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Passionate about horse riding and a ’Cappella singing…meet Tracey Jacob

Tracey Jacob grew up attending community events at Haileybury – from the Haileybury Tattoo and concerts to footy games. Now, as Head of Music and a primary teacher at our Brighton campus, Tracey enjoys uncovering hidden music talents in her students and sparking their imagination and creativity.

NEWS 2 June 2022

What brought you to teach at Haileybury?

I have always admired the way the Haileybury community operates. As a child, I remember attending the Haileybury Tattoo, musicals, concerts, carnivals, football games and athletics and sporting events with my family. I loved the way the whole community turned out to support its students. I also found the professionalism of colleagues I knew who worked at Haileybury attractive, along with the high expectations for teachers and students. Haileybury has a history of being a great school.

What do you enjoy about teaching Music?

Working in the Creative Arts allows me to collaborate with colleagues, stretch my imagination, problem solve and plan and prepare opportunities for students to shine. I love following the progress of students from ELC through to Middle School and beyond. Each stage brings joys and challenges and music making is vital in helping to build bigger, better brains and to enrich education. No two days are ever the same and, quite often, no two classes are ever the same.

How do you engage your students?

I start with a game and hook them in — signing games are so much fun. Music making is social and each creative individual contribution is valued and encouraged. Improvisation is a fundamental part of the process and we can all contribute. There are no right and wrong answers — just risk taking and an emotional response as students create and explore music.

Tell us about a couple of your Haileybury highlights…

Coordinating a number of Tattoo teams has been exciting and challenging. With fond childhood memories of watching the Tattoo, I am excited to create a wonderful experience for the children involved and for the families that attend.

Travelling to Perth with colleagues to attend the National Kodaly Conference that focused on curriculum development, teaching techniques and skill development to enhance learning experiences for our students is also a highlight.

What impact do you hope to have on your students?

I hope to spark imagination, encourage risk taking and inspire creativity. I hope that all students realise their value and their potential to find joy in contributing to community music-making. 

How do you like to spend your time away from School?

I am Assistant Director and Choreographer of Melbourne Chorus, which is an ensemble for women who sing four-part a’ Cappella in the barbershop style. We have travelled internationally to represent Australia and have won many awards. I am also choreographer and assistant to the director of Vocal Infusion, a Melbourne-based mixed chorus and we are currently preparing for a national competition in Hobart. I’ve also just joined a new quartet. I have a very supportive husband and two children — my son is completing his apprenticeship and my daughter is in Year 12. We love to camp near surf beaches and to sit around the fire pit, listening to music. My Dad lives on Phillip Island so we take a few trips down to the Island during the year and enjoy the beaches there, too.

Tell us one thing about yourself that your colleagues and students might not know…

I love to ride horses. In Year 3, I fell off my horse, broke my arm and spent the summer in a plaster cast. That meant I had to wait until Year 4 to learn to surf.

In three words, how would you describe working at Haileybury?

Exciting: There’s never a dull day and a lot of fun to be had in the Creative Arts Department!

Hectic:  There is always plenty to do and never enough time to do it all.

Rewarding: To witness the joy, pride and accomplishments of those that we teach feeds the soul…