide variety of students, they act as vehicles for teaching true and personal music literacy. Even in this regard, Deb is a generous mentor, very willing to share her years of experience.
Carlos Escobar, Senior Music Teacher, St. Francis Xavier College, VIC
We have been using Deb’s textbooks in our band and classroom music programs for some time now. They are the perfect companion for our music literacy/Kodály based program, with meaningful and interesting activities that complement each new skill taught.
During the numerous lockdowns, Deb’s interactive PDFs for Level One were a lifesaver for us. For our more advanced students, Deb’s comprehensive video library and online resources for use with the Level Three book and Decoding Sound, enabled me to provide my VCE students with meaningful and engaging practice activities that were ready made, which saved me so much time and energy. With a particularly diverse student cohort, who weren’t always able to engage with live Zoom class meetings, these resources have been an excellent companion to my lessons.
Deb’s resources really have been a lifesaver, particularly in these past couple of years and I know my team are very grateful for them.
Amy Young, Director of Music, St. Joseph’s College Geelong, VIC
The VMPC (now called the Music Language Online Course Musicianship Module) aims to help you enhance your theory and aural skills at a rate that suits yourself; as many high school students have varied school timetables, it makes it hard to stick to a deadline. This is one reason why I found working through the course very helpful, and I was able to fit the course work/extra help in my busy schedule.
It was always very easy to ask Deborah anything! Any questions I had on the work or tips, she would always answer. I honestly think doing the course significantly gave my study score a significant boost. Whether it be starting 2 months prior to the exam or at the beginning of the year, I think it would give you a large advantage over the majority of the cohort.
JZ, VCE Music Performance Student, Scotch College, VIC
Hi Deb, I just wanted to say thanks so much for making the Music Language Online Course - Musicianship Module. The way it is designed, with the knowledge like building blocks on top of each other, really simplifies the learning and makes it seem achievable – instead of overwhelming! I just wanted to email because I really appreciate your emails and the videos and everything else you’ve done with the course! It’s easy to rely on and I know that if all my other subjects were done the way you have set out this music course, everything would be a lot simpler and less stressful, so thank you!
TC, VCE Music Performance Student, St Michael’s Grammar School, VIC
The Music Language Online Course - Musicianship (MLOCM) is like working closely with an experienced teacher all year, going through all the music aural and theory you need to know for the exam. You have the privilege of working at your own pace while also having someone other than your classroom teacher hold you accountable for your efforts and encourage you to improve. There are a great deal of videos, activities and resources to strengthen your weak areas and an immense amount of guidance and support is available throughout the year – these are all things, in my opinion, students at any level will greatly benefit from!
Personally, the MLOCM helped me so much last year, and I think it is an incredibly valuable tool for anyone studying VCE music. At first I was skeptical of all the singing involved in the course, but over time my aural skills and understanding of music theory improved without me even realising it! In addition to this, the course works so well alongside all the other material Deb has developed (including practice exams and the Level 3 book) – I cannot recommend this course enough.
SM, VCE Music Performance Student, Warrnambool College, VIC
The Musicianship and Aural Training series of textbooks and CDs are an invaluable asset to any secondary music teacher in any school, in any state of Australia. They are comprehensive and fun, well structured, easy to follow and simple to use even if you are not a Kodály specialist!
The texts and CDs cover every aspect of excellent music education, detailing curriculum content in a logical sequence, with relevant exercises, activities, songs, games, composition tasks and directed listening. Continuous assessment and evaluation in short well-conceived examples and revision sheets allow both teacher and student to map progress. Tests of a longer nature are also included to assist in the evaluation and reporting process.
For those on a limited budget, if you buy nothing else, these resources should be your ‘one stop shop’. Your students will enjoy their music classes, delight in both performing and creating music and learn to really hear the sound in the music symbol thanks to these wonderful resources created by a truly gifted music educator, Deborah Smith.
Berwyn Roberts, Music Educator, VIC and WA
As a teacher of VCE Music Performance (Group), I have found Deborah Smith’s Musicianship & Aural Training book for the subject to be an invaluable resource for teaching this part of the course. I found her workshop for teachers inspiring, and my students who have attended her student workshops have come back to class excited and eager to pass on what they have learnt from her.
Stephen Hardie, Assistant Director of Music, Blackburn High School, VIC
Just a quick note to say congratulations on the new Level 3 textbooks. I think they are simply fantastic. The interactive PDF is a godsend! No more messing around with CD players and less finding additional resources to support students. I can bring one device (my laptop) to class and everything is there. It also makes setting homework for students a lot easier.
The online (linked in the PDFs of the teacher and Elite student books) resources are fantastic! When I add them to the resources I have already put together for the class, my aural and theory sections of Outcome 3 are pretty much set for the two years. In addition, the structure of the contents pages, along with all the curriculum documents on the website and the support from Deb, has made planning a breeze.
Richard Linton, Music Teacher, Penola Catholic College, VIC
Taking part in a workshop by Deb Smith is an incredible opportunity for music teachers, students and musicians. As Deb emphasises regularly and importantly; the language of music, our ability to consider and discuss and the ability to analyse; truly makes us better performers. Watching Deb conduct a workshop is a master class in sequencing and knowledge building that every person deserves to benefit from. Debs work supports us all to be more professional and capable. Make sure you attend the next workshop and furnish yourself with Debs rigorous materials.
Justin Ossher, VCE Music Teacher, Ave Maria College, VIC
The Focus on Analysis VCE Music Performance Workshop was an excellent primer in all things Music Analysis. Deb provided excellent, well-deconstructed examples with clear identification, description and depth to support students' understanding of the content and process required. Our students walked away from this workshop with a renewed understanding of how to structure their ideas into clear, coherent responses supported with practical tips to present analysis using each individual’s own language skills. This gave students a greater sense of ownership and confidence, allowing them to develop their responses clearly and focus on elements asked by the question.
Deb was a knowledgeable, compassionate and engaging host, providing a fantastic opportunity for students to expand their knowledge and skills in this area. Her expertise is highly recommended!
Matthew Frampton, VCE Music Teacher and Acting Learning Leader of Performing Arts, Whitefriars College, VIC
I am incredibly grateful to have attended your workshop. I recommended the workshop to my VCE class – 3 of which travelled to attend. They loved it!
I haven’t taught VCE Music Performance for a number of years, so the reconnection with the appropriate language was excellent. Your systematic and logical breaking-down of terminology and reinforcement of keeping it simple really hit home. I really enjoyed your premise of giving an in-depth answer which stays firmly within the parameters of the question being asked (aka. Not waffling or going tangential).
I applaud your diverse repertoire of examples which really pushed home the point of each question. Add to all of this, your wry humour and gregarious personality shining through, what could have been an otherwise dry seminar, and I feel you achieved real and rich engagement with these young people, furthering their understanding and passion for our artform.
Terry Carrick, Music Performance Coordinator, Sacred Heart College, VIC