Updated: Dec 29, 2018
It's a sad but known fact that many of our state schools in Australia have very limited resources allocated to music education. Compare it to private schools where there is such a wealth of musical offerings from brass bands and symphony orchestra to chapel choir and music theatre, students often have the nice problem of not being able to decide which musical subject they will do that semester.
About 8 years ago I had an idea to start an Orchestral programme for state primary schools, open to juniors (preps-2s) and seniors (3-6) as an extension programme to our Hello Music instrumental classes. The main aim of the programme was to offer children a quality music education experience by providing an 'immersive musical environment' where students could be introduced to instrumental playing and learn the skills of ensemble playing and performance. Many parents often query how it can be possible to join an orchestra if their child has never played an instrument before, but Just as immigrant children learn English by their daily attendance to school and socialising in an English speaking environment, I believe children can also learn the language of music and how to play, if submerged in a musical environment!
Setting up the programme involved a rather large outlay for musical instruments, including violins, cellos, glockenspiels, recorders, keyboards and more. With a team of teachers we wrote music for different levels of young musicians from absolute beginner to intermediate and recorded backing tracks. It is still a constantly evolving programme even after all these years. Some days everyone is on beat and laser focused whilst some days it can seem like scrambled eggs. However, seeing the happy faces and confident musicians performing at our recent end of year Carols by Daylight event made me and our team of teachers, feel so inspired and proud of our budding young musicians.
I loved watching the behind the scenes interviews filmed by our RMITV interns and video director Stanley. I just saw this today actually, and it made me smile. Enjoy!