G.S. Lakie music students to show their skills at Gatorstock 18


Music education is done a little bit differently at G.S. Lakie Middle School.
That will be showcased on Wednesday, Nov. 25 at the Gatorstock 18 term concert, when approximately 200 students will perform that evening for a crowG.S. Lakie students are ready for Gatorstock 18, Nov. 25. Photo submittedd that typically approaches 400.

The concert will feature intro guitar classes (Grade 6, 7 and 8), Rock/Pop 7/8 and Modern Percussion classes, as groups of student bands will be pumping out everything from classic rock songs to modern favourites.

“We’ve done 18 of these shows throughout the last seven years,” said G.S. Lakie music-education specialist, Sheldon Arvay.
The shows help students showcase what they’ve learned that term through the G.S. Lakie Guitar Program, which is a sequential three-year (Grade 6 through Grade 8) music program, teaching music using the guitar as the vehicle of instruction.

Throughout the six scheduled periods a day, 180 students learn guitar in this class. Each term, there are 180 new students. Each day, six classes are held, with about 35 students per class.

That means over the three terms, 540 students a year benefit from the program, as Arvay added the program is helping pioneer a new way to teach music.

“Music education is changing. It’s not solely based on traditional instruments anymore. This program was the first in the area.”

Arvay added Lakie students can now continue on past Grade 8, as Chinook High School has a similar program underway there this year, as middle-school students can now take what they’ve learned at Lakie and build upon it at the high-school level.

According to Arvay, with Lakie’s focus on programs which focus on music and dance, it provides a well-rounded experience for students.


“Schools have been solely based on sports for decades, but what do you do with all of the kids that don’t play sports? We try to offer something here that every kid will like.”
And with the guitar program, students have the opportunity to not only learn about music, but how to perform as a band, and even learn how to record their music, thanks to the Recording Arts classes for Grade 7 and Grade 8 students.

The class covers three components - live audio, digital recording and equipment. G.S. Lakie has industry-standard equipment for students to use, consisting of two digital mixers, a Yamaha LS9 and Behringer X-32. The students learn how to record their own music on a flagship recording program called Nuendo (5.5). The system also allows staff and students to work in post-production, music and audio for video.

It all adds to the overall program, which has some very clear goals in mind for students.
“They certainly get confidence,” said Arvay, who added he also wants to ensure youth take that love of music and carry it with them for the rest of their lives.

Next week, the focus will be on performing, and taking the 13 weeks of musical instruction and turning it into Gatorstock 18. Cover songs from artists like Ozzy Osbourne, The Ramones and AC/DC will meld together with tunes from contemporary artists like Fall Out Boy and Ylvis, for a performance that showcase not only Lakie students playing guitar, but also the bass, keyboard and drums, along with vocalists.

Gatorstock 18 will be held Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at the G.S. Lakie Convertible Theatre. Tickets are three dollars at the school office or online at www.lethbridge.schoolcashonline.com.
For more information on the G.S. Lakie Guitar Program, visit www.gslakieguitar.com

— By Garrett Simmons, Lethbridge School District No. 51 Communications officer
Last Updated ( Monday, 23 November 2015 11:18 )