St Philomena School values Music as a highly formative and creatively expressive subject; for this reason it is taught from Prep – Year 12. We believe that music enhances the overall learning experience of each and every child. Music is, according to the ancient Greek model of Classical Education, considered to be one of four higher subjects of learning (known as the Quadrivium):

  1. Arithmetic (numbers)
  2. Geometry (numbers in space)
  3. Music (numbers in time)
  4. Astronomy (numbers in space & time)

Over the course of time music has gradually become separated from the field of Ethics. In the mind of the ancient Greeks and the Medievals this was not so. At St Philomena School we encourage the students to critically analyse music as something that is either ordered (numbers in time) or not.

Aristotle, an eminent ancient Greek philosopher, explained the power and influence of music as follows:

“Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul. When one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.”

This statement is, more importantly, inversely true. The more one listens to, and indeed sings or plays, music of a noble form the more it will ennoble their soul. It is for this reason that we have a particular focus on the Scared Music tradition at St Philomena School (Gregorian Chant, Polyphony and Hymnody) we also make use of good and wholesome classical and folk music.

St Teresa of Avila stated that everything on earth has one of three possible points of origin/sources of inspiration:

  1. Heaven
  2. Earth
  3. Hell

This most certainly applies to music. A piece of music can be celestial, terrestrial or infernal in its origin/inspiration. Our aim is to equip each student with the necessary means of critically analysing any given piece of music.

It is our hope at St Philomena School to lead our students to “higher things”:

“Music, that is the science or the sense of proper modulation, is likewise given by God’s generosity to mortals having rational souls in order to lead them to higher things.” (Saint Augustine)


St Philomena School

61 Koplick Road

Park Ridge, Queensland, QLD 4125

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Tel: (07) 3802 0088

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